Councils are normally found not to be at fault if the LGO finds that the Council demonstrated it considered all the information sufficiently, stuck to its own policies and procedures, and did so in line with what is generally believed to be the current state of the law regarding its statutory duty.
If a decision is so irrational as to have emerged ONLY through a flawed approach, then even if there is no fault in the process, the LGO will often find fault simply based on the absence of any coherent reasoning. Likewise if an outcome turns on a decision as to the meaning of a word in legislation that is contrary to existing case law on that wording, the LGO will often find that it was not open to the council to reach that opposite conclusion.
It should be quite easy to be found not at fault by just being reasonably well informed about the legal framework and following statutory guidance; but it is common that even that is beyond councils. The LGO has to decide that there is fault in the way the assessment was carried out, rather than the outcome of the assessment. Sometimes the Council offers to carry out another assessment; if a Council shows willingness to consider the impact its decisions have on family members and the affected person, the LGO may be satisfied with the Council’s approach. These cases highlight that the LGO does not often interfere with day to day decisions so long as the correct procedures are followed.