January 28, 2005 1:42 PM   Subscribe

International Ombudsmen: There's one for Europe, several in the United Kingdom. Ireland has one, as does Northern Ireland. Australia has a really great one. In Canada and the USA, Ombudsmen oversee individual provinces and states. Neither has a federal ombudsman with government-wide jurisdiction.
posted by dfowler (5 comments total)
I'm not sure how a Federal Ombudsman could work in the U.S. A lot of the responsibilities in the first link are covered through the checks and balances system (esp. Judicial). I'm not sure what an ombudsman would make better.
posted by Captaintripps at 1:58 PM on January 28, 2005

You can't sue the gummint anyways.
posted by jsavimbi at 2:31 PM on January 28, 2005

Better call Schwarzennegger, California is missing from the list!
posted by billsaysthis at 2:50 PM on January 28, 2005

In Sweden we have ombudsmen for almost everything.
But we invented the word, so, hey.
posted by mr.marx at 3:09 PM on January 28, 2005

Napoleon Bonaparte invented a special branch of government whose sole job was to field public complaints against particular bureaucrats, who could in turn be held liable for their decisions. Any citizen had the right to press misconduct charges against any bureaucrat, if what that bureaucrat had done impacted on the citizen in particular.

This also required that bureaucrats be held personally responsible for each and every decision they made. They had to sign off on them.

Since that time, no other government has dared to implement such a radical scheme. Bureaucrats found that working under such a regime was terribly oppressive and prevented much corruption and misconduct that they felt was their right.
posted by kablam at 6:14 PM on January 28, 2005

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