Regulations of the Ombudsman's Office of Pompeu Fabra University
The Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman is a body that was set up in 1993 to defend the rights of members of the UPF university community.
In view of the need to adapt the operating regulations of the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman in line with the structure of said body which is set out in the new University by-laws, and indeed the need to foresee a series of requirements that have according to experiences in recent years proved necessary for the smooth operation of this body, relating to areas such as the scope of its sphere of action or relations with other ombudsmen or similar bodies,
A motion has been submitted to the Board of Governors for the approval of the "Regulations of the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman" in accordance with the following terms and conditions:
Sphere of action of the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman
- Pursuant to article 81 of the University by-laws, the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman is the body in charge of defending the rights of all members of the university community as set out in articles 72, 84, 94 and 126 for each of the groups within the UPF university community. Likewise, it ensures that the provisions set forth in the University by-laws, and in the regulations for the implementation thereof, are complied with.
- The Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman receives complaints and remarks regarding breaches of the rights pertaining to the university community and non-compliance with the provisions of the University by-laws.
- The Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman is in a position to receive complaints and remarks from students of higher education centres attached to UPF, provided this circumstance is set out in the cooperation agreement entered into by UPF and the attached centre, and as long as said complaints and remarks are related to said students' rights and stem directly from implementation of the academic regulations governing the centre, as approved by UPF. In all other cases, the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman may act as a go-between for the student and the centre, provided the latter gives concurrence.
The independence of the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman
- The Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman carries out its duties independently of the various university bodies and acts autonomously and objectively according to its own criteria, in line with the provisions set out in the University by-laws. It is not bound by any mandate or instructions from any academic authority or governing body.
- The Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman can access any internal University document, whereby people's privacy will be ensured as appropriate. University bodies and all university community members are required to provide all data and information requested from the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman when fulfilling its tasks.
Means of election, cessation and conditions of the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman
- Pursuant to article 81.2 of the University by-laws, the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman is appointed by the Senate, at the proposal of the rector, by a three fifths' majority of the senate members in attendance, from members of the university community or people of acknowledged standing who do not belong to the university.
- The period of office of the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman is seven years and the individual in office shall not be eligible for re-election.
- The rector will notify the Senate Committee as to his/her motion for the Ombudsman. The candidate will be made public ten days prior to the date on which the Senate is due to meet, whereupon the appointment shall be made. Moreover, the candidacy shall incorporate a profile and a brief account of the candidate's merits.
- In the session when the appointment will be made, the rector will explain the merits of the candidate, who shall not be present in the room.
Article 4. The position of Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman is incompatible with exercising any representative or trustworthy position within Pompeu Fabra University. If the person acting as Ombudsman has been assigned teaching tasks, he/she shall be relieved, in full or in part, from carrying out said tasks.
- The Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman will cease to occupy the post on account of any of the following:
b) Termination of the period of office for which he/she was appointed.
c) Disability or disqualification resulting from a final judicial decision or a final ruling due to wilful misconduct.
d) Breach of the obligations and duties inherent to the position, bringing about a loss of trust on the part of the Senate.
- In the latter case, cessation shall be decided on by the same majority as the appointment, or otherwise at the request of the rector, the Board of Governors or one fourth of the Senate members. A well-founded motion must be submitted to the Senate, and the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman may take the floor prior to voting in the session held for that purpose. In the other three cases, the rector will state the reason for cessation and will render account thereof to the Senate.
The process and action of the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman
- The Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman acts ex officio or at the request of a party.
- Any university community member with legitimate interest, whether individual or collective, can address the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman to request him/her to act in relation to the complaint submitted.
- The University's governing bodies can also request the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman to act.
Article 7. Complaints must be submitted to the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman by the interested party by means of a brief stating the grounds, attaching any documents that may help to shed light on the issue.
Article 8. Between the occurrence of the incident leading to the complaint and its submission in writing to the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsperson, more than six months may not elapse, except if, within this period, the incident is the object of a consultation or observation; in this case, the time between the incident and submission of the complaint in writing, by the same person who has made the consultation or observation, may be up to twelve months. The start of proceedings, when occurring ex-officio, is not subject to any preclusion period.
- The Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman must record all complaints received and acknowledge receipt thereof in order to subsequently process or reject them. In the case of rejection, said circumstance must be brought to the attention of the interested party by means of a reasoned written notice.
- The Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman will reject anonymous complaints, those carrying insufficient grounds or a lack of intentions and all others whereby the processing thereof may adversely affect the legitimate rights of a third party.
- The decisions and resolutions adopted by the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman may not be subject to any kind of appeal. Moreover, complaints received do not affect the periods envisaged for exercising any pertinent actions administratively or jurisdictionally.
- The Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman can, in its decisions and resolutions, give warnings, make recommendations and offer suggestions to the authorities or university staff regarding their legal rights. However, said body shall not be entitled to modify proceedings and administrative resolutions or render them null and void.
- Once a complaint is accepted or proceedings are brought ex officio, the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman will adopt all pertinent investigative measures. The Ombudsman may summons the party affected by the complaint to give the relevant statements, to submit the documentation needed or to appear in order to give information. Likewise, if applicable, the Ombudsman may notify this circumstance to the academic or administrative bodies affected and ask them for information regarding the matter-at-hand. These bodies will have twenty days to answer.
- The Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman can within the framework of applicable legislation submit settlement or agreement formulas to the competent authority or body of the university, which enable a positive, smooth resolution of complaints. If one of the parties does not accept these formulas, said party must submit grounds for rejection.
- The Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman shall have a maximum period of four months to solve the complaints received.
The annual report by the Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman
The Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman shall prepare an annual report of its actions. This report shall be submitted during the first meeting of the Senate in the respective academic year and, subsequently, to the Board of Trustees. It shall include at least the following data:
- the number and kinds of complaints made and the proceedings initiated ex officio.
- the complaints rejected, complaints being processed and complaints under investigation, including the result obtained and the reason behind them.
The report must not include personal data that would allow for public identification of the interested parties during the investigation procedure. However, any administrative or academic bodies that may have hindered investigations can indeed be named.
Relations with other university ombudsmen or similar bodies
The Pompeu Fabra University Ombudsman upholds cooperative relations with other university ombudsmen or similar bodies pertaining to the university system and, generally, to its sphere of competence. To this end, it may enter into cooperation agreements with other ombudsmen, which must be endorsed by the Board of Governors.
Repealing provision. The "Regulations of the Ombudsman's Office of Pompeu Fabra University", approved by resolution of the Board of Governors on 8 March 1995, are hereby repealed.