What does the word Ombudsman mean?
The word Ombudsman is of Swedish origin and the Ombudsman institution was in fact first established in Sweden in 1809. The term "Ombudsman" is an English translation of the Swedish word umbuds man from the Old Norse umboosmaor, meaning representative.
How can one define the Ombudsman institution?
The International Ombudsman Institute gives this classical definition:-
“The Ombudsman institution is an office established by constitution or statute, headed by an independent high-level public official who receives complaints about injustice and maladmi...
Who are the Commissioners for Administrative Investigations and what are their functions?
Within the institutional framework of the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, three commissioners targeting health, environment and planning and education have been appointed. These Commissioners devote all their attention to the particular sector within th...
Who is the Parliamentary Ombudsman?
The Ombudsman is an independent Officer of Parliament, appointed by the President of the Republic acting in accordance with a resolution of the House of Representatives that is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all Members of the House.
Can the Ombudsman undertake own initiative investigations?
Yes. In terms of Article 13(2) of the Ombudsman Act (Chapter 385 of the Laws of Malta), the Ombudsman may decide to commence an investigation on his own initiative although this is usually undertaken only when issues of substantial public interest and importan...
What type of complaints does the Ombudsman investigate?
The Ombudsman investigates complaints by those alleging that there has been an infringement of their economic, social and cultural rights arising from maladministration caused by involuntary or intentional mishandling of executive power or by improper, unreaso...
What type of complaints cannot be investigated by the Ombudsman?
The Ombudsman cannot investigate complaints arising from actions or omissions of:
• private individuals including lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc. in private practice;
• private companies;
• private contractual or commercial transactions;
• the ...
What happens when a complaint reaches the Ombudsman?
The first thing that the Ombudsman does when he receives a complaint is to determine whether the complaint is admissible. If the Ombudsman decides that the complaint cannot be investigated, the complainant is informed that the Ombudsman will not be dealing wit...
On what grounds can the Ombudsman refuse to investigate a complaint?
The Ombudsman may refuse to investigate when:
• the complainant has not already tried to resolve the grievance directly with the public body concerned;
• the person submitting the grievance has a reasonable alternative remedy available at law;
Where an internal grievances unit has been set up within a Department, Authority or Entity, can a complaint be lodged with the Office of the Ombudsman?
If a complaint has been lodged with the internal grievance unit and complainant is still unsatisfied with the decision of the board, he may refer his grievance to this Office, attaching all relevant correspondence and documentation, including a copy of the sai...
When can a complaint be submitted?
The Ombudsman is bound by Article 14(2) of the Ombudsman Act, not to accept a complaint that is submitted to him later than six months from the day on which the complainant first had knowledge of the matters complained about. However, the Ombudsman can use his...
What procedures are followed in cases where the Ombudsman decides to launch an investigation?
When the Ombudsman decides that a grievance that has been brought to his attention warrants an investigation, the complainant is informed of this decision and is given the name of the Investigating Officer who will be handling his case. The Office of the Ombud...