Ombudsman Program

Ombudsman Program

To foster an inclusive and ethical work environment, UTC provides a safe and confidential channel for employees and third parties to seek guidance, ask questions, make comments and report suspected misconduct. Our Ombudsman Program allows employees and others to ask a question or raise concern in complete confidence.

Since its inception in 1986, the Ombudsman Program has received more than 100,000 inquiries. The suggestions and requests made in the last fiv​e years have led to changes that make UTC a better company – underscoring the importance of the Ombudsman Program.

Our non-retaliation handbook is a quick reference for UTC’s non-retaliation policy, with examples of behaviors that could be considered retaliatory, practical tips for supervisors and examples of unacceptable conduct.

Note: Under French law the Ombudsman program is limited to (a) accounting, financial, banking and auditing matters; (b) bribery and corruption matters; (c) anti-competitive matters (d) harassment and discrimination; (e) health, hygiene and security in the workplace; (f) protection of the environment; and (g) internal processes and controls related to (a), (b),(c),(d),(e) and (f) above. For more information regarding the Ombudsman Program in France, please click here. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

OUR PERFORMANCE

102,681TOTAL OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM INQUIRIES


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How and why was the program established?

The Ombudsman Program was created in 1986 to provide a confidential, neutral and independent communication channel for employees and others who want to raise a question or concern. The program provides a safe way for people to seek guidance, ask questions, make comments and report suspected misconduct. The Ombudsman Program is a communication intermediary and is available when employees have a concern but don’t want to contact management directly.

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What does confidential, neutral and independent mean?

Confidential, neutral and independent are the three defining features of the UTC Ombudsman Program. The Ombudsman Program is an informal system for communication that operates separately from traditional channels of management. It protects the identities of its users, provides guidance regarding options, does not maintain detailed records and does not accept legal notice on behalf of the company with respect to any claim or matter.

Confidential means that your identity is protected and your name is not revealed. In fact, users of the Ombudsman Program can remain anonymous by not providing their names at all. There are only three exceptions to protecting the identity of users: (a) the person raising the inquiry agrees to disclosure; (b) the company is compelled by a court of law; or (c) an Ombudsman determines, as provided in theInternational Ombudsman Association (IOA) Code of Ethics, that the issue poses an imminent risk of serious harm. Because no one is required to use the Ombudsman Program, people who choose this channel are considered to have agreed to abide by these principles and not call upon an Ombudsman to testify or reveal confidential information. The company has also committed that it will not seek to compel any Ombudsman to disclose confidential information. UTC and its Ombudsmen have successfully defended this confidentiality in court.

Neutral means that the program facilitates clear and understandable communication while not serving as an advocate for management, an employee or third party. Rather, as a communication intermediary, Ombudsmen seek to facilitate a fair review of issues, reduce the chances of miscommunication and assure that management responds to the inquiry.

Independent means that the Ombudsmen operate separately from management, even though they are UTC employees. Unlike management, they are not authorized to accept or receive notice of claims against UTC. Confidential Ombudsman Program information is not available to anyone except the three Ombudsmen. Ombudsmen are intended, in fact and in appearances, to be free from interference in the performance of their duties.

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When should I use the program?

Generally, the best way to communicate with UTC management is by direct contact; however, there may be occasions when you wish to discuss important issues but not want your name or identity known by management – or revealed at all. Some people prefer an “off-the-record” discussion regarding a workplace issue or to report concerns about possible wrongdoing. Others may want to speak with someone about their options make a report without taking more formal action. UTC’s Ombudsman Program is the communication channel designed to meet those needs.

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Is the program anonymous?

Yes. The identity of a person using the Ombudsman Program will be protected, unless disclosure is compelled by a court of law or there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm.

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Are there limitations on what the program can address?

Yes, and these are outlined below.

