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Ombudsman — jurisdiction, powers and functions

Disciplinary authority over public school teachers First Posted 16:29:00 09/29/2008

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The authority of the Ombudsman to act on complaints filed against public officers and employees is explicit in Article XI, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution, viz: The Ombudsman and his Deputies, as protectors of the people, shall act promptly on complaints filed in any form or manner against public officials or employees of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, and shall, in appropriate cases, notify the complainants of the action taken and the result thereof. (emphasis ours) Article XI, Section 13 of the same Constitution delineates the powers, functions and duties of the Ombudsman as follows: (1) Investigate on its own, or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient. (2) Direct, upon complaint or at its own instance, any public official or employee of the Government, or any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, as Id. At 319. well as of any government-owned or controlled corporation with original charter, to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law, or to stop, prevent, and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties. (3) Direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public official or employee at fault, and recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure compliance therewith. (4) Direct the officer concerned, in any appropriate case, and subject to such limitations as may be provided by law, to furnish it with copies of documents relating to contracts and transactions entered into by his office involving the disbursement or use of public funds or properties, to the Commission on Audit for appropriate and report any irregularity action. (5) Request any government agency for assistance and information necessary in the discharge of its responsibilities, and to examine, if necessary, pertinent records and documents. (6) Publicize matters covered by its investigation when circumstances so warrant and with due prudence. (7) Determine the causes of inefficiency, red tape, mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in the Government and make recommendations for their elimination and the observance of high standards of ethics and efficiency. (8) Promulgate its rules and procedure and exercise such other powers or perform such functions or duties as may be provided by law.

The enumeration of these powers is non-exclusive. Congress enacted R.A. No. 6770, otherwise known as The Ombudsman Act of 1989, on November 17, 1989 giving the Office such other powers that it may need to efficiently perform the task given by the Constitution, viz: ? Office of the Ombudsman vs. Masing, et al., G.R. No. 165416, January 22, 2008

(To be continued)

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