What Are Some Things That An Ombudsman Can Not Do?

The Ombudsman: 

• Does not conduct formal investigations 

• Does not change rules, policies, or procedures 

• Does not participate in any formal hearing or grievance process 

• Does not supersede the authority of the organization’s executives and officials 

• Does not disclose and may not be required to disclose information provided in confidence, except to address an imminent risk of serious harm where there is no other responsible option 

• Does not engage in any activity that might be perceived by others as advocacy for any individual

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Ombudsman Information

The word ‘ ombudsman ’ dates back to 1809 when the Swedish Parliament created a new official known as the Justitie-Ombudsman, referring to public officials appointed to investigate citizens’ complaints against governmental agencies. Ombudsman loosely translates as ‘ citizen's defender ’ or ‘ representative of the people ’. In Swedish the word - ‘ ombudsman ’ is without gender and can indicate a person of either sex. However, it is becoming common to use the term ombudsperson in lieu of ombudsman.


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What Are Some Things That An Ombudsman Can Not Do?