  • As communication intermediaries, UTC’s Ombudsmen do not conduct investigations, and they cannot make or change any company policy or decision. If you believe the response provided by management (through UTC’s Ombudsman Program) is inconsistent with requirements of law or UTC’s Code of Ethics, you can ask that Ombudsmen refer the matter to the Global Ethics and Compliance Organization.
  • Ombudsmen have no capability to reply to an anonymous writer of a paper submittal; they can reply to users of Ombudsman.confidential.utc.com who create a personal identifier. Even for anonymous submittals, Ombudsmen follow standard processes and forward the inquiry to management for response and appropriate action.
  • The electronic system is Web-based, encrypted and hosted outside of UTC. If a user forgets his or her personal identifier, he or she will not be able to retrieve management’s response. If a paper submittal is sent anonymously or without a return address, a direct response from the Ombudsman is not possible; nonetheless, the issue is sent to management for review and appropriate action.
  • Ombudsmen will not address an issue that is covered by a collective bargaining agreement or that is not permitted by applicable law. Ombudsmen respect privacy laws. Note: Under French law the Ombudsman program is limited to (a) accounting, financial, banking and auditing matters; (b) bribery and corruption matters; (c) anti-competitive matters (d) harassment and discrimination; (e) health, hygiene and security in the workplace; (f) protection of the environment; and (g) internal processes and controls related to (a), (b),(c),(d),(e) and (f) above. For more information regarding the Ombudsman Program in France, please click here.
  • If an Ombudsman contact alleges misconduct, management will investigate as appropriate. Responsive action is determined by management, and management will not act on an allegation that is not substantiated.
  • Before an issue is forwarded to management, an Ombudsman will remove information that might identify the writer. There may be issues known only by a few people, however, that would render concealing the identity of the author difficult. In such cases, the better choice is to contact an Ombudsman and discuss options for addressing the inquiry.
  • Ombudsmen are available only with respect to inquiries directly connected with UTC, such as issues involving performance under UTC’s contracts or issues associated with UTC’s employees and its representatives. Ombudsmen, for example, cannot address human resources issues at suppliers or unrelated consumer issues.
  • UTC prohibits retaliation against any person who raises, in good faith, any concern with respect to policies or practices within the company, or for reporting anything the person reasonably believes constitutes a violation or suspected violation of UTC's Code of Ethics. Reporting, however, does not absolve anyone from accountability for personal involvement in wrongdoing.​​​​
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Which number do I call?

From within the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, call 800.871.9065. When calling from outside the U.S., you must first dial the pertinent AT&T Direct access code found here. Listen for a prompt (voice or tone), and then dial the toll-free number for an Ombudsman. Interpreters will be provided through the Ombudsman if English is not your preferred language. All translators used by the Ombudsman Program are retained to work for the Ombudsman and under contract are also obligated to protect confidentiality. Confidential Ombudsman information is secured and accessible only by Ombudsman personnel.  You may leave a message as the only people who have access to the system are the Ombudsmen.​

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Are there guidelines for writing an inquiry?

Yes. When submitting an inquiry, please:

  • Use your preferred language
  • Provide as much detailed information as possible
  • Tell us if you have previously raised this issue with management
  • Include specific detail such as dates, what happened and where it took place
  • Provide complete definition when using acronyms or abbreviations (example: ACE = Achieving Competitive Excellence)
  • Provide full name and reference numbers for policies and procedures
  • If you submit a paper inquiry and would like to receive management’s response, provide your full name and home address
  • Do not tell co-workers or others you are using the program


All issues will be reviewed by a UTC Corporate Ombudsman. If you write anything that might identify you, you will be contacted by an Ombudsman who will suggest alternatives. Information that could identify you as the writer will be removed before it is forwarded to management for response.

Please note: To help protect confidentiality, company assets (computers, tablets, etc) should not be used for Ombudsman Program communication.

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What can you expect an Ombudsman to do?

  • Listen to what you have to say in a fair and impartial manner

  • Discuss your concerns with you and help you clarify your issues

  • Help you identify and evaluate your options

  • Help gather information, explain policies or direct you to other resources

  • Serve as a neutral party to help seek a fair review

  • Offer coaching, such as helping you prepare for a difficult conversation​

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What should you not expect an Ombudsman to do?

  • Make decisions for anyone

  • Make policy or management decisions

  • Accept or receive notice of claims against the company or replace formal communication channels

  • Provide legal advice

  • Testify with respect to confidential communications or participate in formal or legal proceedings

  • Conduct investigations

  • Take sides in a dispute or serve as an advocate for any person, point of view or for the company​

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How long will it take for an Ombudsman to address my inquiry?

