|This is a failed proposal.|
The Ombudsmen Committee exists to give outside opinions on disputes that have arisen within Wikipedia. Their main aim is to look back on disputes and give recommendations how these disputes could be handled better in the future. They also aim to investigate the root cause of these disputes so it can be identified where a common problem changed into something that got out of control. The committee would act to give a third opinion, but in meta issues rather than article space.
Why and What?
When we enter into unknown territory, or even disputes we are familiar with, users often get too involved for them to be sorted wihout excess drama or confrontation. In these situations, a neutral body is a good group of people to take a look at the bigger picture, work out what went wrong and how things could be better done better in the future.
Role and scope
There is no official scope for the Ombudsmen Committee. Any user in good standing can request the committee take a look at a dispute and this could be anything from how the Arbitration Committee came to make particular findings to the request for comment process in a particular dispute. Admin actions may even be looked at, and the committee could find that the process by which a user was blocked, or a page deleted was wrong. It would then be up to the community to decide what to do about it. OmbCom may make recommendations, but the community do not have to take those.
Any user can nominate themselves to join the committee at any time. The nomination process would work in a similar way to the mediation committee, where current members of the committee support or oppose the candidacy and consensus is worked out through that, but the community are very much welcome to offer their support or opposition and reasoning behind that.
OmbCom's charter includes:
- How the arbitration committee made findings on a case. Did they follow the correct process? Did it accurately reflect the evidence given? Does it have the community support?
- Has a request for comment come to an adequate ending? If there's a dispute about what a consensus is, the committee may state what their neutral opinion on the consensus is.
- Has consensus been gauged correctly? They may have helped in the rollback dispute in January. They could look at discussions/polls and make recommendations on the next course of action or suggest what the consensus is, if there is any at all.
- Admin actions. Was a user blocked correctly, or has an admin deleted a page out of process? They could even give findings on whether a wheel war had occurred and who was wrong.