Visitors to the ombuds sometimes want to get something "on record." However, the ombuds functions independently of administrative channels or formal complaint procedures, where keeping records is the normal practice. In order to preserve confidentiality, the ombuds' office does not keep records. Therefore, if the goal is to establish a record of a complaint, another option is needed.
The following list provides a number of options to assist individuals in creating a record of a complaint or problem:
- Write a careful account, date it, have it notarized, seal it, and send it to:
- your attorney,
- yourself or a friend via certified mail (without opening it), or
- yourself or to someone else via e-mail.
- Write a letter to yourself indicating that you spoke with the ombuds about your particular complaint on a particular day.
- Keep a log in a dated, bound logbook (of the scientific variety).
- Talk with or send a tape via certified mail to a friend, family member, etc. describing the problem.
- Talk with a medical counselor, colleague, or reliable friend who will keep a dated note about the conversation.
- Tell a friend, acquaintance, or colleague who would be willing to testify later that you told him or her about the problem.
- Give a dated, sealed letter to a trusted friend, colleague, or administrator with the understanding that the letter is to be kept, but not opened or read, until you say otherwise.