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How to become a member

The 10th IOI World Conference paved the way for further strengthening the IOI as the leading organization within the international Ombudsman community. In its attempt to become more inclusive and to achieve greater openness towards Ombudsman institutions and their equivalent around the world, the IOI initiated a reform process and a new set of by-laws were approved by the General Assembly with an overwhelming majority.

1. Categories

There are four categories of membership in the IOI.

a) Member: Any institution, organization or individual which supports the purpose and principles expressed in Article 2 shall be eligible to be a member of the IOI (Art 6 para 1 By-laws). Any member has the right to participate in the activities sponsored by the IOI (for exceptions see Art 8 para 3) and is entitled to access the publications of the IOI (Art 8 By-laws).

b) Voting member: Any public institution with international, national, regional or local jurisdiction shall be eligible to become a Voting member if it:

  • substantially demonstrates that it has achieved the purpose and principles enshrined in Article 2, in conformity with the Country, State, Regional or Local constitution or legislation, and
  • receives and investigates complaints from individuals against the administrative practices of public authorities or public undertakings, and
  • is functionally independent of any public authority over which jurisdiction is held (Art 6 para 2 By-laws)

In order to execute the right to vote and be elected at the meetings of the IOI a Voting member has to be in good standing (Art 8 para 2 By-laws).

Existing Institutional members of the IOI who are in good standing at the date of the adoption of the new By-laws have their voting rights preserved.

c) Honorary Life member: Any individual who has made an exceptional contribution in respect of the purposes of the IOI or who has rendered outstanding services to the organization as long as he/she maintains common or compatible interests with the IOI regarding the purpose and principles set out in Article 2.

d) Library member: Any library or scientific establishment interested in the publications of the IOI and the publications of its members.

 

2. Application Procedure

Article 7 of the IOI By-laws stipulates the procedures governing applications for membership. The applicant lodges the application with the Secretary General who consults the Regional President of the area from which the application originates. The Secretary General refers the application and his/her recommendation to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee refers the matter to the Board and advises the Board on whether or not the application should be approved. In case the Executive Committee recommends that the Board should not approve the application, the applicant shall be given the opportunity to comment in writing to the Board.

Applications on membership are to be assessed in a fair, wide, inclusive and liberal manner in order to favor membership or category of membership according to the applicant's request. 

The applicant institution or organization applying for membership will be provided with a questionnaire. Part I of the questionnaire covers the basic data of the applicant institution. Part II contains information that is required to process an application for membership. Part III includes information which is sought to clarify the context in which the applicant institution does its work but has no direct effect on the outcome of the application procedure. In completing the questionnaire, it is essential to make references to primary sources (e.g. constitution, law) in order to provide the IOI Board with essential background information on the applicant institution. Applicants are kindly requested to clearly indicate articles and sections of the primary sources they refer to (i.e. article, paragraph, and page). Any institution or organization applying for membership should provide the General Secretariat with constitutional documents and legislation which support the establishment of the office applying for membership. The applicant may also provide any additional information it believes relevant and would help the General Secretariat determine the appropriate membership category for the applicant (for example latest annual report in one of the official IOI working languages).

Any individual seeking membership should provide his/her curriculum vitae and a letter outlining the reasons why he/she believes they are eligible for membership. Except for staff members of a member institution, an applicant is requested to state what common or compatible interests the applicant shares with the Institute regarding the purposes and principles set out in Article 2 or what functions of the kind set out in subparagraph 1 that the applicant undertakes.

If you are interested in becoming a member or need more detailed information on the application procedure or the current fees for membership in the IOI, please send a message directly to the IOI General Secretariat.