When can the Ombudsman intervene?
When public authorities or companies that provide services of general interest (electricity, water, gas, telephone) commit any irregularity or when their actions violate the rights of a person or a collective.
In addition, the Ombudsman can investigate any complaint of discrimination. It has the specific mandate to ensure the rights of the LGTBI collective and gender equality. It also has the task of assessing the degree of compliance with the Law of transparency by governments and certain entities. As a Catalan Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture, the Ombudsman can visit,without prior notice, all prisons, police stations, nursing homes, etc.
The Ombudsman may intervene on its own initiative or based on complaints that arise.
When can the Ombudsman not intervene?
The Ombudsman cannot intervene in private matters such as lawsuits or disputes between relatives, neighbours, disputes for traffic accidents, etc. That is, if the conflict is between individuals, except in cases of possible gender discrimination between individuals, which the Ombudsman can investigate, though has no sanctioning capacity.
The Ombudsman cannot intervene either in anonymous complaints, the ones with bad faith or with lack of sufficient basis or issues already tried or pending judicial resolution.
What does the Ombudsman?
In the resolutions published on the website and annual reports there are numerous examples of activities in which the intervention of the Ombudsman was used to repair an unfair situation or irregularity. These are cases where the government or company involved has accepted and given effect to the recommendations issued. So, the performance of the Ombudsman serves in many cases to change the criteria for accessing benefits, to revoke sanctions, to respond to the request for information, to speed up the payment of pending grants, to amend regulations, to enrolthe supplies, etc.
Who can address the Ombudsman?
Any individual, regardless of nationality, age or legal status, can file a complaint to the Ombudsman.
This includes children, the elderly, prison inmates, foreigners (with or without permit), civil servants, elected officials (such as MPs, senators, councillors) etc.
They can also file complaints of legal entities such as corporations or partnerships of all kinds: unions, political parties, non-governmental organizations, civil platforms.
I want to complain but I fear retaliation
The performance of the Ombudsman is confidential. The data of the person filing a complaint are reserved, except in the case where the content of the complaint itself or the personal actions of the complainant involve a waiver of the confidentiality.
How much does the Ombudsman’s service costs?
The Ombudsman is accessible to everyone and the service is totally free, including calling by telephone, through number 900124124
Can the Catalan Ombudsman sanction?
The Ombudsman makes recommendations but has no power to punish or enforce, as its resolutions are not binding. However, the degree of acceptance of recommendations by the administration exceeds 90%
How long will it take to redress my case?
It depends on the degree of complexity of the complaint and the time taken by the administration or the company concerned to provide the information. Sometimes the case may be resolved in few days and others may take months. The goal of the Ombudsman is to reduce the processing time to the fullest.
What can we do if we are not satisfied with the response of the Ombudsman?
According to the Law on the Catalan Ombudsman, there is no possibility to appeal against the ombudsman resolutions. The Act also stipulates that the Ombudsman is answerable to the Parliament.