Notably, the Ombuds have five standards of practice, distinguishing between neutrality and impartiality:
The Reservist Ombuds is independent of FEMA program offices and acts without control or interference of other organizations. The Reservist Ombuds holds no other position in the Agency that might present a conflict of interest.
The Reservist Ombuds keeps the identity of visitors and any communications confidential unless the visitor gives explicit permission to share communications. Exceptions to this confidentiality include situations where there is an imminent risk of serious harm and there is no other reasonable option, allegations of sexual harassment, and substantive information about fraud, waste, and abuse.
The Reservist Ombuds is a designated neutral as defined in the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996, 5 U.S.C. §571-584. The Reservist Ombuds operates independently and will avoid taking, or appearing to take, sides in any dispute, conflict, or disagreement.
The Reservist Ombuds meets with visitors, and listens in an impartial manner, free from initial bias and conflicts of interest. The Reservist Ombuds may recommend changes, based on observations and analyses, to improve FEMA processes. The Reservist Ombuds does not advocate for a particular means, outcome, or result.
Informality(FEMA ADR Office.)
The Reservist Ombuds serves as an informal and off-the-record resource by listening, providing and receiving information, identifying and reframing issues, helping visitors to develop a range of responsible options, and engaging in informal resolution processes such as mediation, facilitation, and workplace coaching. The Reservist Ombuds does not advocate for anyone, make binding decisions, mandate policies, or otherwise adjudicate issues. The Reservist Ombuds does not engage in Agency formal complaint procedures, does not serve as a witness or testify in formal processes, and does not accept or process formal complaints.
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