Citizens recognize this institution as a protector of their rights
The NGO Info-center, within the framework of the project “Civil Monitoring of the Ombudsman”, supported by the Embassy of the United States of America (USA), conducted a survey on the perceptions and attitudes of the citizens about the work and performances of the Ombudsman.
The survey was conducted in the period from February 16 to March 7, 2019, on a multilayer stratified sample of 1,202 respondents, older than 18 years. The sample is nationally representative by sex, age, ethnicity, region and place of residence.
The results show that two thirds of the citizens (66.6%) know about the existence of the Ombudsman institution, and a solid number are familiar with some of its core competencies. The respondents from the Eastern region mostly heard about the Ombudsman – 85.2%, and the least of them from the Polog – 43.8%. Older citizens are more informed about the Ombudsman, while the young people from 18 to 29 years are least informed about the existence of this institution.
A large number of citizens (76.3%) are ready to address the Ombudsman if their rights have been violated. This high percentage shows that citizens recognize this institution as a protector of their rights vis-à-vis state and public institutions.
However, the fact that almost half of the respondents do not know where and how they can turn to the Ombudsman unambiguously points to the need for greater promotion and visibility of this institution, its competencies and, of course, better and more intensive information about the ways in which and where way, the citizens concerned can submit complaints and communicate with the Ombudsman.
More than half of the respondents reported that the Ombudsman is professional in his work, and 47% of the respondents think that this institution is transparent. Almost 40% of the respondents consider that the Ombudsman is independent in his work. Something over 40% of the respondents think that the Ombudsman is placed in that position because of his closeness to the government, while 37% think that he is in that position thanks to his expertise.
These data show that the Ombudsman, according to the perception of the citizens, shows a good degree of professionalism and transparency, and then of expertise and independence in his work. These are not exceptionally high percentages, but are noticeably better compared to the public administration, whose independence, professionalism and transparency, citizens, are continuously assessed very poorly, and even unsatisfactory.
Therefore, the results of this survey indicate the need for further strengthening of the integrity, professionalism, expertise and transparency of the Ombudsman, which inevitably leads to independence and increased confidence of the citizens towards this institution.
You will find the full text of the analysis of the results of the survey at the following link.