Frequently asked questions

Can I complain to the Parliamentary Ombudsman and the public administration at the same time?
No. Before you complain to the Ombudsman, you must have exhausted all possibilities of appeal that are available in the public administration. Appeals shall be addressed to the public body that made the decision, but shall be considered by a superior administrative body.
Can I complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman about tardy case processing / the public administration’s failure to reply?
Yes. The Ombudsman can consider complaints against the public administration's failure to reply and tardy case processing in the public administration. However, you must first have sent a written reminder to the public administration where you remind them of the case. If you do not receive a reply within a reasonable time, you can file a complaint with the Ombudsman. You must enclose a copy of the reminder with the complaint.
Can I receive guidance from a case officer?
Yes, you can ask a case officer to provide guidance on what types of cases the Ombudsman considers and about how to write a complaint. Guidance is normally given over the phone.
Can someone else file a complaint with the Parliamentary Ombudsman on my behalf?
It is possible for someone else to file the complaint on your behalf. Then, an authorisation must be enclosed that clearly states that the person in question is authorised to complain on your behalf. Lawyers do not need authorisation to complain on behalf of their clients.
Can the Parliamentary Ombudsman change the public administration's decision?
  The Parliamentary Ombudsman cannot reverse decisions or order the authorities to do anything, but the authorities will usually comply with the Ombudsman’s statements.
Do I have to use the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s complaint form?
We recommend that you use the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s complaint form, but you can also submit your complaint by letter. Please note that if you email us, it is important that the email does not contain sensitive personal information.
Do I need a lawyer to file a complaint with the Parliamentary Ombudsman?
No. You can complain to the Ombudsman yourself.
Does it cost anything to file a complaint?
No. Filing a complaint is free.
Is there a deadline for filing a complaint with the Parliamentary Ombudsman?
Yes. The deadline for complaining is one year. The deadline is calculated from the date on which the public administration made a final decision in the case.
What should I enclose with my complaint?
If you are complaining against a specific administrative decision, it is important that you enclose a copy of the decision. If your complaint concerns tardy case processing or the public administration's failure to reply, it is important that you enclose a copy of your written reminder to the public administration. It is also a good idea to enclose copies of other documents that elucidate your case, particularly letters or documentation from the public administration.
When can I expect an answer to my complaint?
You will receive a preliminary answer within two weeks. If we can consider your case, we will inform you about when you can expect to receive a more detailed answer from us.