On 3 May 2016, Mr Chris Field, International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) Treasurer and Western Australian Ombudsman, launched a Starter Kit for new ombudsmen and developing or expanding offices (Starter Kit) at the 2016 Australasian and Pacific Ombudsman Region (APOR) Conference held in Melbourne.
The Starter Kit is a project funded by the IOI through its regional subventions project, and jointly undertaken by the offices of the Western Australian Ombudsman and New South Wales Ombudsman.
The objective of the project was to provide a highly accessible, web-based induction tool for newly appointed Ombudsmen utilising the knowledge and experience of existing Ombudsmen, and a resource for those offices who are undergoing an expansion of functions or dealing with novel or challenging issues.
The Starter Kit is an online collection of information and documents on a range of topics relevant to Ombudsman offices. Topics covered by the Starter Kit fall into four broad areas: Core Principles for an Ombudsman Institution, Governance and Office Management, Complaints and Investigations and Stakeholder Engagement.
‘We proposed to create a comprehensive resource for new Ombudsmen or developing or expanding Ombudsman offices that would draw upon the collective expertise and experience of APOR Members’, said Mr Field.
‘I am delighted to be able to launch the Starter Kit project that provides a rich library of very helpful information in one central place that I believe will be a valuable ongoing and living resource for all APOR Members and their offices’.
In launching the Starter Kit, Mr Field observed that ‘I am also pleased, and excited, that the Starter Kit will be made available to all IOI members, further enhancing the value of the Starter Kit and the assistance that is able to be provided to new Ombudsmen taking office all around the world and those who are considering the expansion of functions for their offices’.
Changes to the Starter Kit are coordinated by the Office of the Western Australian Ombudsman.
APOR Members can access the Starter Kit through the member area of the IOI website.