The Ombudsman Association of South Africa
 
Qualification Limitations
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INDEPENDENCE, ACCESSIBILITY, FAIRNESS, PUBLIC        ACCOUNTABILITY, EFFECTIVENESS AND IMPARTIALITY

 

To ensure the effective operation of an Ombudsman, the legislative enactments should authorise the Ombudsman to operate consistently with the following essential characteristics.  Entities that have established Ombudsman offices that lack appropriate safeguards to maintain these characteristics should take prompt steps to remedy any such deficiency.


An entity intending to establish an Ombudsman should do so pursuant to a legislative enactment in plain language, which is available and accessible to the public and which clearly sets forth the role, powers and jurisdiction of the Ombudsman and which authorizes the Ombudsman to:

 

(1) receive complaints about alleged acts, omissions, maladministration, improprieties, and systemic problems within the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction as defined in the legislative enactment establishing the scheme

 

(2) exercise discretion to accept or decline to act on a complaint

 

(3) operate by fair and timely procedures to aid in the just resolution of a complaint or problem

 

(4) gather or demand relevant information

 

(5) resolve issues at the most appropriate level of the entity

 

(6) function by such means as:

 

    a) conducting an inquiry
    b) investigating and reporting findings
    c) facilitating, negotiating, and mediating
    d) making recommendations for the resolution of an individual complaint or a systemic problem to those persons who have the authority to act upon them
    e) identifying complaint patterns and trends
    f) educating 
    g) issuing public reports annually 

 

(7) initiate litigation to enforce or protect the authority of the office as defined by the legislative enactment, as otherwise provided by these standards, or as required by law