The following are the main principles for performing the Ombud’ s tasks:
The Ombud ensures strict confidentiality. This is an essential element of his/her role and everyone may have the highest confidence that this rule will be fully respected. Information may not be divulged to anyone without the agreement of the individuals or the parties. The Ombud will not tolerate pressure or influence of any kind. The parties themselves, and the organization, should agree to respect the same rule of confidentiality if they are to interact with the Ombud. He/she will not keep any files and if he/she takes notes during the discussion, they will be destroyed when cases have been closed. The only persons aware of the discussion will be you and the Ombud. The only exception to this principle of confidentiality is when the Ombud deems there to be an imminent threat of serious harm to person or property.
The Ombud is not an agent of notice. This means that the Organization cannot be held informed of the issue which you share with the Ombud. If you wish to file a formal complaint, please contact the Human Resources Department. Informality also means that the visitor to the Ombud's Office stays in full control of what happens next. The Ombud will no t take any action that the visitor has not explicitly authorized.
The Ombud is not part of a department hierarchical structure, but is directly linked to the DG Unit, while remaining a neutral interlocutor. The Ombud does not hold any other function in the Organization, and consequently avoids any conflict of interest.
The Ombud does not take sides but remains impartial, fair and objective in the treatment of those seeking his/her services.
Please be aware that the Ombud has no obligations of results but an obligation of means ( time, skills, informal dispute resolution techniques etc.). The role of the Ombud is to empower the visitor but whether the visitor manages to move forward from a challenging situation is his/her sole responsibility,
Do not hesitate to contact the Ombud. Most misunderstandings or conflicts can be resolved confidentially and rapidly for the well-being of everyone, without resorting to an official procedure. This is the main purpose of the Ombud' s role. Your cooperation is not only welcome but essential.