The Office of the New Zealand Ombudsman is leading a training course in Fiji on Ombudsman investigation for 14 representatives from seven Pacific countries.
The training which will take a typical complaint through the whole investigation process from incoming communication right through to the conclusion, whether that is an agreed outcome or a formal report.
The programme is being co-sponsored by the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) of which New Zealand Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is Australasian and Pacific Regional President. Representatives from the Victorian, Western Australian and Australian Commonwealth Ombudsman’s offices are also assisting in presenting the material.
Speakers from the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime will present a session on anti-corruption, while the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will also speak to participants.
“The focus is on Pacific Island countries’ Ombudsmen Act jurisdictions, case examples and scenarios”, says Mr Boshier.
“None of the offices have exactly the same models of investigation, but the underlying principles of fairness and transparency are common to all.
“Our aim is to build the Ombudsman investigator officers’ capacity in the Pacific region and strengthen relationships and networks to promote ongoing engagement and support.
“Training this group of investigators is a good way for them to be able to implement what they have learned and also assist others in their offices grow their skills.”