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Ombudsman Innovations for Advancing Open Government

Jim Martin, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
Fiona Crean, Toronto City Ombudsman

Ombudsman institutions, in their function as mediators between citizens and governments, play an important role in the promotion of open government. Through their activities, they create spaces for dialogue between various stakeholders to discuss key public policies; advance an equal and fair delivery of services to the public; channel citizen voice; and they can also hold government accountable to citizens.

This webinar will share the experience of the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman including data collected, top areas and subjects of complaints by people at local government level, as well as the role of Complaints Standards Authority (CSA) and how the Complaints Handling Procedure relates to the Public Service Improvement Framework, and key performance indicators, and the Audit Scotland involvement in CHP.

In addition, this webinar will address the impact of Ombudsman work on public service with a focus on inherently difficult dimensions to measure, such as fairness in the way that government treats its citizens. Ombudsman Fiona Crean will share findings of a recent report on the impact of Ombudsman investigations on public administration of Toronto’s local government. This report, supported by the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), goes beyond the usual Ombudsman annual report metrics—which generally focus on productivity such as the number of complaints—and provides in-depth qualitative feedback from senior members of the public service. The study was conducted independently by Ryerson university following which an evaluation guide and related measurement tools were developed.

This webinar, which is targeted at Ombudsman offices, as well as OGP stakeholders such as civil society organizations, will address questions concerning evaluating impact. More specifically, the following questions will be addressed during the session:
– What data is collected by the Scottish Ombudsman? How does the Ombudsman office coordinate with line ministries and other accountability institutions? How is performance assessed?
– What is the impact of systemic Ombudsman investigations on the public service?
– What strategies, tools and resources do other Ombudsman need to carry out similar studies of the impact of their own work?


Filed Under: Webinar
Open Government Partnership