Anna Zanardi offers since 1989 a service in accordance with ethical principles stated in the IOA-International Ombuds Association to the Corporations who need to assure Neutrality, Independence and Confidentiality to prevent or reconcile or mediate conflicts.
She is certificate member of USOA-United States Ombudsman Association.
Who is the Ombuds?
The word Ombudsman (om – buds – man) comes from Scandinavia where the term was used during the 19th century to designate a public official who was appointed to investigate citizens’ complaints against governmental agencies.
The service offered as Ombuds provides an impartial space in which to consider options and resolve issues that arise within the organizations, and to give feedback on systemic concerns to senior management. The role of the Ombuds guarantees:
Confidentiality: Information shared by any interlocutor will not be disclosed without the interlocutor’s permission except when the Ombuds determines there may be an imminent risk of serious harm or when required by law. The Ombuds does not maintain records that identify interlocutors to the office.
Neutrality: An Ombuds does not serve as an advocate for any party to a dispute. However, an Ombuds does advocate for productive communication and fair processes and their implementation.
Independence: The Ombuds is independent in structure, function and appearance.
Informality: There is no formal processes in the Ombuds —can educate people about policies and procedures and where to go.
The Ombuds can help explore concerns about:
– Career Management
– Work Environment
– Fair Treatment
– Interpersonal Relationships
– Policies and Requirements
Principles of Practice
As more fully described in the International Ombudsman Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, there are four fundamental principles which define ombuds practice.
– Strict confidentiality is essential to the Ombuds function and helps create a safe place for interlocutors to voice concerns, evaluate issues, and identify options.
– The Ombuds does not disclose the identity of interlocutors to the company or the content of conversations unless, in the course of the confidential communications, permission has been given to do so.
– The Ombuds may assert a confidentiality privilege but any such privilege belongs to the Ombuds and cannot be waived by interlocutors to the office. Thus, even with the permission of the complainant, the Ombuds will not disclose documents, or testify, attend, or participate in formal proceedings with respect to confidential communications.
– An interlocutor’s communications to the Ombuds are considered confidential. The Ombuds is not a substitute for any lawyer, representative or counselor. Thus, consistent with the International Ombuds Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, conversations with the Ombuds do not constitute notice to the company (or any of its affiliates) of any claims an interlocutor may have. Moreover, such conversations do not toll or extend any time limits by which notice of claims must be provided to the Company.
– There are limited exceptions to confidentiality—where the Ombuds determines there is an imminent risk of serious harm and where the Ombuds is required to provide information pursuant to court order or other legal process.
– The Ombuds neither compels other offices to take specific action nor receives compulsory orders about how to approach a particular issue.
– The Ombuds has access to the Company’s records as needed to carry out the functions of his/her duty, except as otherwise restricted by law.
– As a third-party neutral, the Ombuds is an advocate for processes that are fair and equitable to all parties. The Ombuds does not take sides on behalf of any individual, cause or dispute and will seek to address concerns raised by an interlocutor.
– The Ombuds provides informal assistance only.
– Permanent records of the Ombuds Office include only anonymous, aggregate data. Formal records are not created, nor are personally identifiable documents preserved. Any informal notes are routinely destroyed.
– The Ombuds Office complements but does not duplicate existing grievance procedures and compliance channels.
The Ombuds does not conduct formal investigations or participate in formal actions. The following are also outside the purview of the Office: adjudicating cases, acting as an advocate or witness in any case inside or outside the Company; keeping case records for the Company; assessing wrongdoing or innocence; determining sanctions; and making, changing, or setting aside any rule, policy, or administrative decision.