07 October 2009

The Ombudsman

Dear George,

inviting the Ombudsman to address the first Cabinet meeting of your new government was an inspired gesture but a risky one.  The Ombudsman's Office has done a great job recording and analyzing the deficiencies and failures of public administration in Greece.  That Office is often seeing as a pillar of justice, by citizens who felt their rights and their dignity crushed under the arrogance of the public administration machine.

At the same time we question the propriety of blurring the line between the Executive and a constitutionally independent authority such as the Ombudsman.  If δεοντολογία (ethics) is to be respected, as you directed your Cabinet, then the Ombudsman should have not been invited in the first place.

The first step to reforming public administration and civil services in Greece is to go through the annual reports of the Ombudsman and cure all the deficiencies identified therein.  It's worth the effort and it does not require Ombudsman Kaminis to appear before your Cabinet.

N.B.  After we published the commentary above, we became aware of an excellent article on the separation of Executive and Independent Authorities by the blogger e-lawyer.

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