Kazakh Ombudsman Institution visits Austrian Ombudsman Board
On 28 October 2010, a delegation of the Kazakh Ombudsman institution visited the Austrian Ombudsman Board. “The valuable exchange of ideas with the Kazakh experts reflects their interest to get to know successful Ombudsman models like the one in Austria”, said the Chairman of the Austrian Ombudsman Board, Dr. Peter Kostelka, after the visit.
The programme of the study visit was extensive. Ombudsman Kostelka introduced the mandate and responsibilities of the Austrian Ombudsman Board to the employees of the Kazakh Ombudsman institution. Additional meetings dealt with practical aspects of handling complaints as well as with the areas in which the Austrian Ombudsman Board receives most complaints. Also questions on human resources and the financial administration were raised. The Kazakh delegation visited Parliament and met with MP Harald Stefan, Chairman of the Committee dealing with the Austrian Ombudsman Board.
While the Austrian Ombudsman Board is rooted in the Austrian Constitution, the relatively young Kazakh Ombudsman institution was established by presidential decree in 2002. A new legal foundation, however, is underway and is expected to be adopted by Parliament in 2011. At the moment, 15 employees work for the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Republic of Kazakhstan and handle between 1400 and 1700 complaints every year.