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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Introduction of ombudsman in Cambodia

Cambodia want to study the possibility of creating a national ombudsman for monitoring the
performance of the public administration ensuring that the service delivery is closed to the
people and access to justice is strengthened. The Council for Legal and Judicial Reform is
conducting a pre-assessment of the ombudsman system and other complaint offices in
Cambodia to find out what are the current situation of the relevant compliant offices in
Cambodia. the pre-assessment of the complaint offices report will composed of
recommendations and options on the establishment of the ombudsman system in Cambodia.

Ombudsman is an independent and non-partisan officer…often provided for the constitution

who supervises the administration. He deals with specific complaints from the public against
administrative injustice and maladministration. He has the power to investigate, report upon and
makes recommendations. He is not a judge or tribunal. He has no powers to make orders or
reverse administrative action. His seeks solutions to problem by a process of investigation and
conciliation. His authority and influence derive from the fact that he is appointed by and report to
one of the principle organs of the state, usually either the parliament or the chief executive.

An Ombudsman is selected in a process which honors and symbolizes neutrality; he is

autonomous and must have the power to investigate, recommend corrective action and issue
reports. He must be granted the authority to directly report its yearly operation status to the
either parliament or the head of state, province, municipality etc.

The ombudsman guarantees fair and objective investigations, takes in consideration the
arguments brought forward by both sides and tries to achieve a satisfactory solution. According
to the Professor Larry B Hill has enumerated the following characteristics of the pure
ombudsman: -

• Established as separate entity that is functionally autonomous.

• Operationally independent of both the legislature and the executive.
• Ombudsman is a legally established governmental official.
• A monitoring specialist.
• Administrative expert and professional.
• Non-partisan
• Normatively universalistic.
• Client-centered, but not anti-administration.
• Popularly accessible and visible.
• High status institutions

Have extensive resources to perform his mission

• A decision, process, recommendation, act of omission or commission which is contrary to

law, rules or regulations, or is a departure from established practice or procedure, unless
it is bona fide and has valid reason; is perverse, arbitrary or unreasonable, unjust,
biased, oppressive or discriminatory; based on irrelevant grounds; or, involves the
exercise of powers or the failure or refusal to do so for reasons of corrupt or improper
motives such as bribery, jobbery, favoritism, nepotism, and administrative excesses; and,
• Neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, inefficiency and ineptitude in the
administration or discharge of duties and responsibilities.
Legal basic Jurisdiction Appointed by
Jurisdictions are legality and fairness of
Legislative Established by constitutional government administrative in many Appointed by and reporting to the
ombudsman provision and/or legislation department agency and state legislative branch
Established by constitutional
provision, legislation or execution act
Jurisdiction over legality and fairness of
Government government administrative in many Appointed by executive branch and
ombudsman department, agency and state report to executive and/or legislative
Established by national, sub national
or municipal government

Public sector hybrid ombudsman:

HR, anti-corruption leadership code
enforcement etc.
Express mandate to addition to
monitoring the general legality and
fairness of administrative

Appointed by and report to legislative or

Established by national, sub national executive
or municipal government

Jurisdiction are many departments,

agencies and state corporations

Specialized Established by constitutional

ombudsman provision, legislative or executive ac

 Public sector legislative or

executive ombudsman with limited
subject-Matter jurisdiction ( the
"Single-sector", "Single-propose" Has jurisdiction over one area only that
or "Specialty" ombudsman many be related to HR, e.g: rights of
children, prevention of discrimination
Appointed and report to legislative
(e.g: gender, ethnic minorities,
Established by national, sub and/or executive
disability). Official languages, privacy,
national or municipal government freedom of information, police, defense
Established by constitutional
provision, legislative or executive

 Executive organization
ombudsman created by government
department, agency or state
corporations to handle internal
and/or external complaints
Complaint mechanism is (i) internal: for
Established by one government member of public who have come into
Appointed by and report to minister ,
department, agency or state contact with department and/or (ii)
hand of department or senior bureaucrat
corporation at national or sub- internal for employee of the department
national level of government or agency (work place ombudsman).

Established usually by an internal

instrument of the government
department and occasionally by

 Hybrid Public Sector

Ombudsman for an entire industry
or service created by legislation to
resolve complaint made by
Jurisdiction over one industry or service Appointed by and reporting to legislative
sector only e.g: bank, financial or executive branch of government or to
Established by one government institution, legal services separate judicial entity
department, agency or state
corporation at national or sub-
national level of government

Established by legislation
 Organizational ombudsman
created by Private sector institutions
and corporations

Appointed by and reporting to the

Jurisdiction are internal work place executive or administration of the
complaints and/or external complaints institution/company (e.g: audit
Establish by the institution or made by students, customer, etc committee, board of director, chief
company, e.g: university, college, against the institution or company executive offices, chef editor or publisher
newspaper or corporation providing )

Established by internal
institution/company legal instrument
or policy

 Self-Regulation ombudsman
Private for an industry or service sector
ombudsman created by the industry/service
sector to resolve complaint made
by customer/client

Should be appointed by and reporting to

Ombudsman for and industry or Talks complaint from customer of body in the umbrella organization that
service sector established by the member of the industry/service sector contains a number, preferably a majority,
industry or service sector acting participating in the schema of non-industry members (e.g: board of
collectively (e.g: bank, insurance director of corporation or foundation)

Established by industry agreement

often through the creation of an
umbrella juridical entity (e.g: not-
profit corporation, foundation,
commission) and funded by the