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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 ?
Le paragraphe 19(2) de Y Ombudsperson Act a souleve des inquietudes puisqu'il exempte les personnes assujetties a des ententes de confidentialite ou de non-divulgation de fournir a l'ombudsman des renseignements vises par ces ententes et que bon nombre des employes concernes, sinon tous, sont lies par diverses ententes de confidentialite concernant leur periode d'emploi et, eventuellement, diverses ententes conclues au moment de la cessation d'emploi.
The average number of complaints submitted to the Financial Ombudsperson rose by about 175% in 2012 versus 2011, she
At stage three, the Security Council complemented the governance system with the ombudsperson as an independent agent who acquired a quasi-judicial function within the sanctions regime.
Units of the Department's bureaus could maintain an ombudsperson to act as a facilitator with ample autonomy to deal with contentious issues.
It reflects a firm commitment of the international community to reject terrorism, deny terrorists access to the international financial system and prevent their travel and acquisition of arms," she said of the unanimous resolution allowing the Office of the Ombudsperson to function for an initial period of 18 months.
Considering together the former rationales, and specially because of the singularity and complex nature of conflict in university contexts (Doelker, 1989; Harrison, 2007; Holton, 1998; Ostar, 1995), this paper aims to present a contingent model of mediation interventions within the scope of the figure of the University Ombudsperson, based in three basic dimensions: the level of balance or symmetry of power characterizing the relationships between the parties involved; the foreseeable temporal perspective of the relationship (short-term vs.
I have had two solicitors, the CAB, the ombudsperson, and now the CAB again, fighting my corner.
Having served as the Ombudsperson for Human Rights in the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo and observed the negotiations over the Dayton Accords (or the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina), Haller (Johann Wolfgang Goethe U.
There should be an independent ombudsperson with whom recruits can discuss bullying or other problems.
Acting military ombudsperson Barbara Finlay has resigned.
So why are ministers refusing to co-operate with Parliamentary Ombudsperson Ann Abraham?