Less complicated issues are processed within 14 to 28 days; however, to process more complex issues, management may need additional time.  In those cases, the Ombudsman will notify you of the new target date for completion.

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How do I contact an Ombudsman?

UTC's Ombudsmen are available through Ombudsman.confidential.utc.com, a secure, encrypted, Web-enabled system hosted outside UTC, telephone worldwide or paper forms, available throughout UTC. Communicating with an Ombudsman allows you to have an “off-the-record” discussion and explain your situation in greater detail. For these reasons, you may want to contact an Ombudsman to address issues that require explanation, extended discussion or involve complicated facts. The Ombudsman will discuss your available options and next steps in the process.


UTC management strives to respond to each issue within 14 to 28 days from the date received. If an issue raises a potential ethical or legal concern or deals with a complex issue, it may take longer. Please note: To help protect confidentiality, company assets (computers, tablets, etc.) should not be used for Ombudsman Program communications.
 

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Who are the current UTC Ombudsmen?

    Video 

    Steven Cordery

    12-kelsey-debra-94x125.jpg
    Debra Kelsey

    Video

Lily Xu

     

Each Ombudsman is a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and the Ombudsmen adhere to the IOA's Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, available here.​​​​

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Where do I send a paper submission?

A written submission can be sent to the Ombudsman Program Office at UTC Headquarters. You can pick up a form at a company facility from a box.

Paper forms should be mailed to :
Ombudsman Program Office
United Technologies Corporation
10 Farm Springs, 10FS-2
Farmington, CT  06032-2526

To view and print the paper form, select your desired language from the list below.

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Can I submit electronically?

Yes. The electronic version of United Technologies Corporation's Ombudsman Program can be accessed at the following link: ombudsman.confidential.utc.com 

The electronic system is Web-based, encrypted and hosted outside of UTC. A user of the online submission tool is required to create a personal identifier that will allow the retrieval of management’s response, even if the inquiry is anonymous. An issue is not forwarded to management for response until information that might identify the writer is removed by an Ombudsman. 

Less complicated issues are processed within 14 to 28 days; however, to process more complex issues, management may need additional time.  In those cases, the Ombudsman will notify you of the new target date for completion. Management’s response for an electronic inquiry will be available for 180 days after it is posted by Ombudsman 

You can submit your inquiry in your preferred language and the Ombudsman will translate the inquiry and response. All translators used by the Ombudsman Program are retained to work for the Ombudsman and under contract are also obligated to protect confidentiality. Confidential Ombudsman information is secured and accessible only by Ombudsman personnel.

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If I need to contact the U.S. Department of Defense, how do I do so?

To report fraud, waste and abuse, click here.

To report human trafficking, click here.

To report employer retaliation against whistleblowers, click here.​​

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What is UTC's policy on non-retaliation?

UTC has a zero tolerance policy for retaliation. Our non-retaliation policy and accompanying handbook reinforces our long-standing commitment to a safe reporting environment that is free of fear, bullying and other negative consequences.


Our company prohibits retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, reports or participates in the investigation of an actual or suspected violation of the Code of Ethics. Concerns can be raised through several available channels: management, human resources, the legal department – or the confidential Ombudsman program. We vigorously investigate all allegations of retaliation, whether overt or subtle, and take action.


Our non-retaliation handbook is a quick reference to UTC’s non-retaliation policy, with examples of behaviors that could be considered retaliatory, practical tips for supervisors and examples of unacceptable conduct.

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How will the Ombudsman Program use my personal information?

UTC respects the privacy of the personal information that you may provide in the course of submitting information through the Ombudsman program.  Unless local law requires that you identify yourself, all personal information you provide is entirely voluntary.  If you must identify yourself, the only information that you will be required to provide is your name.  Depending on the nature of your concern or inquiry, the Ombudsman program may also request additional personal information so that management can review and respond (at which point you will have the option to provide this information).  For employees, all communications with the Ombudsman program are subject to the privacy notice available on UTC’s Privacy page​.  For those who are not employees, all communications with the Ombudsman program are subject to the Safe Harbor privacy notice available on www.utc.com​.​​​​​

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