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NOTICES & DOCUMENTS  

Office of the Ombudsman Launches 5-Year Strategic Plan Press Release
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Apr 24, 2009, 17:16
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THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN LAUNCHES FIVE-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN
PRESS RELEASE

 

Freetown, Sierra Leone, 23 April 2009 The Office of the Ombudsman, with support from the Justice Sector Development Programme (JSDP), officially launches the Ombudsman Strategic Plan 2009 to 2013, at the Atlantic Hall, National Stadium, Freetown, on Thursday 23rd April.

 

Representatives from the Ministry of Justice, the judiciary and Law Officers Department, Civil Society, schools and colleges; Members of Parliament, Professional Heads of Ministries, the Programme Manager, JSDP, Mr. Peter Viner; were among the important  personalities to grace this occasion. The Chairman of the National Commission for Democracy, Mr. George Coleridge Taylor, chaired the event.

 

The Minister of State, Vice Presidents Office, Honourable Balogun Koroma, delivered the keynote address and officially launched the Ombudsman Strategic Plan 2009 to 2013.

 

Established by the Ombudsman Act No. 2 of 1997, the Office of the Ombudsman is an independent institution empowered to investigate complaints from members of the public, who have suffered injustice as a result of maladministration by central and local government. The head of the office is referred to as the Ombudsman. The present Ombudsman is Justice Edmond Cowan, a former Justice of Appeal and former Speaker of Parliament.

 

Justice Cowans appointment in March 2008, presented an opportunity to chart a new direction for the Office of the Ombudsman .The development of a five-year Strategic Plan was considered an appropriate instrument by which to proceed. The Plan provides strategic direction for the Office and ensures that an effective properly staffed organised and well equipped secretariat is created.

 

In line with addressing the challenges to help in the promotion of administrative fairness, the Ombudsmans priority goals are to:

 

         Ensure a high level of awareness of the services of the Office of the Ombudsman, improve service delivery, strengthen complaint handling and improve peoples perception of the office. 

         Strengthen the institutional capacity of the office and provide effective support for its programmes.

         Establish and maintain constructive relationship with the community, government agencies, human rights institutions and other stakeholders, in the observance of the rule of law.

         Maintain the independence of the Office of the Ombudsman in the resolution of complaints, without favour or discrimination.

         Promote administrative justice, prevent and reduce corrupt practices and abuse, and promote high standards of integrity in government agencies.

 

Persons, who feel that they have been unfairly treated by government agencies, officials or employees and have tried to resolve the matter without success, can make a complaint to the Ombudsman, who can also receive information from any person or source other than a complainant. The Ombudsman has the powers to investigate and demand any information, file or documents from any public body complained of; or he can require any official to provide any information about a complaint. If the Ombudsman finds that the complaint is justified, he will then take action to resolve the problem.

 

The Ombudsman is directly responsible to the President of Sierra Leone and not to any administrative office or person. The Office of the Ombudsman strives for impartiality. Names of visitors or complainants will not be revealed; the Office is therefore a safe place to discuss concerns.

 

The Office of the Ombudsman is on the 5th Floor, No. 43 Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown, open from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Mondays to Fridays.

 

# # #

 

For more information please contact:

 

Mr. Charles Wyse, Executive Secretary, Office of the Ombudsman

Tel: 221664 221665 221060 (land); 076-615-722 (mobile), Email: cewyse@hotmail.com

 

Or

 

Charlris Okafor, Communications Coordinator, JSDP

Tel: 076-541-167, Email:Charlris.Okafor@sl.britishcouncil.org


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