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The Complaint


Who can complain?

Anyone can make a complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.
 
You can complain if an authority has treated you wrongly or unfairly.
 
You can also make a complaint for somebody else.
 
To do so, you need a letter of attorney.
 
A letter of attorney means that you have another person's written permission to make a complaint for him or her.

Who can you make a complaint about?

You can make a complaint to the Ombudsman about authorities.
 
Central government and municipal offices and institutions are authorities.
 
The elected officials in municipalities are also authorities.
 
They include local councils, municipal and city executives and municipal committees.
 
Other examples of authorities are
  • courts of law
  • the police
  • distraint officers
  • social workers
  • doctors at a health centre
  • municipal chief executives
  • comprehensive school teachers
  • building inspectors
  • judges.
You can complain about institutions that take care of public
 tasks.
Examples of these are an unemployment fund and insurance institutions.

They pay compensation, benefits and pensions to people.
If a municipality buys services from a private company, this company also takes care of public tasks.
A children's home may be a company of this kind.

Before you make a complaint, talk directly with the authority that has done something wrong.
Talking may solve the problem, and then you do not need to make a complaint.

Who can you not make a complaint about?

You can only complain about authorities or people who have public tasks.

You cannot report an offence to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.
You must report an offence to the police.
 
You cannot complain to the Ombudsman about the Parliament, Members of the Parliament or the Chancellor of Justice of the Government.
 
You cannot complain to the Ombudsman about foreign authorities.
You can only complain about Finnish authorities.

You cannot complain to the Ombudsman about international organisations.

You cannot complain to the Ombudsman about ideological organisations.
These include sports clubs or political parties.

The following are examples of companies and people that you cannot complain to the Ombudsman about:
  • banks or businesses
  • housing companies
  • solicitors or private doctors
  • ordinary people.

What can a complaint be about?

The law says what the Parliamentary Ombudsman can and cannot investigate.
The Parliamentary
 
Ombudsman will not investigate a complaint if it does not belong to the Ombudsman.

You can make a complaint when an authority does not follow the law.

For example, the authorities break the law if
  • they violate people's fundamental rights or human rights
  • they do something that they do not have the right to do
  • they use their rights wrongfully
  • they do their work very slowly or do not give proper reasons for their decisions.
Authorities must give the customers advice so that the customers know how to do things right.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman will not investigate a complaint about something that happened more than two years ago unless the case is very serious.
 
The Ombudsman will not investigate a complaint if a court is dealing with the case at the same time.
 
The Ombudsman will not investigate a complaint if you can still ask an authority to make a change.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman will not investigate a complaint if you do not put your name on it.
 
When the Ombudsman investigates a complaint, he will decide in every case if the authority has followed the law.