SKIP NAVIGATION Office Of The Ombudsman, Hong Kong

How to Complain

What We Oversee

We handle and investigate complaints from aggrieved persons about maladministration, including non-compliance with the Code on Access to Information.


Maladministration means inefficient, bad or improper administration. It may take many forms, which include:

  • abuse of power or authority
  • delay/inaction
  • disparity in treatment, unfairness
  • error, wrong advice/decision
  • failure to follow procedures
  • faulty procedures
  • ineffective control
  • lack of response/reply to complainant/enquirer
  • negligence, omissions
  • discourtesy
Code on Access to Information

The Code on Access to Information (“The Code”) is a set of administrative guidelines adopted by the Government. All Government departments and public bodies covered by the Code are required to make available to the public information they hold, unless there is a reason specified by the Code to withhold it. The Code aims at informing the public about the Government, its services and the basis for policies and decisions that affect individuals and the community as a whole.

Restrictions on investigation of complaints

We cannot investigate or pursue a complaint in the following circumstances as stipulated under section 10(1) of the Ordinance:

  • complainant having knowledge of subject of complaint for more than 24 months
  • complaint made anonymously
  • complainant not identifiable or traceable
  • complaint not made by person aggrieved or suitable representative
  • subject of complaint and complainant having no connection with Hong Kong
  • statutory right of appeal or remedy by way of legal proceedings (except judicial review) being available to complainant

Actions not subject to investigation

Schedule 2 of the Ordinance:

  • security, defence or international relations
  • legal proceedings or prosecution decisions
  • exercise of powers to pardon criminals
  • contractual or other commercial transactions
  • personnel matters
  • grant of honours, awards or privileges by Government
  • actions by the Chief Executive personally
  • imposition or variation of conditions of land grant
  • actions in relation to the Hong Kong Codes on Takeovers and Mergers and Share Buy-backs
  • crime prevention and investigation actions by the Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force, the Hong Kong Police Force or the Independent Commission Against Corruption

Circumstances where The Ombudsman may decide not to investigate

Section 10(2) of the Ordinance:

  • investigation of similar complaints before revealed no maladministration
  • subject of complaint is trivial
  • complaint is frivolous or vexatious or is not made in good faith
  • investigation is, for any other reason, unnecessary (for example, policy made with proper authority following a due process)

Complaints involving professional judgement

  • not pursuable if the action or decision is based purely on professional judgement
Who We Oversee

Complaints about Maladministration

Government departments and about 30 public bodies for matters related to maladministration, excluding the Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force, the Hong Kong Police Force, the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Secretariat of the Public Service Commission.

Government departments

Public organisations

Complaints relating to Code on Access to Information

All Government departments and public bodies covered by the Code.

Government departments and public bodies covered by the Code

Lodge a Complaint


Before you lodge a complaint with us, please check the following: 

Have you filed your complaint with the concerned organisation(s)?

Public organisations usually have dedicated channels to handle complaints. You may approach them for assistance first. 

Who are you complaining against?

(Please see Who We Oversee)

What are you complaining about?

(Please see What We Oversee)

Are we restricted from pursuing your complaint?

(Please see Restrictions on investigation of complaints)

Is the action under complaint subject to our investigation?

(Please see Actions not subject to investigation)

Your basic personal information

Including full name / name of body corporate, postal address and other contact details like email address and telephone number (We will not handle a complaint made anonymously or by a complainant who cannot be identified or traced)


You may lodge your complaint online, in person or by post, fax or email. Where appropriate and necessary, we can offer telephone write-up service.


Whether you are an individual complainant or an authorised representative for a body corporate, you will need to read and acknowledge the important notes for lodging a complaint.


In Person

You can make a complaint by visiting our Office in person. Please bring along copies of relevant documents and correspondence exchanged with the organisation(s) concerned. Where necessary, our duty officer may meet you to understand your complaint and may assist you to lodge your complaint in writing. Please make an appointment by calling our hotline (852) 2629 0555 if you wish to be served at a particular time.


Visitors who have flu symptoms are advised to wear a face mask before entry.


Address 30/F, China Merchants Tower, Shun Tak Centre, 168-200 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong
Office hours Monday to Friday         9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (except Public Holidays)

In Writing

You may write us a letter of complaint together with a signed Reply Form for Lodging a Complaint or fill out the postage-free Complaint Form. Please provide details of your complaint, including a description of the event and the injustice sustained as a result of the alleged maladministration of the organisation(s) concerned. Please also attach copies of relevant documents and correspondence exchanged with the organisation(s).


If you are representing a body corporate, you should also attach a Letter of Authorisation from the body corporate, stamped with its official chop and a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation/Registration.


Address  30/F, China Merchants Tower, Shun Tak Centre, 168-200 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong
Post box G.P.O. Box No. 3300, Hong Kong
Fax  (852) 2882 8149

Telephone Write-up Service

We may offer telephone write-up service if :


  • you cannot properly express your complaint in writing
  • your complaint is simple and fairly self-evident involving not more than two organisations
  • you can provide details of the complaint over the phone in not more than 15 minutes


To ensure accuracy of the complaint details, the telephone conversation will be recorded. A complaint form recording the complaint details will be posted to you for confirmation. We will process your complaint upon receiving your signed complaint form. The relevant audio record will be deleted three months after the date of the telephone write-up.


Telephone hotline              (852) 2629 0555

Complaints against Us

Complaints against Staff for Poor Manners

These complaints should be made in writing and addressed to the Chief Manager of our Administration and Development Division. An independent inquiry into such complaints will be conducted.

Complaints against Staff regarding Complaint Findings and Conclusions

These complaints, though against staff, will be taken up by the Investigation Divisions.  Complainants should write to us with grounds/reasons for our consideration if their cases should be handled by way of review.

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