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Nearly 5,000 complaints received again by the Ombudsman

The Parliamentary Ombudsman received some 5,000 complaints last year. This number has changed little over the last few years: 4,919 complaints were received in 2016, while the figure for 2015 was 5,045.

Approximately the same number of complaints, or 4,841, were resolved.

The largest groups of issues were complaints about the social services and the police. The number of complaints in each of these groups was nearly 700. In complaints about the social services, child welfare and care for the elderly came up frequently.

In complaints against the police, complainants typically criticised the use of coercive measures, conduct of pre-trial investigations or the behaviour of police officers.

Other major groups were health care, the criminal sanctions field and social insurance. The latter included such issues as complaints against Kela.

The number of the Ombudsman's own-initiative investigations remained unchanged. The Ombudsman took the initiative in investigating 60 cases, and 71 decisions were issued in such cases.

Complaints still processed within a year

At the turn of the year, no pending complaints dated back to more than a year. This target was reached for the fourth successive year. The average time of processing complaints was no more than three months.

Nearly 640 complaints and own-initiative investigations, a total of 13per cent of all complaints, led to measures taken by the Ombudsman.

Focus on quantity and quality in inspections

A total of 115 inspections were carried out last year. The Ombudsman's role as the National Preventive Mechanism under the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment increased the number of inspections conducted by the Office.

A new feature of the inspections is the use of external experts. A medical expert participated in seven inspections carried out at psychiatric and geriatric units, an institution for people with intellectual disabilities, a prison and a police prison. Interpreters are also increasingly used on the inspections.

The rights of people with disabilities as a new special task

In summer 2016, the Parliamentary Ombudsman was assigned the new task of promoting and supervising the implementation of the rights of people with disabilities under the relevant UN Convention. The Ombudsman performs this task together with the Human Rights Centre and the Human Rights Delegation. During the year, the Ombudsman received 162 and resolved 166 complaints in total that concerned the rights of people with disabilities. Eight inspections were carried out at residential units for people with intellectual and other disabilities.

New electronic system at the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman

A new electronic case processing system was introduced at the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman in 2016 that supports the practical work flow. All complaints received by post are saved in the system and processed electronically at the Office.

Once the Ombudsman's statistics for 2016 have been checked and verified, the information will be updated on the Ombudsman's website on the page "The work of the Ombudsman? at http://www.oikeusasiamies.fi//oikeusasiamiehen toiminta. For further information please contact Information Officer Citha Dahl, citha.dahl@eduskunta.fi.