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(äm`bədzmən) [Swed.,=agent or representative], public official appointed to deal with individual complaints against government acts. The office originated in Sweden in 1809 when the Swedish legislature created a riksdagens justitieombudsman, or parliamentary agent of justice, and in the 20th cent. it has been adopted by a number of countries. As a government agent serving as an intermediary between citizens and the government bureaucracy, the ombudsman is usually independent, impartial, universally accessible, and empowered only to recommend. In the United States the term ombudsman has been used more widely to describe any machinery adopted by private organizations (e.g., large business corporations and universities) as well as by government to investigate complaints of administrative abuses. In 1969, Hawaii became the first of many American states to appoint an ombudsman.


See studies by G. Sawyer (2d ed. 1968), F. Stacey (1978), and D. C. Rowat (2d ed. 1986).



in bourgeois states, an official empowered by the constitution or a special law to oversee the workings of government institutions, ministries, and departments. The position of ombudsman was first provided for in the Swedish Constitution of 1809.

In most countries the ombudsman acts nominally on behalf of the parliament, on the initiative of individuals or legal entities that have approached him. The official title of the position of such a government supervisor varies: for example, in France, intermédiaire, and in Great Britain, New Zealand, and India, “parliamentary commissioner” (plenipotentiary). In some countries there are several ombudsmen, each of whom is assigned a certain sphere of administration (in Sweden, for example, there are civil, military, and consumer ombudsmen). Ombudsmen are elected by parliament or appointed by the head of state. In monitoring the actions of officials in the government apparatus, the ombudsman does not have the right to revoke their decisions, but he can make recommendations. In most countries the ombudsmen’s control is very limited; it does not cover the activities of the government, ministers, foreign-policy departments, the police, or municipal agencies.


1. a commissioner who acts as independent referee between individual citizens and their government or its administration
2. (in Britain) an official, without power of sanction or mechanism of appeal, who investigates complaints of maladministration by members of the public against national or local government or its servants
References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Kwerepe pointed that the Office of the Ombudsman addressed 40 Kgotla meetings in targeted villages and settlements during the current financial year to carry out public education and complaint intakes.
The nature of appealable decisions of the Ombudsman was, in fact, settled in Ombudsman v.
Malacanang on Thursday slammed the Ombudsman for not disclosing the fact that they had closed the investigation on the President's alleged bank accounts.
This, despite Article XI, Section 13(3) of the 1987 Constitution that provides that the ombudsman shall have the power to "direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public official or employee at fault, and recommended his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure compliance therewith.
According to Paracha, the Federal Insurance Ombudsman deals with a complaint within 60 days and the complainant can file his complaint without hiring a lawyer or spending a hefty fee.
He said that the Office of the Ombudsman is taking practical and comprehensive steps to redress complaints of the masses with regard to the government departments.
Presently, the ombudsman considers financial disputes worth up to $2,000," Hasanov said.
One non-bank organisation and 23 banks have signed agreements with the Azerbaijan bank ombudsman, which commenced activity in September 2017, an online report said.
As far as I'm concerned, it's clear that every industry needs an ombudsman.
As a result Federal Ombudsman decided to take legal action on contempt of court.
The ombudsman scheme would also want to see all relevant paperwork regarding the issues.
The President was talking to Federal Ombudsman Salman Faruqui who called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on Tuesday.