»Download the Ombudsman’s Mediation Assistance Request Form
If an issue arises from a PIA request, the requester/applicant or records custodian/agency can request mediation assistance from the Ombudsman. In order for the Ombudsman to open a file and begin mediation, the Ombudsman will need the following information:
- Requestor and agency contact information, and
- A brief description of the PIA dispute.
Additionally, the Ombudsman requests copies of the following documents in order to open a file:
- A copy of the original PIA request to the custodian.
- A copy of the custodian’s 10-day response to the PIA request (if any).
- A copy of the custodian’s final response to the PIA request (if any).
In the event that any or all of these items are unavailable, please provide a description of this information, being sure to include dates, key details, and contact information.
Upon submission, the Ombudsman will review the information and determine if a file can be opened. If a file is opened, the Ombudsman will have 90 days to help the parties reach a resolution. Extensions are permitted if the Ombudsman and all parties agree to it in writing. At the conclusion of the mediation, the Ombudsman will issue a written Final Determination to the parties. Depending on the outcome of the mediation and the nature of the dispute, a party may be eligible to file a complaint with the PIACB – click here for more information.
Please note: the mediation process is completely confidential. Please refer to Confidentiality of Ombudsman Mediations for more information. Additionally, in order to facilitate open dialogue and the efficient processing of mediation requests, the Ombudsman expects the parties to abide by the Standards of Conduct Applicable to the Ombudsman & Parties at all times throughout the process.
To better understand the mediation process, please download our Mediation Process One-Pager.
Submit A Mediation Request
While not required, you can download, fill out, and submit the Ombudsman’s Mediation Assistance Request Form. If submitting a request without using the form, please note the form is a guide for what information is required to complete the intake process. Failure to provide the necessary and/or requested information may delay the Ombudsman’s ability to open a file.
All requests for mediation assistance can be submitted to the Office of the Public Access Ombudsman:
By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Mail: Office of the Public Access Ombudsman, c/o Office of the Attorney General, 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, Maryland 21202
By Web Form:
Please direct all questions to the Office of the Public Access Ombudsman by email at email@example.com or by phone at (410) 576-6560.