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Ombudsman in Gambia

The position of the office of the Ombudsman is an official who holds the power to  investigate allegations of maladministration, mismanagement, corruption, discrimination and deal with human rights and protection of fundamental freedoms of the citizenry. There is only one Ombudsman in the entire country; his office is located on Atlantic Road, across from the tourist craft market.

Authority & Scope:
The Constitution of the Second Republic of The Gambia, which came into force on January 1997, made provision for the setting up of an Ombudsman.

"Chapter X: The Ombudsman
163. National Assembly to establish office of the Ombudsman

(1) Subject to the provisions of this chapter, in the exercise of his or her functions, the Ombudsman and a deputy Ombudsman shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority but subject only to the Constitution and the law.

(2) All departments, authorities and other public bodies which are subject to investigation by the Ombudsman shall accord such assistance as he or she may require for the protection of the independence, dignity and effectiveness of the Ombudsman in the performance of his or her functions."

First Appointment:
In May 1999, the President appointed the Gambia's first Government ombudsman as required in the Constitution. On May 3, 1999, the National Assembly formerly approved the appointment. The first person to hold the post was Mr. Sam Sarr.

On the 27th February, 2002, Mr. Sarr handed over the office's first Report to the President of the Republic, Dr. Alhaji Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh. The report contained over 105 cases of which 80% have been investigated and completed.

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