The Ombudsman

The current Ombudsman is Andrew Walker. He works part-time in that role, and has no staff.

After gaining a degree in physics, Andrew first worked as a nuclear physicist on submarine propulsion systems, after which he joined ICL in Manchester, working for a number of years with major customers, particularly local authorities, in the north-west of England. He then spent thirteen years working for UK regulatory authorities. After three years at the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, he moved to the Office of Fair Trading, where he was involved primarily in an investigation into the selling of football Premier League broadcasting rights.

In 2001 Andrew moved to Oftel, and subsequently Ofcom, after it took over the work of Oftel and a number of other communications regulators. Having spent nearly a year, in 2003, on secondment from Oftel to the new Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman (Otelo), in 2007 Andrew successfully applied for the position of lead Ombudsman for telecommunications at Otelo. He spent over four years in that role, taking overall responsibility for the handling of complaints about communications providers, leaving in June 2012.

The current Ombudsman was appointed in November 2012 by the Waterways Ombudsman Committee, following an advertisement and open competition for the post. The appointment was for a period of four years, ending on 31 October 2016.

At its meeting on 25 May 2016 the Waterways Ombudsman Committee exercised its discretion, under the Rules, and agreed to an extension to Andrew's term of office for three years from 1 November 2016 to 31 October 2019.