March 11, 2010

COFO Collaborating With Federal Agencies Creating New Ombuds Programs

At its February meeting, the Coalition of Federal Ombudsmen heard from several government administrators developing new programs.  Mindy Fleisher from the Patent and Trademark Office gave details about the development of an external Ombuds. Barbara Malebranche updated the efforts to create an Ombuds program in the Office of Personnel Management, including a charter and prototype website.
Megan Kenney from the IRS National Taxpayer Advocate’s Office summarized a survey of Federal external Ombuds offices. Bob Manley of the Department of the Navy Alternative Dispute Resolution Office advised that he has been tasked with establishing a Procurement Integrity Ombudsman program. Newly elected CoFO Chairperson Wendy Kamenshine said that supporting new Federal Ombuds programs would remain a priority for the organization. In addition, CoFO will work to formalize its relationship with the Interagency Alternative Dispute Resolution Working Group and to identify Ombuds offices/functions in the Federal government. (CoFO Meeting Minutes.)

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