| Lodging a Complaint | Complaint Handling Methods | Limits on Investigations | Complaint Handling Flow Chart |

Lodging a Complaint

Complainants must provide their names and correspondence address regardless of their means of lodging complaints.

By mail

You can lodge your complaint by writing to us. You should give full particulars of the matters complained of, sign on the letter before sending the letter to us:

30/F, China Merchants Tower, Shun Tak Centre, 168-200 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong,
or G.P.O. Box No. 3300, Hong Kong,
or by fax to 28828149

Postage-free complaint form
You can also use this Office's postage-free complaint form which is available from this Office and all District Offices of the Home Affairs Department. The form can also be downloaded.

In person

You can lodge your complaint by visiting our office in person. Our duty officer will meet you to understand and receive your complaint.

By telephone
If you cannot properly express your complaint in writing, you may choose to lodge your complaint by telephone:
  1. your complaint should be simple and fairly self-evident, and can be explained over the phone in less than 15 minutes. In principle, your complaint should involve not more than two complainee organisations;
  2. to ensure accuracy of the complaint points, you will be asked to consent to telephone conversation being tape-recorded. If you refuse, you will be invited to lodge your complaint in writing or to come to the Office of The Ombudsman in person;
  3. a complaint form recording the complaint points will be posted to you for confirmation; and
  4. after you have signed and returned the complaint form, the complaint will be processed in writing in the normal way.
The hotline of the telephone complaint service is 2629 0555.


By electronic means

You can also lodge complaints by electronic means by sending to this Office-

1. an electronic mail (Note) conforming to the SMTP and S/MIME format and having a file size not exceeding 5MB to complaints@omb.gov.hk; or
2. a 3.5-inch diskette (1.44MB) in MS-DOS format with the files not exceeding the diskette's storage capacity; or
3. a CD-ROM in ISO 9660 format.


Note: This Office is required by law to keep all complaints confidential. Therefore, for transmission of complaint by electronic mail, please note that:

information sent through the internet is vulnerable to third party interception (please refer to the gazette notice promulgated under section 11(2) of the Electronic Transaction Ordinance by the Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting on the format, manner and procedure for submission of electronic information). In order to safeguard security in communications and protect against electronic mailboxes being opened by unauthorised persons, this Office is especially cautious about communication via e-mail. Under the secrecy requirement under The Ombudsman Ordinance, we have to communicate with the complainant by letter in all matters pertaining to his/her complaints. We shall send our letters in sealed envelopes marked ˇ§Private and Confidentialˇ¨ by post, for delivery to the address provided by the complainant. The purpose is to ensure the strictest confidentiality of the case. Therefore, complainants must provide us with their correspondence addresses;
if the complainants wish to receive our substantive reply by e-mail, we can do so by encryption, in which case the complainant will have to make sure that he/she has a valid e-Cert and provide a ˇ§public keyˇ¨ which sufficiently identifies him/her.

Complaint Handling Methods

All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence.
A complaint will be examined by The Ombudsman to see whether it is properly lodged and falls under her jurisdiction.

If so, The Ombudsman will decide whether a full investigation is necessary or the complaint will more suitably and expeditiously resolved by way of simple inquiries or mediation.

In all cases, you will be advised of the final result or the reasons of not handling your complaint.
If The Ombudsman detects some administrative faults after investigating on the complaint, she may make recommendations to correct it, such as reviewing a decision, changing a procedure or suggesting some other remedies.

Limits on Investigations

The Ombudsman will not normally investigate :

Actions by the Hong Kong Police Force, Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force or Independent Commission Against Corruption other than alleged breaches of "The Code on Access to Information".
Actions by departments or organisations not under The Ombudsman Ordinance Schedule 1.
Complaints about policy and personnel matters or contractual and commercial transactions.
Actions which the complainant has had knowledge for more than 2 years.
If the complaint is not lodged by the aggrieved person or body corporate.
If the complaint has a statutory right of appeal or objection or a remedy through the courts.
If court proceedings have commenced in relation to the complaint, including any decision whether or not to prosecute any person for an offence.
For details, please refer to The Ombudsman Ordinance Schedule 2.

Complaint Handling Flow Chart

Click here to link to the Complaint Handling Flow Chart