Welcome and let us tell you about the Ararteko.
The Ararteko is the Ombudsman of the Basque Country. This portal has been set up so you can learn all about the institution, find out exactly what we do and how we can help you. We seek to champion the rights of all citizens regarding the public policies and meaures of the Basque authorities.
We hope that you find this website useful and that it meets our information, communication, transparency and engagement goals. We always strive to offer an excellent service and your input is vital for us to achieve our aim. We encourage you to send us your suggestions and opinions to help improve this online portal and, in general, the running and services of the Ararteko's office. Our aim is to ensure that those services are always provided efficiently, quickly and in a courteous manner.
The institution of the Ararteko was created and regulated by the Ararteko Act 3/1985 of 27 February, of the Basque Parliament, in accordance with Article 15 of the Basque Statute of Autonomy. The Ararteko is defined as the high commissioner of the Basque Parliament to defend the rights of the people in relation to the public policies and actions of the public administrations of the Basque Autonomous Community (Basque Government, provincial councils, local councils or dependent public services).
The Ararteko is an institution or office headed by one person, also known as the arateko, who is elected by a three-fifths majority of the Basque Parliament for a five-year term. It is an impartial and independent institution and provides Basque citizens with a public service that is completely free of charge.
The main task of the institution of the Arateko is to assist the general public with their complaints, requests and queries regarding incorrect or improper actions of the Administration. It processes those complaints according to a procedure where the Arateko asks the authority in question for explainations and information regarding its conduct. Should it be deemed, in accordance with the law, that the action leading to the complaint was incorrect, the Ararteko issues a recommendation to the authority in question requesting that the incorrect measure be rectified. Those decisions are published on this portal.
The Ararteko also analyses the public policies of the Basque administrations, mainly by means of preparing extraordinary reports or monographs and studies and formulating recommendations. The aim is to improve those policies in order to better protect and safeguard citizens’ rights. That is particularly so in the case of those people deemed to be vulnerable, or who are in a situation or at risk of exclusion, discrimination or social precarity.
Furthermore, the Ararteko conducts inspections of centres and facilities providing services to the general public, is in regular contact and holds meetings with associations and entities (NGOs) working in different areas of the social reality, and takes part in numerous events and forums. The underlying objective is for the public policies and measures of the administrations to constantly evolve and improve in order to provide first-rate services, guarantee the exercising or rights, and to overcome and eliminate inequalities, discrimination, insecurity and social exclusion. Our work particularly focuses on the 29 work areas identified in this portal.
We also implement initiatives aimed at increasing sensitivity about and awareness of human rights.
The Ararteko reports to the Basque Parliament on its actions and activities in the institution's annual report that is published on this portal. The website also contains our decisions, the extraordinary reports, general recommendations, studies, other publications, opinion articles, institutional statements, along with information on the activities of the Ararteko.
The transparency area contains exhaustive information on the organisation and running of the Ararteko, along with its budget, its economic management, its workforce, etc.
We are an institution that guarantees and defends people's rights. The human rights system, the cornerstone of our democracies and of our coexistence, is, by its very nature, dynamic and evolutionary. Therefore, it can and must be steadily improved. Therefore, the public authorities must pull out all the stops, but the commitment and work of each and every one of us is fundamental.