October 17, 2007

First Red Cross Ombuds Promises to Strengthen "Sacred Trust" With Public

Beverly Ortega Babers begins her tenure as the first Red Cross ombuds later this month. Babers will serve all stakeholders, not just employees and volunteers, but also blood donors, financial donors, disaster victims, and anyone concerned about the organization. She promises her office will be a collaborative resource for the Red Cross.

I say 'collaborative' as opposed to 'adversarial' because when you have an independent entity within an organization that is responsible for looking into the practices of the organization, there's the possibility that the relationship will be adversarial. That's not how I intend to operate. My intention is that my office will be a broker for honest feedback and positive change that might not occur absent a confidential and independent third party.

Babers will be assisted by Daniel T. Riordan, a former labor and employment attorney, who previously oversaw corporate labor relations at the IRS, and Patte Noriega, a long time Red Cross employee with operations experience. (Red Cross News.)

It's very exciting to see such a prominent organization implement an organizational ombuds office and the credentials of the Red Cross ombuds staff are appropriately impressive. Although Congressional oversight remains a concern, the Red Cross ombuds are well positioned to influence policymakers and encourage the creation of more ombuds programs.

Prior posts: Bush Signs Legislation Creating Red Cross Ombuds; Red Cross Head Responds to Criticism Over Appointment of Ombuds.

No comments:

Post a Comment