How does the Ombudsman operate?
The fairness triangle
The Ombudsman examines cases from the angle of fairness. Fairness is made up of three components that can be illustrated using a triangle. The Ombudsman makes sure the following principles are applied:
The citizen was treated with respect and transparency.
The citizen was informed of the procedures, regulations, or other criteria applicable to his or her case and had the opportunity to express his or her own version of events, within a reasonable timeframe. On its end, the City acted in an impartial manner and communicated the motives justifying its decision to the citizen, as well as possible remedies.
The decision is reasonable, fair, and accounts for specific circumstances. There was no error made or discrimination perpetrated, and all of the information was relevant.
«Thank you again, you have really been involved and committed and I know full well we have come this far only because you have been involved. My letters, emails and phone calls would have still be buried under someone’s desk at city Hall had it not been for you.»
The Ombudsman’s office stands on values that promote the respect of citizens’ rights as a core tenet. The following values guide the actions and conduct of the Ombudsman and his or her staff.
RESPECT | OBJECTIVITY | FAIRNESS | INTEGRITY | TRANSPARENCY
For citizens, using the Ombudsman as a recourse is an easy and accessible way to file complaints. The Ombudsman works to facilitate constructive and productive relationships with all parties involved. We strive for a reasonable, viable, and fair resolution.
We make sure citizens are treated with respect and consideration, and that they are addressed using clear and accessible language.
We ensure citizens have had the opportunity to express their position, and that they have been informed of the reasons that support a decision, all within a reasonable timeframe.
The decisions communicated to citizens must have been taken with due respect to the legal framework and must take into account all relevant elements. They must be reasonable in regard to the facts.
If a different interpretation is acceptable and offers a fairer resolution for a citizen, that interpretation should be prioritized.