Direct Investigation

Direct Investigation Function

Section 7(1)(a)(ii) of The Ombudsman Ordinance empowers The Ombudsman to initiate investigations of his own volition even no complaint has been received if he considers that any person may have sustained injustice in consequence of maladministration of an organisation under his purview. Such investigations are called direct investigations.

Direct Investigation is a proactive approach to problems of public interest and concern. It aims at:

  • following through matters with systemic or widespread deficiencies which investigation of a specific complaint may not resolve
  • nipping problems in the bud
  • resolving repeated complaints by addressing the fundamental problems which may not be the subject of any complaint but which may be the underlying reasons for deficiencies

The procedures for direct investigations are akin to those for investigation into individual complaints.

Before deciding whether or not to launch a direct investigation against an organisation, we may conduct a preliminary inquiry. If the inquiry points to the need for further study, we will formally notify the head of the organisation and initiate a direct investigation.

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