While the SPSO Act does not give a definition of maladministration, we use the following as examples of the kind of failings that come under the heading of maladministration:
- unreasonable delay
- failure to apply the law or rules properly.
There may be other failings that are also ‘maladministration’ – the most quoted definition is that of a Cabinet Minister, Richard Crossman, who in 1967 who listed 'bias, neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, ineptitude, perversity, turpitude and so on'. However, as a judge - Lord Denning - noted in 1979 'and so on would be a long and interesting list, clearly open-ended, covering the manner in which a decision is reached or discretion is exercised ...'.