The institution and its organisation

  • We assist citizens with the complaints, requests or queries that they raise regarding the incorrect or improper conduct of the Administration.
  • We process the complaints as follows:
    • We request information on its actions from the authority in question
    • If we consider the conduct to be incorrect, we issue a recommendation that the conduct be rectified
    • We publish the decisions on the website
  • We assess the public policies of the Basque administrations. The aim is to ensure greater protection of citizens' rights, particularly those of the most vulnerable or in cases of people at risk of exclusion, discrimination or precariousness. 

          We therefore prepare extraordinary reports or monographs, and we make general recommendations to improve those policies.

  • We conduct inspections of centres providing services to the public.
  • We hold regular meetings and are in contact with associations and entities (NGO) working in different areas of our society.
  • We take part in different events and forums. Our aim is for the public policies and actions of the administrations to steadily progress and improve in the provision of quality services, in guaranteeing the exercising of the rights, and in combating and ending inequality, discrimination, precariousness and social exclusion.
  • We develop initiatives aimed at increasing sensitivity and respecting human rights.
  • We are active internationally by participating in international networks of ombuds institutions and we cooperate with international institutions in the field of human rights.

Every year, the Ararteko reports to the Basque Parliament on its actions and activities in their annual report.

When can you turn to the Ararteko?

  • When you believe that a public administration  has acted in an incorrect, improper or irregular way or has broken the law. We recommend you to first file a complaint with the administration in question. In every case, we open a complaint case and analyse how the administration in question has acted in that regard.
  • When you believe that a right you have has been violated. It does not need to have been the result of the action of a specific administration. In those cases, our role will be to provide you with information and guidance.

What services do we offer?

  • Guidance through the queries submitted by citizens.
  • Receipt and response to all the complaints and requests made by any person or entity.
  • Processing of the complaints.

A decision will be issued for all complaints accepted to proceed; we provide information and guidance for those that fail to meet the requirements.

  • Information, support and assistance for people who contact the institution about matters within our jurisdiction.
  • Information, support and assistance for people who contact the institution about matters outside our jurisdiction.
  • Opening own initiative investigations.
  • Preparing the annual report and monographic reports.
  • Monitoring the decisions issued by the Ararteko to ensure they are enforced.
  • Disseminating decisions, measures, investigations, studies, information materials and publications, regarding legislation on the right to privacy.
  • Training in and disseminating the protection and defence of fundamental rights and public freedoms of individuals vis à vis the Administration and, in particular, of the rights affecting children and young people.
  • Promoting and supporting administrative best practices, to guarantee the right of citizens to a good administration.
  • Working and cooperating with other public and private institutions and entities, in areas related to the fulfilment of the purposes assigned to Ararteko.
  • Consulting the databases and documents through the Ararteko web portal.
  • Awarding research grants, by means of public calls, on topical issues related to human rights.
  • Encouraging and stimulating citizen participation and reflection forums (in-person and virtual) on areas related to human rights. With the participation of experts, social organisations, civil society and representatives of the administrations.

The institution of the Ararteko is made up of:

The management team consists of:

  • The Ararteko     
  • Deputy Ararteko 
  • Secretary General
  • Social Relations, Studies and Modernisation Manager
  • Economic-Budgetary, Staff and Administration Manger

The following work in the Children and Young People’s Rights Department:

  • Head of the Office
  • 2 officers

The following work in the European and International Affairs Department:

  • Head of the Office
  • 1 officer

28 work areas

  • 11 head officers
  • 6 officers 

Citizen service offices 

  • 3 offices: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Bilbao and Donostia/San Sebastián
  • 1 manager at each office

Technical and administrative services

  • 23 people
  • Helpline, registry, administrative assistance with managing the cases and queries, accounting, staff and budgetary management, Spanish/Basque translation of documents, IT or information systems, documentation, library, concierge services, driving official vehicle, maintenance, administrative assistance for the  Ararteko, Deputy Ararteko and managers.

Ararteko staff

The legislation governing the operation of the Ararteko establishes two legal status (based on the Basque Civil Service Act) to cover the posts: Career civil servants seconded from Parliament and staff appointed by the Ararteko

Career civil servants

  • Entry: 
    • Public entrance exam convened by the Basque Parliament
    • Staff seconded to the Ararteko who come under the Parliament Administration Staff Regulations
  • Type of post:
    • Technical and administrative services
  • Staff appointed by the Ararteko
  • Entry: 
    • Appointed by the Ararteko based on merit and ability
    • Mainly from the public administration or university
  • Type of post:
    • Legal officers and others
  • No. posts: 34

Ararteko staff:

  • Works exclusively for the Ararteko. 
  • Posts are not compatible with holding others (except for some teaching activities)
  • Belongs to the General Social Security System. 
  • Does not have its own trade union representation or staff relieved of their duties for union activities.

The institution of the Ararteko publishes its job vacancies on a rolling basis whenever there are staff any needs. 


25º aniversario del Ararteko, Defensoría del pueblo del País Vasco
30º aniversario del Ararteko, Defensoría del pueblo del País Vasco