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ombudsman principles

striving for best practice through fundamental principles

Effective approaches to fundamental principles guide: part 1

 

Introduction

1.1 This is part one of a seven-part guide
Parts two to seven describe:

• six fundamental principles to which INFO Network members should aspire; and

• effective approaches that help to meet those fundamental principles.

 

This guide has been developed by the INFO Network from work undertaken by INFO Network member representatives, David Thomas and Francis Frizon, for the World Bank, published in January 2012.
[
available here]

 

Purpose

 

1.2 Network members may be constrained by their structures and resources, which are often outside their own control.  So the guide does not set compulsory standards for members.

 

1.3 But the Network does expect its members to aspire to comply with the fundamental principles in the guide and observe the effective approaches, so far as it is within their control, and the Network aims to help them do so.

 

1.4 The guide is intended to assist Network members, including by helping them to persuade those who control their structures and resources.

 

Fundamental principles

 

1.5 After studying worldwide standards relevant to ombudsman schemes, the Network has agreed the following fundamental principles:

independence, to secure impartiality

clarity of scope and powers

accessibility

effectiveness

fairness

transparency and accountability.

 

Effective approaches

 

1.6 Financial ombudsman schemes operate in many different countries and sectors.  They need to take account of relevant cultural, legal and economic circumstances.

 

1.7 The approaches to implementing the fundamental principles described in the guide are ones that have worked in some countries, but there may possibly be other ways.

 

Terminology

 

1.8 In the guide:

• ‘financial ombudsman scheme’ includes any body that fulfils the same role;

• ‘ombudsman’ includes any individual with the final say on resolving a case;

• ‘decision panel’ means any collegiate body with the final say on resolving a case;

• ‘decision-panel chair’ means the chair of any decision panel;

• ‘decision-maker’ means any ombudsman or any chair/member of a decision panel;

• ‘complainant’ means a complainant eligible under the financial ombudsman scheme’s rules;

• ‘customer’ means a customer eligible under the ombudsman scheme’s rules.

 

FORWARD TO PART 2: INDEPENDENCE, TO SECURE IMPARTIALITY

 

 

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