February 28, 2017

American Bar Association Ombuds Committee Posts Update

The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution's February newsletter features updates from the Ombuds Committee. Committee member Howard Gadlin introduces four articles on some recent developments in and thoughts about Ombuds programs. The articles include:

Administrative Conference of the United States’ Recommendations and Report on the Federal Ombudsman: A Reader’s Guide, by Wendy Kamenshine
Over 26 years after its first study of the topic, the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) recently completed a new study on the federal ombudsman (ombuds) entitled “A Reappraisal—The Nature and Value of Ombudsmen in Federal Agencies.”
Organizational Ombuds in Healthcare Institutions, by Haavi Morreim
Conflict is abundantly familiar to lawyers, including those who work with healthcare clients. Conflict can roil up in contract discussions such as payor-provider remuneration, merger/acquisition negotiations, (non)compliance with regulations such as Medicare, criminal actions such as the False Claims Act, or litigation in response to alleged malpractice or breach of contract. Professional mediators and arbitrators are likewise eminently familiar with these kinds of dispute.
Ombuds Outreach Efforts Promote Better Understanding and Awareness of Ombuds Programs, by Elizabeth Schwartz Hill
Ombudsman Programs – Classical, Organizational, Advocate, and others – provide significant benefits and advantages to individuals and organizations in managing conflict. Recognizing the important role of ombuds in promoting the effective resolution of disputes, the Dispute Resolution Section reestablished an Ombuds Committee in 2013, which includes representatives from classical, organizational, and advocate ombuds programs. The mission of the American Bar Association (ABA) Dispute Resolution’s Ombuds Committee is to promote a better understanding of and increased utilization of appropriately designed, supported, and implemented ombuds programs in organizations of all types.
Systematic Process for the Higher-Volume Ombudsman, by Paul Sotoudeh
One year ago, in this very space, Miriam Nisbet and Alicia Booker collaborated on “FOIA and Dispute Resolution: Together at Last”. That piece, in part, described how an ombudsman, the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), adds value to FOIA processes government-wide.
(ABA DRS E-News.)

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