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Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) or Public Guardianship Office (PGO) -Government Department


Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) or Public Guardianship Office - (PGO) - Financial protection services


About the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) or Public Guardianship Office - (PGO)

Please note: Public Guardianship Office (PGO) is now the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)

The role of the Public Guardian is to protect people who lack capacity from abuse.

The Public Guardian, supported by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), helps protect people who lack capacity by:

Setting up and managing a register of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA); Setting up and managing a register of Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA); Setting up and managing a register of court orders that appoint Deputies; Supervising Deputies, working with other relevant organisations (for example, social services, if the person who lacks capacity is receiving social care); Instructing Court of Protection Visitors to visit people who may lack mental capacity to make particular decisions and those who have formal powers to act on their behalf such as Deputies; Receiving reports from Attorneys acting under LPAs and from Deputies; and Providing reports to the COP, as requested, and dealing with cases where there are concerns raised about the way in which Attorneys or Deputies are carrying out their duties. The Public Guardian is also personally responsible for the management and organisation of the OPG, including the use of public money and the way it manages its assets. A separate Public Guardian Board scrutinises the work of the Public Guardian and then reports to the Lord Chancellor.

Who They are
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), established in October 2007, supports the Public Guardian in registering Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA), Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) and supervising Court of Protection (COP) appointed Deputies. The OPG is an agency of the Ministry of Justice. The OPG replaced the Public Guardianship Office, the former administrative arm of the Court of Protection. The OPG are based in North London and have responsibilities which extend throughout England and Wales (separate arrangements exist for Scotland and for Northern Ireland).
The OPG embraces all aspects of diversity and equality. Our commitments are set out in the Ministry of Justice equality schemes which explains how we plan to meet our statutory duties to promote equality.

What They do
The OPG helps and supports Attorneys and Deputies in carrying out their duties and protects people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. It does this through:

  • Regulating and supervising Court appointed Deputies and by registering LPAs and EPAs.
  • In some cases, where there are suspicions that an Attorney or Deputy might not be acting in the best interests of the Donor, the OPG will work with other organisations to ensure that any allegations of abuse are fully investigated and acted upon.
  • The OPG also provides information on mental capacity to the public, legal and health professionals, and researchers. It can provide contacts with other organisations working in the field of mental capacity.

The OPG also has responsibility for policy issues relating to the Mental Capacity Act and in relation to mental capacity issues generally.



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