What is an administrative complaint?
Administrative complaints are complaints about the decisions and procedures of governmental bodies and agencies. The Commission has no power to investigate complaints about:-

  • Court proceedings or decisions,
  • Conduct that amounts to criminal behaviour (e.g. misappropriation),
  • Private Individuals, companies,
  • Personnel matters of public servants (contact the Public Service Commission).

Who can lodge a complaint?
Anybody directly affected by a decision or the actions of a governmental body or agency may complain to the Commission. A complaint must be lodged within 2 years of the matter arising.

How do you lodge a complaint?
A complaint must be made in writing to the Commission. A complainant must:-

  • Identify the agency being complained about,
  • Outline the complaint (specify the decision or conduct the complainant is dissatisfied with, names of people involved and dates),
  • Outline how the complainant has tried to resolve the matter with the agency,
  • State the outcome the complainant seeks,
  • Include copies of any letters or other documentation relevant to the complaint.If a person is unsure how to lodge a complaint they may go to one of the Commission Offices for assistance.

What happens to your complaint?

What are the possible outcomes after an investigation?
The Commission has the power to issue recommendations to the Minister and Administrative head of the Agency upon completion of an investigation. The Commission does not have the power to force an Agency to comply with recommendations made. However, where a recommendation is made to improve administrative procedure an Agency will generally accept that recommendation.

Can the Ombudsman Commission enforce its recommendations?
The Commission requires the department or agency to report back with the actions they will take to address the Commission’s recommendations. If the department or agencies fail to report back, the Commission will follow up to find out why it has failed to address the Commission’s recommendation. Through the Governmental Body Liaison Program, the commission has established links with government agencies like Police, Correctional Services and the Education Department. Liaison officers are appointed for each agency to work with the Commission in resolving complaints. This process enables the Commission to effectively resolve complaints.

What is a discriminatory practice complaint?
Discriminatory practice complaints are complaints about discrimination on the grounds of “colour, sex, race or ethnic, tribal or national origin”or where a person has HIV or AIDS. The Commission only investigates complaints about discrimination by governmental bodies or agencies.

The same complaint handling mechanism in administrative complaints applies to discriminatory complaints.