Luxembourgh Times

Public bodies act arbitrarily too often, says ombudsman

Ombudsman remediated 87% of the 975 cases it received

Claudia Monti, Luxembourg's ombudsman

Claudia Monti, Luxembourg's ombudsman © Photo credit: Pierre Matgé

Julie Éddé

A man ordered to demolish an extension for not having a planning permission, which he was told he did not need.

A Portuguese woman who had worked in Luxembourg but was denied healthcare here because she delivered her twins - one of which died and the other born with Down syndrome - in Brussels.

An exorbitant water bill for a vacant house its owners had barely set foot in.

Those were some of the many examples of government injustices Luxembourg's ombudsman tried to solve in 2019.

"I still see myself too often confronted with administrative decisions bordering on the limits of arbitrariness, taken outside or beyond any legal framework," Luxembourg Ombudsman Claudia Monti said in a 2019 annual report, published on Monday. She also witnessed "the silence, the refusal to answer or (to provide) incomplete answers from certain administrations, public establishments or communes."

The role of the ombudsman is to remedy any administrative mistake suffered by an individual that results from a wrong application of rules, bad communication or the complexity of local and national public institutions.

In 2019, the ombudsman solved over three-quarters of the 975 claims filed by individuals. The report for 2020 will follow very shortly in the summer since last year's publication was postponed during the healthcare crisis.