According to the Italian Constitution, public offices must carry out their services efficiently and impartially.
In reality, however, this doesn’t always happen. It happens that those who go to seek services of public offices (for instance, to apply for certificates, permits, etc) don’t receive the required services at all or in time, or even face unfair treatment.
In order to ensure that Italian public offices provide services by fully respecting the standards established by law, ten years ago the office of Ombudsman (Difensore Civico) was established. An Ombudsman looks into complaints about a public office.
Today, many Regions, Provinces and City Councils have an Ombudsman.