A Brief History of Ombuds Offices

A Brief History of the Ombuds Offices

In 1809 the Swedish parliament appointed an ‘ombudsman’ to resolve problems in the absence of the country’s King. The concept re-emerged in Denmark in 1953 when an independent ombudsman was appointed to deal with citizen’s complaints concerning the government’s administrative practices.

Today, there are government ombudspersons at work throughout the world and many private companies have adopted the position to assist consumers and employees who wish to address administrative problems. Ombudspersons are now found in banks, hospitals, insurance companies and newspaper offices. As well, over 200 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada have established Ombuds offices. These offices rely on rich heritage to assist their communities in resolving disputes.



Contact Details

Carolyn Brendon and Kileen Dagg Centurione
ombuds@mcmaster.ca
905-525-9140 ext. 24151

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