Virtual Kollage: The functions of the Ombudsman

Posted by / Wednesday, 12 October 2016 / No comments

The functions of the Ombudsman



THE OMBUDSMAN
The Ombudsman is an official empowered to inquire into complaints of citizens who feel they have been improperly or unfairly treated by a government official or department. If the findings of the Ombudsman prove that the complaint was true, he/she seeks a remedy. 

FUNCTIONS OF THE OMBUDSMAN
Protection of individual liberties
It is recognized that, in the course of the performance of their duties, government officials over step their constitutional bounds. When this happened, the office of the Ombudsman helps to redress any rights of the individual that has been violated.

Investigates matters
Another function of the Ombudsman is to investigate matters brought before his/her attention. In other words, he/she looks into complaints before it. Apart from that, he/she could also institute an investigation into a matter even if it is not brought before it.

Checks administrative abuses
After an investigation, when the Ombudsman detects any anomaly in the carrying out of an official duty for example, he/she initiates processes to redress the anomaly and possibly recommends compensation for the aggrieved party.

Exposes wrong doings
In the course of their duties, the ombudsman uncovers rot in the day to day administration of the by government departments and agencies. These exposures are brought to the attention of the public and the world by newspaper house thereby exposing them. Apart from that in an annual report to Parliament, which he/she is mandated to submit, the activities of unscrupulous administrators are exposed.

Ensures that public officials are not falsely accused
When the Ombudsman, in the course of his/her investigation finds out that an officer has been falsely accused of wrong doing, he/she takes steps to remedy the situation. Sometimes, it is just a disgruntled junior officer who has been corrected or punished for wrong doing trying to tarnish the image of his/her superior.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1.         a. What is an Ombudsman?
            b. Highlight five functions performed by the Ombudsman.

3.         a. Highlight three features of the office of the Ombudsman.
            b. What three functions does the Ombudsman perform? 

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