LOCAL OMBUDSMAN OF THE SOFIA MUNICIPALITY
The Local Ombudsman institution in the Sofia Municipality was established by decision of the Sofia Municipal Council of May 23, 2001. The first Public Ombudsman, appointed in March 2002, was Antoaneta Tsoneva. In 2004, Angel Stefanov was appointed Local Ombudsman and spent two terms in office. The Sofia Municipal Council then appointed Lilia Hristova as the Local Ombudsman on May 29, 2014.
The Local 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, before the bodies of the local government and the local administration in the Sofia Municipality, to protect their rights and legal interests, irrespective of their gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, social origin, age, material status, political positions, religious beliefs.
Local Ombudsman’s rights and powers are regulated by the Rules on the Organization and Activities of the Local Ombudsman in the Sofia Municipality, adopted by the Sofia Municipal Council.
Who can to address the Local 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 can you approach the Local 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 Local Ombudsman interfere?
Local 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 Local 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 a complaint or a signal to the Local Ombudsman?
Citizens and organizations can approach the Local Ombudsman with their complaints and signals in his/her Reception Office, or by mail, email or on Local Ombudsman’s website. Reports of verbal signals will be prepared for any complaints submitted verbally.
The Local Ombudsman will not review:
• any anonymous complaints or signals;
• signals, related to offences, committed more than 2 years previously;
• signals, containing indications of crimes.
What information do you have to submit?
→ The following data is required for reviewing a complaint or a 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;
• e-mail address;
• description of the offence, specifying the respective facts that may be relevant;
• precise and up-to-date information, related to the offender;
• documents, related to the complaint, specifying the documents’ reference number and date. It is recommended to specify if there is a pending or an already finished lawsuit, related to the issue at hand, as well as whether it has already been reviewed by other bodies and authorities.
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 Local Ombudsman services are provided free of charge!
Reception Office: 4, 11 Avgust St, fl. 3, 1000 Sofia.
Telephone: 02/9873449, 02/9871341
Reception times: every working day between 9.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m.
Е-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org