Follow Up To The Parliamentary Ombudsman’s Report
Up To The Parliamentary Ombudsman’s Report
has been a while since I wrote to you and I feel that it is time to bring you up
to date with ELTA’s activities in recent months.
will recall that in July 2008 the Parliamentary Ombudsman, Anne Abraham,
published a report recommending that Equitable Life (ELAS) policyholders should
receive compensation for their losses as a result of maladministration by the
government. The government, whilst not accepting all her recommendations,
nonetheless invited a distinguished high court judge, Sir John Chadwick, to
establish criteria for an ex-gratia payment scheme. The scheme would also
include a methodology for determining who might qualify and for computing any
payments, while simultaneously recognising public purse constraints.
inviting Sir John to make recommendations for a compensation scheme, it would
appear that the government has accepted in principle that it will make payments
to ELAS policyholders and that now it is trying to work out the details.
However, we believe that it is also clear that whatever scheme of compensation
is finally established, it is highly
unlikely that all policyholders will receive payments and, of those that do,
losses will probably not be compensated in their entirety.
took the decision to engage actively with Sir John since, in principle at least,
his advice will determine whether or not some, or possibly all, the WPAs qualify
for compensation, and, if they do, how much those qualifying will receive. We
felt therefore that it was vital that he understood the issues and the unique
way in which the ELAS debacle has affected all of us as WPAs in such a
John began his work in January 2009, since when I, and the advisory committee at
ELTA, as well as our legal advisors, Clarke Willmott, have monitored the process
and we have been active in following up on behalf of the WPAs. Sir John produced
his initial “Proposals” in June, followed by his “Interim Report” in
August, inviting responses to both documents from interested parties.
responded to the “Proposals” on behalf of the WPAs with two written
submissions and, in addition, met Sir John and his team at his London chambers
on July 8th. ELTA’s first submission and my meeting (no doubt
together with others) clearly appear to have had some impact, since there were
important changes to his approach in his subsequent “Interim” report
“Interim report”, contains much that is positive for the WPAs but
notwithstanding, there remain some points of concern and, consequently, I have
prepared a third written submission.
wanted to provide you with the opportunity to see this
written submission and comment before it is finalised.
I am asking you to read it and let me have your comments as quickly as possible,
preferably by e-mail, or, if that is not possible, by letter or telephone,
before Sunday, 4th October. We will then revise the submission in the
light of your comments and send the final version to Sir John by close of
business on Friday, 9th October. As always, I am here to be contacted
You can review the document on the ELTA website (see below for details) along with the two earlier submissions. May I thank you in advance for taking time to read the submission. I look forward to hearing from you. If you wish me to remove your details then please do not hesitate to contact me.
to the ELTA web site:
Sir John Chadwick
The Third (DRAFT) written submission from ELTA to Sir John Chadwick
you do NOT have access to the internet at home, may I suggest you ask a family
member for help, or alternatively go to your local library where you will be
able to get access and help if needed.