Services - Public Counsel (Ombudsman's Office)
Responding to Citizen Complaints
The Ombudsman's Office is designed to help citizens in a number of ways:
- By promptly investigating complaints against any agency, department, board, commission, unit, official or employee of Nebraska state government (Please see the note below on the subject of jurisdiction).
- By recommending specific corrective actions to the governmental agency involved, whenever the investigation of a complaint reveals that a mistaken or unfair/arbitrary action has occurred.
- By developing general recommendations for the purpose of promoting a continuing improvement in the policies and procedures of the agencies of state government.
Information and Referral Service
Besides handling complaints, the Ombudsman's Office also provides general information about state government to the public. Because of its broad exposure to the operation of state government, the Ombudsman's Office is frequently able to provide citizens with information about government-related issues that they may otherwise have difficulty finding. Also, in cases where citizens' problems or complaints are matters that are not within the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman, the Ombudsman's Office may act as a referral service to direct citizens to entities that can provide assistance.
The Ombudsman's Office also has the authority to initiate or participate in general studies that may enhance knowledge about, or lead to improvements in, the way in which state governmental administrative agencies function.
A Note on the Subject of the Ombudsman's Jurisdiction
The jurisdiction of the Ombudsman's Office is limited by statute to the investigation of complaints involving administrative agencies of state government. The jurisdiction of the office does not include the authority to investigate complaints against the courts, the Legislature, the Governor and his or her immediate staff, entities of local government (cities, counties, school districts, etc.), or entities of the federal government.