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Ombudsman Closes Offices to Visitors, Maintains Operations During COVID-19 Outbreak

In Front Page News, News by kate-omb

Beginning March 16, 2020 and until further notice, the Alaska State Ombudsman offices in Anchorage and Juneau are closed to visitors. Ombudsman operations will continue and Alaskans can still make complaints and speak with staff by telephone, email, and through the secure, confidential complaint portal at https://ombud.alaska.gov/.

March 15, 2020 Press Release

COVID-19 Information and Resources

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Ombudsman Investigates Background Check Program Mistake

In Front Page News, News, successes by kate-omb

In May 2018, the Alaska State Ombudsman received a complaint from a health care worker who had their background check clearance renewal denied based on a misdemeanor conviction more than twenty years before. The complaint alleged that the Background Check Program, which had cleared the complainant in 2012, had erroneously determined that the misdemeanor conviction was a permanent barrier. After investigating the complaint and meeting with agency leadership, the Ombudsman found the allegation justified and made six recommendations to resolve the complaint and prevent similar problems in the future. The agency accepted two recommendations, most importantly the recommendation to maintain the complainant’s background clearance. Read the full report below.

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Rural Outreach in Kotzebue

In News by kate-omb

Alaska State Ombudsman staff are in Kotzebue this week for on-site outreach and community engagement. There are two opportunities to meet with our staff — no appointment necessary. Come by to learn about ombudsman services, make a complaint, and get helpful resources:

October 22 at the Chukchi Campus, 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

October 23 at the Kotzebue Legislative Information Office noon – 3:00 p.m.

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Alaska Day 2019

In News by kate-omb

Alaska State Ombudsman offices will be closed October 18, 2019 in observance of Alaska Day. We will reopen October 21, 2019.

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Ombudsman Releases Report: AK Board of Fisheries Violated Open Meetings Act

In Front Page News, News by kate-omb

The Alaska State Ombudsman recently concluded an investigation of a complaint about the Board of Fisheries decision in January 2019 to relocate the 2020 Upper Cook Inlet Finfish meeting location from the Kenai/Soldotna area to Anchorage. The complaint alleged that the Board violated the Open Meetings Act by not providing advance notice that it intended to take up the issue.

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Ombudsman Releases Report: Investigation of Change of Foster Care Placement by OCS

In Front Page News, News by kate-omb

The Alaska State Ombudsman recently concluded an investigation of a complaint from a licensed foster parent about the way the Office of Children’s Services changed the placement of a toddler in foster care. The Ombudsman investigated whether OCS abused its discretion in deciding to move the child from the complainant’s home to another foster home. The Ombudsman also investigated how OCS participated in the writing of court documents opposing the foster parent’s request for a placement review hearing. Read the public report here.

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Ombudsman Releases Reports on Investigations of Division of Mining, Land, & Water

In Front Page News, News by kate-omb

The Alaska State Ombudsman has released public reports related to the investigation of two complaints about the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land, and Water. The first complaint (A2017-0619) involved the Division’s requirement that some aquatic farm leaseholders carry commercial liability insurance. The second complaint (J2018-0547) involved the Division’s public notice and comment process related to the designation of materials sites, and the subsequent sale of materials from those sites. Read the full reports: