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Meet Bratislava’s first construction ombudsman

His task will be to help citizens understand their rights and the complexities of construction in the Slovak capital

  • February 23, 2020 13:00
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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Understanding the intricacies of urban construction policy is no easy task – and citizens should not be forced to spend inordinate amounts of time comprehending legal concepts and regulatory frameworks. Yet every single person’s life is impacted to some degree by such papers – for example, when they feel like new construction projects are affecting them in some way. 

To help citizens grasp the complexities of construction policies and to understand their rights, the Slovak capital of Bratislava recently created a new role in the local government – a construction ombudsman.

The task and obligations of the ombudsman

The first person to ever hold the position of Bratislava’s construction ombudsman is Jaroslav Pavlovič, who was chosen by the Bratislava City Council last month.

“We need somebody who will fight for the rights of people in terms of construction processes,” stated Matúš Vallo, mayor of Bratislava, as quoted by spectator.sme.sk

As construction is highly decentralized in Bratislava, the ombudsman will help central city authorities keep an eye on what is happening across the capital’s boroughs – the entities that are responsible for issuing construction permits.

Citizens will be able to turn to the construction ombudsman when they are concerned with the legality of construction projects, or when they see instances of construction efforts that are in direct conflict with the Bratislava master development plan. In general, the ombudsman will be there to answer the concern of locals when they feel like their civil rights are being disregarded.

The construction ombudsman will however not be answering the questions of citizens regarding their own building projects. “My service will not replace construction offices or other bodies with powers to act, but people often do not know how to protect and employ their rights in the case of an illegal construction being erected in their vicinity,” stated Pavlovič.

Citizens of Bratislava are able to seek advice from the newly-appointed construction ombudsman at the Town Hall.

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