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U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

What We Will Do and What We Will Not Do


What We Will Do

  • Listen and act as a sounding board to help clarify the issues, disentangle complicated situations, and prioritize concerns.
  • Assist parties in conflict to obtain a mutually agreeable resolution.
  • Remain free from control or interference of any employee in carrying out the duties of the Ombudsman.
  • Encourage open and effective communication between and among all managers and employees to discuss and resolve issues affecting the Department.
  • Provide an impartial third party to assist in identifying the causes of work-related concerns and issues.
  • Serve as an intermediary, with the permission of the employee, to clarify issues and initiate problem-solving solutions, including facilitating a mediation session.
  • Help develop solutions to complex and difficult problems.
  • Help raise and resolve issues of concern or complaints regarding workplace conflict.
  • Help disputing parties understand each other and hopefully forge better relations amongst themselves.
  • Provide access to applicable guidelines and policies, or facilitate communication with other services or appropriate administrative units.
  • Discuss potential situations and “role-play” approaches, and strategies for a pending meeting, as well as suggest constructive approaches to handle difficult situations.
  • Periodically report to management on trends within the organization so that such issues can be addressed.

What We Will Not Do

  • The Ombudsman will not be your advocate.
  • The Ombudsman will not take any side in a complaint.
  • The Ombudsman will not act as a deciding official.
  • The Ombudsman will not order that a certain action be taken.
  • The Ombudsman will not replace administrative processes.


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