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Office of the Ombudsman

The Office of the Ombudsman promotes the early identification and resolution of issues in order to promote the morale and productivity of the Department of Energy federal workforce.  The Office provides ombudsman services to employees, supervisors, and management personnel of the Department’s federal workforce regarding work-related concerns.  In cases where a process exists for addressing a concern, the Office refers the person to that process.  In cases where another process does not exist, the Office serves as an innovative resolution practitioner, utilizing generally accepted ombudsman techniques.  The Office proactively identifies areas of concern or those of a systemic nature and makes recommendations on how they can be best addressed.  

The Office is a resource for informal dispute resolution only and does not participate in any internal or external formal process.  The Office does not investigate, arbitrate or adjudicate or replace any appeal process.

DOE’s Office of the Ombudsman is an independent, impartial, informal and confidential resource.

The Office was stood up on March 6, 2012. Read Secretary Chu's anniversary letter to Departmental Employees here.

Services:

  • Serves as a forum and resource to identify and resolve matters affecting morale and productivity that do not fall within existing processes.
  • Develops innovative programs and benchmarks against other ombudsman programs.
  • Promotes understanding of existing processes for resolving disputes; advocates alternative dispute resolution; and identifies systemic problems and proposes strategies for improvement.
  • Interfaces with other offices:  coordinates activities with the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer, the Office of Health, Safety, and Security, the Office of the General Counsel, and other offices.
  • Issues periodic reports that include statistical information on contacts with the Office while maintaining confidentiality of the information; identifies patterns and trends affecting productivity, morale and the workplace; and makes recommendations for improvement. 
  • The Office of Ombudsman does not handle DOE contractor employee issues.  These are managed through separate processes.

Contact with the Office of the Ombudsman does not forestall established timeframes within DOE formal processes, nor does it constitute legal notice to DOE or official notice to initiate a formal process.

Get in Touch:

Contact the Office of the Ombudsman at ombudsman@hq.doe.gov or at (202) 586-0500, or stop by the Office at 6G-059.