The Ombudsman Quarterly Accountability Reporting before Parliament
As part of Parliament’s mandate to oversee the Executive arm of Government; and in terms of Section 34 (1) of Public Financial Management Act 2011, the Ombudsman for the first time in 20 years was summoned to appear before the Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Law and Public Safety Cluster. In a preset format, she submitted and presented all quarterly reports and an annual report covering among others; “details of the programme results achieved including the impact of new policies implemented in that year and in various years, and set out the performance indicators used to assess programme performance;”… .
The Ombudsman’s appearance for the 1st quarter of the financial year 2013/14 was in early August 2013 and the subsequent quarterly reports were presented in one sitting in February 2014. It is at this sitting that an analysis of the Financial Year 2014/15 budget submission vis-à-vis the Financial Year 2013/14 budget and actual expenditure was made.
Apart from the Ombudsman’s core work on investigations and resolution of complaints, the achievements for financial year 2013/14 included to mention but few, the following:
- The design and installation of the computerized complaint management system software (CMS) a tool that facilitates management of complaints handling and the data migration from the old to new CMS.
- The development and deployment of the Investigations Procedure Manual, a tool that seeks to institutionalize and standardize complaints handling and investigations.
- The development and implementation of the Communication Strategy by designing and printing flyers currently being distributed country wide;
- The organizing and holding of sensitization workshops for stakeholders; the first workshop was held for Members of Parliament in November 2013;
During the above workshop and the quarterly reporting, recommendations were made to assist the Ombudsman’s effectiveness and outreach attempts. These were well noted by the Office.