An Ombudsman is a designated neutral person who provides confidential and informal assistance in resolving concerns and disagreements. An ombudsman investigates complaints, reports findings,and mediates fair settlements, especially between an individual or group of individuals; and an institution or organization. As an independent, impartial, and confidential party, the Ombudsman serves asan alternative means of dispute resolution by which issues may be raised, considered, given appropriate referral, and/or resolved.
The word ‘ ombudsman ’ dates back to 1809when 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 thepeople ’. 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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