Northwest Ombudsman Meeting

18 February 2007
By Office of the Ombudsman

On February 16, I attended a meeting of Ombudsmen from Oregon, Washington State, and British Columbia. This is a regular once or twice a year meeting of Ombudsmen from local and state or provincial governments, universities, and other agencies. It was hosted by the Ombudsman for the Worker's Compensation Board of British Columbia (Work Safe BC).

These meetings are very beneficial, because, like my Office, many Ombudsmen in the Pacific NorthWest are sole practitioners, and the ability to share experiences, and talk about the day to day operations of our offices with colleagues helps to stay balanced in what we do.

There were common issues discussed. Demostrating value, or being able to rationalize your work, without giving up the principle of independence was a well discussed topic. How can Ombudsman be evaluated in terms of merit pay, retention, and salary increments, when part of an Ombudsman job is to potentially to publicly criticize the organization who will determine these things.

We had some good discussions around cases that we have dealt with, and were able to analyze our own work, with collaboration from our colleagues.

Thanks to Peter and his Work Safe colleagues, and Susan Neff for organizing this event.


Office of the Ombudsman