The evolution of the classical ombudsman: a view from the antipodes

Inderscience Publishers
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Public Law and Policy, 2012, 2 (1), pp. 83 - 95
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The traditional core functions of a classical ombudsman are the investigation of individual complaints and own motion investigations of administrative action into areas of systemic importance. The ombudsman institution is an evolving one. Classical ombudsmen are using their systemic investigation powers more frequently to improve the quality of public administration. Further, there is an increasing variety of functions, such as auditing and monitoring, which are now ascribed to the jurisdiction of ombudsmen. This article investigates the changes occurring in the scale and scope of ombudsmen functions and argues that three models of classical ombudsman may now be identified. An explanation of these models and the reasons for changes in the operation of ombudsmen is provided through the experience of the nine Australian Federal, State and Territory classical ombudsmen.
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