What is an Ombudsman?
The office of the Ombudsman plays an important role in ensuring government accountability. Ombudsman offices provide a means of complaint or appeal for people who have encountered problems with the administrative actions of government departments; other departments and authorities can make complaints as well. The range of Ombudsman offices – financial, legal, energy, indicate the broad range of topics with which an Ombudsman can become involved on behalf of a complainant. There is a long history attached to the office of the Ombudsman. The office dates back to the Control Yuan in China some 2000 years ago. The original Ombudsman of China did not advocate for the individual but rather for the system as a whole. The Swedish institution, which began in 1809 is largely identified with systemic improvement, not with individual representation, but there is little doubt that it has acted to uphold the rights and interests of individuals. The role of the Ombudsman exists in many different cultures and government systems.
Page last updated 14/12/2017