Tag Archive for 'Ombudsman Heritage Week'


Did you know that one little-known function of ombudsman in some parts of the world is in monitoring public health, particularly the health of public bodies?  If your body happens to be a public body, you might be pleased to know that in the Australian state of Victoria, the Ombudsman Victoria office has a procedure for well-meaning individuals to make “disclosures” or “allegation” (this is apparently an Australianism for “diagnosis”) about it:

A disclosure must be made to either the public body to which it relates or the Ombudsman. Every public body is required to establish procedures for handling disclosures. Information on how to make a disclosure should be readily available through the public body’s complaint management processes and any website maintained by the public body.

In most instances it is up to you whether you make a disclosure to the public body or the Ombudsman. However, there are certain circumstances where the disclosure must be made in a particular manner.

So if your friend, who maybe has a private body, observes that you have an obvious health problem with your public body, he or she can “disclose” this either to you or to an ombudsman!  Ombudsmen in Victoria truly have your health in mind.  There is even a whole hierarchy of possible recipients of your “allegation”—for instance, in the table on that page, it suggests that if there is a “disclosure” to be made about an “employee” of your body (we can assume that this is another Australianism), it can be made to you, but if the diagnosis is being made about a politician, it must be reported to the Ombudsman, because in Australia, only the healthy may serve in public office, just as the ancient Australian philosopher Plato intended in his The Republic, Mate.

TOMORROW: Ombudsmen in primitive societies.