Directorate for Public Governance

The Role of Ombudsman Institutions in Open Government



In times of low trust in government and public institutions, rising expectations and declining voter turnout, governments are called upon to renew their engagement with citizens to build more effective democracies and ensure inclusive growth. Accordingly, governments are designing and implementing open government strategies and initiatives which put citizens and their well-being at the heart of policy making. As an institution that traditionally interacts closely with citizens, acting as a guardian of citizen rights and as a mediator with the public administration, the ombudsman is a crucial actor in the open government reform process as well as in an open state.


Highlighting common trends and challenges as well as a multitude of innovative practices from across the world, the report "The Role of Ombudsman Institutions in Open Government" is the first of its kind as it documents the central role that ombudsman institutions play in the global open government agenda and provides concrete policy recommendations to further strengthen their role. The report is based on data collected by 94 ombudsman institutions in 65 countries and territories, and was prepared by the OECD with the assistance of European Ombudsman and several ombudsman institutions’ networks.



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Read the report in French

Highlights from the report: Ombudsman institutions' contributions to public governance reforms & involvement in open government strategies




While improving transparency and accountability in the public sector are the ombudsman institutions' main contribution to public governance reform - two core principles of open government - the involvement of ombudsman institutions in countries' open government strategies and initiatives could be strengthened, placing ombudsman institutions at the heart of an open state.



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