The Public Ombudsman institution in the Sofia Municipality was established by decision of the Sofia Municipal Council of 23 May 2001. The first Public Ombudsman, appointed in March 2002, was Antoaneta Tsoneva. In 2004, Angel Stefanov was appointed Public Ombudsman and spent two terms in office. The Sofia Municipal Council then appointed Lilia Hristova as the Public Ombudsman on 29 May 2014.
The Public Ombudsman is completely independent, operating pursuant to the Bulgarian Constitution, the Bulgarian legislation and the ratified international treaties, guided by the following principles: rule of law, independence, justice, transparency, humanity and tolerance.
The local ombudsman ensures equal opportunities to all citizens to protect their rights and legal interests, irrespective of their gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, social origin, age, material status, political positions, religious beliefs, before the bodies of the local government and the local administration in the Sofia Municipality.
Public Ombudsman’s rights and powers are regulated by the Rules on the Organization and Activities of the Public Ombudsman in the Sofia Municipality, adopted by the Sofia Municipal Council.
Who can address the public ombudsman?
Any physical person, Bulgarian nationals or foreigners, as well as persons without citizenship, legal entities, civil associations and NGOs, industry and other organizations, operating within the Sofia Municipality.
When you can approach the Public Ombudsman?
- Violation of the requirements for lawfulness and correctness of administrative acts and actions by the bodies of the local government;
- Non-observance of the procedures for the issuance of administrative acts and provision of administrative services;
- Provision of false or insufficient information, regarding the exercising of rights and obligations to the citizens, and the rules and conditions for the provision of administrative services;
- Manifestations of incompetence, carelessness or disrespect of citizens’ dignity.
When can the Public Ombudsman interfere?
Public Ombudsman’s authorities do not concern:
- internal relations between different local government bodies and the municipal administration;
- privatization and operations of the municipal companies;
- matters and issues, related to the personal lives of citizens;
- court procedures – complaints, filed with a court or already settled by an effective judicial act or a prosecutor’s decree.
The Public Ombudsman may not represent any persons, who have approached him/her, before any courts or other public institutions, or to:
- prepare complaints, signals or other documents on behalf of citizens, as required for referral to other authorities or institutions, as well as to submit such documents to the respective institutions;
- recommend persons, who can represent such citizens before courts or other public institutions.
How to submit an complaint or signal to the Public Ombudsman?
Citizens and organizations can approach the Public Ombudsman with their complaints and signals in his/her Reception Office, or by mail, email or on Public Ombudsman’s website. Reports of verbal signals will be prepared for any complaints submitted verbally.
The Public Ombudsman will not review:
- any anonymous complaints or signals;
- signals, related to offences, made more than 2 years previously;
- signals, containing indications of crimes.
What information you have to submit?
The following data is required for reviewing the complaint or signal and for providing the sender with feedback:
- Name, second name and surname of the complainant;
- Precise address: usual residence and/or mailing address;
- Telephone number;
- Email address;
- Description of the offence, specifying the respective facts that may be relevant.
- Precise and up-to-date information, regarding the offender.
- Documents, related to the complaint: specifying their reference number and date. It is recommended to specify if there is a pending or already finished lawsuit, regarding to the issue at hand, as well as whether it has already been reviewed by other bodies and authorities etc.
Providing detailed information is important for the successful solving of the issue.
The absence of any of the aforesaid pieces of information does not constitute a reason to reject the complaint, but may delay its review.
The Public Ombudsman services are provided free of charge!
Reception Office: 4, 11 Avgust St, fl. 3, 1000 Sofia.
Telephone: 02/9873449, 02/9871341
Reception time: every business day between 9.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m.
Е-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org