The Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman (IGTO), Ms Karen Payne would like to thank the State Comptroller and Ombudsman of Israel and International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) for hosting and sponsoring the 25 November 2020 global webinar for Ombudsmen - COVID-19 and the Ombudsman – Rising to the Challenge of a Pandemic.
The Webinar included presentations, lectures and interventions [video presentations] from Ombudsman regions and countries from around the world – to share insights, accounts and lessons about how various Ombudsman and their offices have Risen to the Challenges of the Pandemic. Details of the program and participants are set out below.
The role of Ombudsman institutions is to protect the people against violation of rights, abuse of powers, unfair decisions and maladministration. The core values of the IOI are independence, objectivity and fairness.
Importantly, casework provides an evidence base to demonstrate the need for improvement and to drive change.
Although many similar COVID-19 pandemic experiences were reported, the various responses to the pandemic, provided some great insights on how Ombudsmen -
- Continue to be accessible - The Ombudsman office must continue to serve the community;
- Find influential ways to speak truth to power - The public has a right to be informed about their rights;
- Ensure fairness for all – so that no-one is or feels left behind.
The IGTO prepared a short intervention for the Webinar, which was selected for the program and which can be found below.