Ruth Schmidt

After the amendment to the by-laws in 2012 the office of the ombudsperson was created by the KOLPING INTERNATIONAL Cooperation e.V. Everybody who is interested or participates in our work  is now able to approach the working structures of KOLPING INTERNATIONAL in a protected form and make complaints about non-compliances or offences in the associational work.

The current ombudsperson of KOLPING INTERNATIONAL Cooperation e.V. is Mrs. Ruth Schmidt, who formerly worked as a lawyer.

 She can be reached by phone (+49/(0)2236/942184) or by email ( Only the ombudsperson may have/has access to this address so that complaints can be made to the ombudsperson without the knowledge of the executive board or staff members.

The guidelines for the ombudsperson are given below.

Guidelines for the Ombudsperson of the Social and Development Aid of the Kolping Society, reg. Ass. (SEK e.V., hereinafter referred to as ‘SEK’)

Article 1: The ombudsperson
The ombudsperson is elected by the SEK’s Membership Meeting for a period of three years. Re-election is possible. The ombudsperson must be supported in the exercise of his or her duties by the SEK, is not be bound by any instructions and is subject only to legal provisions.

Article 2: Tasks
The ombudsperson is the contact person for internal and external issues of complaints. The ombudsperson can be informed about incidents, which substantiate the suspicion of violations against criminal or public service laws by SEK’s members and staff, as well as their contract partners. The ombudsperson will pay particular attention to detailed complaints, which substantiate suspicions of corruption, of property or asset-related offences, as well as of sexual abuse of minors and of children in care.

Article 3: Right to submit complaints
Anyone can approach the ombudsperson with complaints, allegations, or other information. Staff members are obligated to pass on to the ombudsperson any allegation, information and complaint that come to their knowledge. The anonymity of any informant or complainant must be guaranteed. A legally decreed disclosure requirement remains unaffected.

Article 4: Accessibility
The SEK creates an email address dedicated exclusively to the ombudsperson’s use. The same applies for a post office box which is to be set up with a mail delivery service provider.

The SEK will make the ombudsperson’s post, tasks, and accessibility widely known. Particularly the SEK’s internet website, which is available in the association’s three official languages, will list the ombudsperson’s name, his or her responsibilities, and the contact options.

Article 5: Proceedings before the ombudsperson
The Ombudsperson follows up all complaints, allegations, and other comments and, checks whether or not they are justified. The person against whom the complaint is directed will be granted the right to be heard and the opportunity to state his or her case. The ombudsperson will aim to reach an amicable solution. If such an agreement cannot be achieved, he or she will notify the parties involved.

After the completion of the proceeding, the ombudsperson reports the outcome to the Supervisory Board and the Executive Board.

Anonymity will remain guaranteed but be without prejudice regarding criminal or public service law regulations.

Proceedings involving criminal law or liability will again fall under the jurisdiction of the Executive Board.

Article 6: Final stipulations
The ombudsperson reports staffing needs that arise from a high volume of complaints to the President or the Vice-President, as well as to the Membership Meeting

The work of the ombudsperson is to be supported by all paid staff and volunteers.

The rights of the SEK’s staff representation committee will not be restricted by the ombudsperson’s method of work. The SEK staff representation committee will be involved within the framework of their rights be consulted and to participate in the decision-making process concerning complaints.

Dated November 21, 2012

Dr. Markus Demele

On behalf of the Executive Board