How does the Ombudsman investigate a complaint?
The Ombudsman will investigate a complaint if there is reason to suspect unlawful conduct or neglect of duty by an official.
Notification is sent
When a complaint has arrived at the Office of the Ombudsman, the complainant is sent a notification that it has been received. The notification states which of the Ombudsman's lawyers is dealing with the matter and the lawyer's contact particulars.
Investigation is initiated
The lawyer immediately studies the complaint carefully. If, on this basis, there is reason to suspect that an authority has acted illegally or neglected a duty, the Ombudsman initiates an investigation.
During this investigation, the Ombudsman gives the official or authority concerned a hearing and requests studies and submissions. She can obtain additional reports by ordering investigators from her office to conduct enquiries. If necessary, she can ask the police to help by investigating a matter.
Complaint documents are generally public. However, the law requires that information concerning, for example, a complainant's state of health or social benefits be kept secret.
The name of the complainant becomes known to the subject of the complaint when the latter is given the opportunity to present his or her view of the matter.