I am describing about the four core values of the Ombuds Practice, which is a very important role that is vastly unknown and misunderstood. As the map below demonstrated, the Ombudsman have as core values Independent, Neutral, Informal, and Confidential, and the Ombuds is part of an organization, or government, and it is advocating for the health of the whole system.
In the exercise of her/his duties, an ombudsman is independent in structure and function of all the organization/company’s organs or officials. She/he has direct access to the Top Officials, or at least they should have access in order to make significant improvements.
Neutrality and Impartiality:
An ombudsman is a designated neutral person, and does not take sides of any party in a conflict. An ombudsman does not make decisions, create or change policies or mandate actions. An ombudsman reviews each situation objectively and treats all parties equally.
An ombudsman, as an informal resource, does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure relating to concerns brought to his/her attention.
Confidentiality: (I think is the most important value)
An ombudsman does not keep records for the organization/company or any other party. S/he does not disclose information about individual cases or visits from employees without permission from the employee, and cannot be compelled to testify about concerns brought to her/his attention. (The only exceptions, at the sole discretion of an ombudsman, are when there is imminent threat of serious harm to someone or oneself.)
These principles are based on the Code of Ethics developed by the International Ombudsman Association