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October 12, 2023: Ombuds Day

WHEREAS, the role of the ombuds originated over 200 years ago in Sweden, designated as a government official charged with advocating on behalf of citizens with complaints or problems with the government; and,

WHEREAS, today’s ombuds are confidential, independent, and impartial conflict management professionals who work to address individual and systemic issues outside of and complementary to formal channels such as human resources, grievances, complaints, and legal action; and,

WHEREAS, ombuds work in a wide variety of organizations within the state of Michigan and worldwide, including universities and colleges, governments at all levels, healthcare institutions, corporations, financial institutions, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, the media, and international organizations; and,

WHEREAS, ombuds programs provide a valuable form of alternative dispute resolution  and significant value to the constituents and institutions they serve, and are an essential supplement to formal conflict management processes that address allegedly inappropriate or wrongful conduct; and,

WHEREAS, recognition of this day is an opportunity to increase awareness and understanding of the profession, highlight the value ombuds bring to the organizations and constituents they serve, and encourage the greater use of ombuds programs; and,

WHEREAS, citizens of Michigan are encouraged to become familiar with the ombuds profession and the professional in this role across sectors, and to make use of these essential services as needed;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 12, 2023, as Ombuds Day in Michigan.