What Are Our Principles?

Confidentiality

The Office of the Ombudsman takes all precautions necessary to protect the identity of the contract holder while working on a case; however, especially in complicated cases, it is sometimes necessary to engage all parties in an attempt to work together towards a solution. In these instances, the Ombudsman will explore with the visitor how best to move forward when it does not appear feasible to maintain anonymity.  In examining options, the Ombudsman will present them in as objective a manner as possible.

Word cloud for What Are Our Principles

In any event, the Ombudsman would never mention the name of the contract holder without his/her approval. In this regard, it is often understood during preliminary discussions whether the contract holder is giving full permission for the Ombudsman to inquire on his/her behalf.

Confidentiality works in both directions: visitors to the Office of the Ombudsman are also expected to observe strict confidentiality, and also benefit from keeping their discussions and any other communications with the Ombudsman confidential.

It has to be pointed out that only one exception of the privilege of this principle exists: “[W]here there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm”.

Impartiality and neutrality

An Ombudsman cannot become an advocate to any party in a dispute and is also not in a position to find fault but rather to ensure that due process is followed. If the Ombudsman finds that justice has not prevailed in a given case, he/she would make a recommendation to the executive body. An Ombudsman does not implement a decision and is not a policy maker, but rather strives to find a fair resolution to a dispute brought to his/her attention.

Independence

The Office of the Ombudsman is independent in structure and function from other organizational entities and officials. The Ombudsman gives an account of the work of the Office to the organizations through the annual report. The Ombudsman also holds informal meetings with the Executive Heads of the organizations.

Informality

The Ombudsman does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure of the Funds and Programmes relating to workplace disputes or concerns.