Control of administrative actions: investigation into the efficacy of the office of the ombudsman
MetadataShow full item record
"In the public service and the administration of government power, abuse of power is inevitable. Hence the need to check this power so as to keep it within its legal boundaries. More points of contact between government authorities and the citizens inevitably help generate friction and give rise to grievances in increasing numbers. When grievances become complaints they may be pursued through a variety of channels. One such channel is the office of the Ombudsman. In Zambia, it is referred to as the Commission for Investigations. It was established in 1973, for the purpose of safeguarding citizens against abuse or misuse of power. The Ombudsman institution plays a very important role in controlling administrative actions. This is due to the function which the Ombudsman has, of handling complaints from the public and investigating State authorities thereby, being a key player in ensuring transparency, accountability, fighting corruption and ensuring the impartial treatment of individuals. Therefore, it provides a mechanism to watch over and control the actions of public officers, in so doing, prevents official abuse of public office and power. In other words, public servants are to be held accountable for their actions which affect the public. Accordingly, the Ombudsman usually provides public officials with guidance, as to how they themselves and the public administration, in which they serve, can continuously improve relations with individuals. All this is done with the aim of controlling administrative actions, as a result of which citizen's rights are respected and abuse of authority and office by administrative officers is prevented or lessened. Why the Ombudsman when we already have the judicial courts? The Ombudsman institution is needed, firstly, it is expensive for the citizens to take their cases to the courts, and secondly, it is not possible for the judiciary to focus on the public administration in the same intensive way as an ombudsman. Thus, the ombudsman serves as a complementary body to the judiciary and helps develop standards for good administrative behaviour among the civil servants."
- Law