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An official responsible for investigating complaints against the administration of institutions. In the UK the use of the ombudsman system started with government bodies, through the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration; it has since spread to other areas, including banking, finance, and insurance. An ombudsman's conclusions are not usually legally binding, but have considerable moral force, and disregarding them in particular cases can lead to political pressure for changes in the law.

Subjects: Law — Social Sciences.

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