General definition of an ombudsman
Ombudsman: an official authority whose role is to defend the rights and freedoms of residents who are in a conflict with public powers, namely by intervening in the relationship between an individual or a group and the public administration to help resolve disputes or redress unfair situations. [translation] Source: Le grand dictionnaire terminologique de l’Office québécois de langue française (http://gdt.oqlf.gouv.qc.ca/) [In French only].
The Bureau de l’ombudsman‘s mission: The Bureau de l’ombudsman for the Ville de Gatineau is a body of last administrative recourse between residents and the municipal administration. It reports directly to Gatineau’s Municipal Council and is, as determined by its constitution, an entity independent of the city’s municipal administration.
The duties identified for the Bureau de l’ombudsman are based on the values of independence, justice, integrity, democracy and confidentiality.
Mandate : The Ville de Gatineau’s Bureau de l’ombudsman may intervene when the Ville de Gatineau or its representative:
- may have acted in an unreasonable, unfair, abusive or arbitrary fashion;
- may have failed in their duty or were guilty of misconduct or negligence;
- may have, while exercising its discretionary power, acted unjustly, based on irrelevant motives, or may not have explained its decision when it was required to do so.
The ombudsman for the Ville de Gatineau may not intervene on decisions:
- taken by Municipal Council, the Executive Committee, any municipal committee or commission;
- relating to labour relations issues involving municipal employees;
- taken by a delegated organization or a paramunicipal organization;
- taken by a peace officer of the Service de police de la Ville de Gatineau.