Representative assigned by a large organization or a government to investigate citizen complaints and suggest solutions. An ombudsman's office was established by the Swedish constitution of 1809. The idea soon spread to other Scandinavian countries and later to New Zealand, Britain, Germany, Israel, and some states or provinces in the U.S., Australia, and Canada. An ombudsman's responsibility is to receive and investigate complaints and to serve as an independent and impartial arbiter in recommending what may be done to satisfy the complainant or in explaining why no action is necessary. Ombudsmen are now used in universities, corporations, municipalities, and institutions such as hospitals.