Mr. Lionel Arzu was sworn-in as the Ombudsman for a new term during a brief ceremony held at the Belize House this morning.
The Office of the Ombudsman is tasked with receiving and investigating complaints by any person or body persons who claim injustice, injury or abuse or other wrongdoing by any authority. Upon completion of an investigation, the Ombudsman forwards in writing his findings and recommendations to the Principal Officer at the ministry, department, government agency, local authorities or public corporation as applicable. The Office also has the legal authority under the Freedom of Information Act, 1994, to review the decision of a public authority denying or deferring access to public documents.
Mr. Arzu is the third person to serve as Ombudsman since the establishment of the office in 1999. Mr. Paul Rodriquez served as Belize’s first Ombudsman followed by Ms. Cynthia Pitts.
Mr. Arzu has served as Belize’s Ombudsman since December 2012.