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The Defence of Rights and Good Practices in Private Management of Public Services. The Role of the Ombudsman

21/11/2011

The Catalan Ombudsman, IOI-Europe and the Cercle d’Economia are holding, on 21st and 22nd November, the symposium The Defence of Rights and Good Practices in Private Management of Public Services. The Role of the Ombudsman. Ombudsmen of other countries and regions, and national and international experts will take part in this symposium.

The symposium has been opened by the president of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas; the Catalan Ombudsman, Rafael Ribó, and the Chairman of the Cercle d’Economia, Josep Piqué. The European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Safety will also take part in the symposium delivering the main speech.

 

The rights of consumers have progressively been enhanced, especially those referred to management of services considered to be essential for people’s daily life. An important part of these basic or essential services has evolved from its primary configuration as public services reserved for public administration to its current setup, in which are rendered by private companies under the regulation of free market. Being an essential or basic service implies duties for the rendering companies regarding accessibility, mainly cost and quality.

This process of liberalization and privatization of public services and activities means that the Administration is not the only entity to have public service duties, as certain economic private sectors have also these duties because of the activity they carry out.

In this new scenario, the ombudsmen can directly overview the activities entailing public service duties, as they are essential to meet people’s primary needs and to fulfil rights. The goals of the symposium are going deep into these issues and analyze approaches in the defence of citizen’s rights and good practices.

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