An ombudsman is a person who acts as a trusted intermediary
An intermediary is a third party that offers intermediation services between two trading parties. The intermediary acts as a conduit for goods or services offered by a supplier to a consumer...

 between an organization and some internal or external constituency while representing not only but mostly the broad scope of constituent interests. An indigenous Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

, Norwegian
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

, and Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

 term, Ombudsman is etymologically rooted in the Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 word umboðsmaðr, essentially meaning "representative". An ombudsman is an official, usually appointed by the government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 or by parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

, who is charged with representing the interests of the public
In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individuals, and the public is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to the sociological concept of the Öffentlichkeit or public sphere. The concept of a public has also been defined in political science,...

 by investigating and addressing complaints reported by individual citizens.