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More powers to the Parliamentary Ombudsman

June 2009 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Norrbom Vinding Law Firm, member of ius laboris.

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The Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman may now also monitor quasi-governmental bodies and private sector institutions governed in whole or in part by administrative law.

In the future, it will be up to the Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman to decide if his powers should also extend to quasi-governmental bodies and private sector institutions that are governed by administrative law in some or all respects.

 

Up until today, the Parliamentary Ombudsman's powers have included all aspects of public administration. This meant that in those areas where the Danish Public Administration Act, the Danish Freedom of Information Act and the Danish Act on Legal Protection and Administration in Social Affairs have been administratively extended to cover also private sector organisations (notwithstanding their fundamental status as private sector organisations), the Parliamentary Ombudsman could decide if the organisations fell under his remit to investigate complaints and report his findings.

 

In practice, however, when private sector organisations are required to comply with the Danish Public Administration Act, the Danish Freedom of Information Act and the Danish Act on Legal Protection and Administration in Social Affairs, this will be set out in a statute. Therefore, such organisations have not in the past fallen within the Parliamentary Ombudsman's remit unless expressly specified in the relevant statute.

 

As a result of that practice, a number of organisations have been outside the Parliamentary Ombudsman's remit although they are required to comply with the Danish Public Administration Act, the Danish Freedom of Information Act and the Danish Act on Legal Protection and Administration in Social Affairs.

 

The amendment of the Danish Parliamentary Ombudsman Act means that it is now up to the Parliamentary Ombudsman to decide to include such private sector organisations within his remit on equal terms with the rest of the public administration.

 

Elsebeth Aaes-Jørgensen
eaj@norrbomvinding.com

 

 

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