October 8, 2020: Ombuds Day

WHEREAS, the role of the ombuds, originating over 200 years ago in Sweden, is a government official charged with advocating on behalf of citizens with complaints or problems with the government; and,


WHEREAS, today’s ombuds are confidential, independent, and impartial conflict management professionals who work to address individual and systemic issues outside of and complementary to formal channels such as human resources, grievances, complaints, and legal action; and,


WHEREAS, ombuds work in a wide variety of organizations within the State of Michigan and worldwide, including universities and colleges, governments at all levels, health care institutions, corporations, financial institutions, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, the media, and international organizations; and,


WHEREAS, ombuds programs provide a valuable form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and significant value to the constituents and institutions they serve, and they are an essential supplement to formal conflict management processes that address allegedly inappropriate or wrongful conduct; and,


WHEREAS, ombuds provide powerful risk management resources for the organizations they serve; and,


WHEREAS, recognition of this day is an opportunity to increase awareness and understanding of the profession, highlight the value ombuds bring to the organizations and constituents they serve, and encourage greater use of ombuds programs; and,


WHEREAS, citizens of Michigan are encouraged to become familiar with the ombuds profession and the professionals in this role across sectors, as well as to make use of these essential services as needed;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 8, 2020, as Ombuds Day in Michigan.