Wednesday, 16 November 2022, Ombudsman Peter Svetina visited four municipalities in the Gorenjska region. He first met the mayor of the municipality Cerklje na Gorenjskem, followed by meetings with the mayors of Šenčur, Vodice, and Komenda. He talked to all of them about the challenges and the most pressing problems they face in their work. The Ombudsman assured them that he would take action within his powers with the competent authorities.
Every year, the Ombudsman receives thousands of letters and complaints from people asking for help because they believe their rights are being violated. "In the last two years, the number of complaints has increased by a third. We study such complaints thoroughly and respond accordingly. We are particularly attentive to violations of children's rights, the rights of people with disabilities, the elderly, foreigners, and other groups of the population," stressed Ombudsman Svetina at the meetings with mayors.
In the company of the mayors of all four municipalities, Peter Svetina also opened and presented the Ombudsman's Corner. The aim of the Corner is to bring the Ombudsman institution closer to as many people as possible, in their home environment. The Ombudsman's Corner is equipped with a stand where residents can find useful information about the Ombudsman's work in the form of leaflets and brochures, as well as a form for submitting a complaint. "The Ombudsman's Corner will make it even easier for us to reach out to residents in the local environment and to help them if they find themselves in need or have difficulties finding answers or explanations from various institutions or authorities. Information is available not only in digital form but also in traditional form, as many people cannot comfortably navigate the flood of information on the web," explained Svetina.
This year, the Ombudsman has already set up an Ombudsman's Corner in eleven municipalities. The first one was set up in Kranj in April, followed by Pivka, Kamnik, Slovenska Bistrica, Maribor, Murska Sobota, and Bloke. Now it was opened in Cerklje na Gorenjskem, Šenčur, Vodice, and Komenda. All municipalities that already have the Corners set up have a section on their website called the Ombudsman's Corner, where all information about the Ombudsman and the complaint form is also available in digital form. Municipalities will also publish a longer article in municipal newsletters about the work of the Ombudsman institution so that citizens can find out in detail when and how they can contact the Ombudsman, when the Ombudsman can help them, and when the Ombudsman cannot intervene in their problem because it is not within the Ombudsman's competence to do so.
By the end of his mandate, Ombudsman Peter Svetina wants to have Ombudsman's Corners set up in most Slovenian municipalities.