What We Do
Ombudsman staff serve Alaskans in a variety of ways, guided by our core values.
Information and referral: We help connect citizens, service providers, state agencies, and policymakers to resources. Whether it’s a referral to a rental assistance program to prevent eviction, consumer protection programs, a community service to fill a gap in state programs, or legal assistance, we try to ensure that the next phone call or visit is the last one the person makes. We actively update and expand our referral resources, so that we make the best connections possible.
Brief Assistance: Many of the complaints we receive can be resolved quickly and informally with a phone call or email to the agency or by providing the complainant with information to help resolve their problem themselves.
Investigation: Complaints that involve complex problems require more time and review. Investigators interview state agency staff and witnesses, review records, research legal authority and policy, and develop a clear and objective picture of what happened and why. If the allegations in the complaint are found to be justified, the Ombudsman will recommend a solution to the agency.
Report: Most complaints are resolved quickly and informally. When a complaint requires an in-depth investigation, there is a report developed by the investigator(s). This confidential report is shared with the state agency, which has the opportunity to respond and comment on the report. The agency’s comments are carefully considered and incorporated into the final confidential report to the agency. When the issue addressed in the investigation is one that is of public interest, an executive summary of the report is released.
Objectivity: We are committed to reviewing citizen complaints without bias or preconception.
Curiosity: We are committed to looking carefully at citizen complaints and the larger context in which they arise. We are also committed to a culture of perpetual learning and discovery.
Respect: We are committed to treating everyone with respect and compassion, to listening to understand, and to maintaining a work environment that fosters acceptance, compassion, and understanding.
Integrity: We are committed to performing our work with honesty, fairness, and authenticity and in accordance with professional and statutory ethical guidelines.
Public Service: We are committed to helping people resolve their complaints individually and to improving the effectiveness and equity of government systems.