What is the difference between 'maladministration' and 'professional negligence'?

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Published on LexisPSL on 10/11/2015

The following Local Government Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What is the difference between 'maladministration' and 'professional negligence'?
  • Maladministration
  • Professional negligence


Maladministration generally involves a complaint to the relevant ombudsman that a public body has acted inappropriately in the exercise of its public duty.

For commentary in a Local Government context, see our PSL® Local Government Practice Note: Maladministration—investigations and reports which discusses investigations and reports relating to maladministration, noting that under the Local Government Act 1974 (LGA 1974), the Local Government Ombudsman has the same powers as the High Court with respect to the attendance and examination of witnesses and the production of documents. It discusses issues such as outcomes of investigations, whom should receive a copy of the draft report before its publication, and what happens if the ombudsman decides that it is not in the public interest to publicise a report. Also see Practice Note: Maladministration—complaints, which explains that the Local Government Ombudsman investigates complaints of maladministration and/or service failure. It provides examples of maladministration and discusses related issues such as injustice resulting from maladministration, and service failure.

Maladministration is not defined by statute but examples are:

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