Contact the cantonal ombudsman

1. Overview

Did you have bad experience, disagreement or conflict with a cantonal, communal or any other public administration in Geneva?

Do you represent an administration and want support in managing a conflict with a citizen ?

For advice or to request a mediation, you can appeal to the cantonal ombudsman if your situation falls within his scope of action.

These services are free of charge.

The Bureau de médiation administrative is an independent structure within the State of Geneva. Its independence is guaranteed by law.

It does not have jurisdiction to consider a case that is the subject of an ongoing legal proceeding or has been previously decided in law, unless the latter is suspended for an amicable settlement before him.

2. Scope of action

In which situations can the Bureau de médiation administrative (BMA) intervene ?

The BMA can intervene in case of conflicts between a citizen and :

  • the cantonal administration
  • the administrative services of the judiciary and of the Cour des comptes
  • the municipal administrations
  • institutions, institutions and foundations with public law missions
In what situations can the Bureau de médiation administrative not intervene?

The BMA can not intervene :

  • in conflicts with the elected members of the Grand Conseil, the Conseil d'Etat, the judiciary, the Cour des comptes, and municipal authorities.
  • to deal with labor relations disputes between the administration and its employees.

The BMA does not have jurisdiction to review a case that is the subject of an ongoing legal proceeding or has been previously decided in law, unless the latter is suspended for an amicable settlement behind him.

Contact the Bureau de médiation administrative


3. Proposed solutions

In his scope of action, the cantonal ombudsman advises and aims to resolve conflicts amicably.

The ombudsman acts with the agreement of the user. No action is taken if the person does not wish it. The ombudsman is bound by professional secrecy.

Request Analysis

The treatment of any situation starts with a contact with the Bureau de médiation administratrive.

Following this contact, and always with the agreement of the user, the ombudsman can in particular:

  • request additional written or oral information;
  • request the consultation or the production of all useful documents;
  • interact with third parties to clarify the situation and to hear the point of view of the relevant administration;
  • in exceptional cases, ask for expertise for requests which evaluation requires specific knowledge.

The ombudsman may propose a mediation session between the user and a representative of the relevant administration.

The process is voluntary, and takes place in a framework structured by confidentiality and respect, of which the ombudsman is the guarantor.

Mediation brings conflicting parties together and helps to find a successful outcome to the conflict.

In the event of a positive outcome of the mediation, at the request of the parties, the result of the agreement may be formalized in a written document. The case is then closed.

Recommendation to the relevant authority

If he considers it necessary, the ombudsman may make a recommendation to the relevant authority and propose a modification of the current procedures.

This approach is part of the mission of the Bureau de médiation administrative to help improve the functioning of the administration and encourage it to maintain good relations with users.

Access to information

Any collaborator of the Geneva public administration, whatever his / her hierarchical level, must support the ombudsman, in particular by providing him / her with all the information or documents, as well as by giving a right of access to the data or by facilitating a such access, subject to the provisions of the Law on Public Information, Access to Documents and Protection of Personal Data (LIPAD).

Persons subject to the secrecy of function are untied from it with regard to the ombudsman.

4. Contact the BMA

The cantonal ombudsman receives any person who requests it, processes his file or directs it to a third party if the request is outside his scope of action.


Led by the cantonal ombudsman, the Bureau de médiation administrative is composed of :

Edouard Sabot, médiateur administratif cantonal

Edouard Sabot
Cantonal ombudsman



Marie-Laure Canosa
Substitute cantonal ombudsman



The administrative mediation office is open from Monday to Friday, by appointment or by telephone.

Rue Jean-Calvin 8
1204 Genève
Adresse postale
Case postale 3964
1211 Genève 3
Tél: +41 22 327 95 79


The BMA's services are free.