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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

    Legislative ombudsman

    Established by constitutional provision and/or legislation

    Jurisdictions are legality and fairness of government administrative in many department agency and state corporations.

    Appointed by and reporting to the legislative branch

    Government ombudsman

    Established by constitutional provision, legislation or execution act


    Established by national, sub national or municipal government

    Jurisdiction over legality and fairness of government administrative in many department, agency and state corporations

    Appointed by executive branch and report to executive and/or legislative

    Specialized ombudsman

  • Public sector hybrid ombudsman: HR, anti-corruption leadership code enforcement etc.


    Established by national, sub national or municipal government


    Established by constitutional provision, legislative or executive ac

  • Express mandate to addition to monitoring the general legality and fairness of administrative


    Jurisdiction are many departments, agencies and state corporations

    Appointed by and report to legislative or executive

  • Public sector legislative or executive ombudsman with limited subject-Matter jurisdiction ( the "Single-sector", "Single-propose" or "Specialty" ombudsman

    Established by national, sub national or municipal government

    Established by constitutional provision, legislative or executive act

  • Has jurisdiction over one area only that many be related to HR, e.g: rights of children, prevention of discrimination (e.g: gender, ethnic minorities, disability). Official languages, privacy, freedom of information, police, defense force

    Appointed and report to legislative and/or executive

  • Executive organization ombudsman created by government department, agency or state corporations to handle internal and/or external complaints

    Established by one government department, agency or state corporation at national or sub- national level of government

    Established usually by an internal instrument of the government department and occasionally by legislation

  • Complaint mechanism is (i) internal: for member of public who have come into contact with department and/or (ii) internal for employee of the department or agency (work place ombudsman).

    Appointed by and report to minister , hand of department or senior bureaucrat

  • Hybrid Public Sector Ombudsman for an entire industry or service created by legislation to resolve complaint made by costumer/client

    Established by one government department, agency or state corporation at national or sub-national level of government

    Established by legislation

  • Jurisdiction over one industry or service sector only e.g: bank, financial institution, legal services

    Appointed by and reporting to legislative or executive branch of government or to separate judicial entity

    Private ombudsman

  • Organizational ombudsman created by Private sector institutions and corporations


    Establish by the institution or company, e.g: university, college, newspaper or corporation providing goods/services

    Established by internal institution/company legal instrument or policy

  • Jurisdiction are internal work place complaints and/or external complaints made by students, customer, etc against the institution or company

    Appointed by and reporting to the executive or administration of the institution/company (e.g: audit committee, board of director, chief executive offices, chef editor or publisher )

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


    Ombudsman for and industry or service sector established by the industry or service sector acting collectively (e.g: bank, insurance companies)

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

  • Talks complaint from customer of member of the industry/service sector participating in the schema

    Should be appointed by and reporting to body in the umbrella organization that contains a number, preferably a majority, of non-industry members (e.g: board of director of corporation or foundation)

    For more information please see

    Overview Ombudsman Compilation.


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