About ombudsmen

Accountability

Accountability does not involve any restriction on the independence of the ombudsman.  It involves the ombudsman scheme paying due regard to the overall public interest in the forward-planning and day-to-day running of the ombudsman scheme.

Many ombudsman schemes consult publicly in advance about their procedures, business plans and budgets.  This gives an opportunity to obtain information that helps to estimate future workload – something that is often the most difficult aspect of managing an ombudsman scheme.

Ombudsman schemes publish a report at least yearly:

  • explaining the work they have done;
  • providing appropriate statistics about the disputes they have handled;
  • explaining the way they have handled them (including the arrangements for quality-control); and
  • describing any systemic and emerging issues. 

Some larger schemes publish more often – maybe including a monthly newsletter for businesses and consumer advisers.

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