Ombudsmen/Ombudman Schemes

Another form of ADR. Ombudsmen can be regarded as an advanced form of ADR as they normally have a wider range of functions. This starts by capturing complaints and identifying problems. They are trying to solve them and proposing redress measures. But also providing information and feedback. A monitoring allows learning on improvements.

The institution of Ombudsman has a world-wide popularity and appeal. It is relatively difficult to define an Ombudsman: because of their wide presence, there is a significant variety of their roles, nature and place within the civil and administrative justice systems in general.

A more descriptive definition is provided on the website of the British and Irish Ombudsman Association. Ombudsmen exist to deal with complaints from ordinary citizens about certain public bodies or private sector services. The services provided by ombudsmen are free of charge. Each ombudsman scheme operates under slightly different rules, but in general an ombudsman does not consider a complaint unless the organization, business or professional standards body concerned has first been given a reasonable opportunity to deal with it. If the ombudsman decides to conduct a formal investigation, a written report on the investigation will be issued, and will normally set out the evidence considered by the ombudsman and proposals for resolving the dispute. If a complaint is upheld, the ombudsman will expect the organization to provide a suitable remedy. For more information on the potential roles of ombudsmen can be found here.

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