An Ombudsman for Vermont

Assessing the Possibility of Establishing a State Ombudsman Office for the State of Vermont
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1112-04
Thursday, February 16, 2012

This purpose of this report is to assess the costs and benefits of implementing an independent ombudsman office in the State of Vermont. We specifically analyzed the roles, structures, and budgets of state ombudsman offices in the five U.S. states with classical ombudsman offices that have statewide jurisdiction – Alaska, Nebraska, Iowa, Hawaii, and Arizona – to assess the benefits and limitations of various ombudsman office structures. Moreover, we explored how Vermont currently deals with complaints, particularly as related to consumer protection issues and complaints arising in the corrections system. We also identified potential costs and benefits to creating an ombudsman office in Vermont, as well as best practices to consider in the creation of such an office.