Ombudsman´s Office (Volksanwaltschaft): Established on trial in 1977 in imitation of the Ombudsman system in Scandinavian countries, the Ombudsman´s Office was enshrined in federal constitutional law as an organ of the Nationalrat (National Council) in 1981. The 3 Ombudspersons are appointed by the Nationalrat for a 6-year term, they are not bound by instructions and investigate grievances in the federal administration either ex officio or upon complaint by citizens or non-nationals, if no other remedy can be applied. The efficiency of the Ombudspersons is limited by the fact that they may only give recommendations without legal effect to the authorities, who are otherwise obliged to provide administrative assistance. Most provinces rely on the federal Ombudsman´s Office, others have set up their own offices, e.g. Tirol and Vorarlberg.
Literature: F. Schönherr, Die Volksanwaltschaft, 1977.
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