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Ombudsman is an anglicization of the Swedish word with the exact same spelling, or the Danish word ombudsmand. It is roughly the same thing as a representative, especially in the context of officials representing members of a trade union.

The word comes from the Old Norse word umbuds man. It also appears in the Icelandic word umbošsmašr. The first preserved use of this word in Swedish is from 1552.

Government ombudsman


The Office of Ombudsman was set up under the terms of The Ombudsman Act, 1980. The Ombudsman, who is appointed by the President of Ireland upon the nomination of both Houses of the Oireachtas, deals with complaints against Government Departments, local authorities, health boards and An Post.

External link

Omdudsman Ireland website

Corporate ombudsman

Many private companies also have an ombudsman (or a ombudsman department). Like the government official, they receive complaints and resolve them. Though they are not legally independent, they are part of a company's customer service strategy. Some companies treat their ombudsman very seriously and the ombudsman is very independent. Newspaper ombudsman are especially valuable to newspapers by promoting journalistic integrity to its readers. There is an Organization of News Ombudsmen [1].