The Ombudsman's Message
Winnie CHIU Wai-yin
Welcome to the website of the Office of The Ombudsman.
The Office of The Ombudsman is an independent statutory body with the mission to improve public administration through independent, objective and impartial investigation into complaints of maladministration and by self-initiated investigation into topics of significant public interest or concern.
We operate without fear or favour, bias or prejudice. In the course of investigation, we seek out and analyse relevant facts and information before reaching an evidence-based conclusion and making recommendations where necessary.
This website aims to give the public convenient access to our information and service. I hope you find it useful. You may also gain a deeper understanding of our work by staying connected with us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
We treasure your invaluable support and will strive to keep improving our quality of service.
Our Vision and Mission
To ensure that Hong Kong is served by a fair and efficient public administration which is committed to accountability, openness and quality of service.
Through independent, objective and impartial investigation, we redress grievances and address issues arising from maladministration in the public sector and bring about improvement in the quality and standard of and promote fairness in public administration.
- Maintaining impartiality and objectivity in our investigations
- Making ourselves accessible and accountable to the public and organisations under our jurisdiction
- According the public and organisations courtesy and respect
- Upholding professionalism in the performance of our functions
Our Role and Powers
The Office of The Ombudsman, established in 1989 under The Ombudsman Ordinance (“the Ordinance”) , Cap 397 of the Laws of Hong Kong, serves as the city’s independent watchdog of public administration. We investigate complaints of maladministration, identify administrative deficiencies and also recommend remedial measures to redress grievances and improve public administration.
investigate complaints from aggrieved persons about alleged maladministration by the Government departments and public bodies listed in Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Ordinance
investigate complaints against Government departments and public bodies (including the organisations listed in Part 2 of Schedule 1) for non-compliance with the Code on Access to Information
initiate, of our volition, direct investigations into areas of suspected maladministration involving systemic problems or issues of significant public interest
conduct inquiries, obtain information and documents, summon witnesses and inspect premises of organisations under complaint
decide on complaints and make recommendations
report the results of investigation to head of organisation concerned or, if appropriate, to the Chief Executive
The Ombudsman, our staff and advisers are all bound by the Ordinance to maintain secrecy on all matters of any complaint and investigation, and are liable to a fine and imprisonment in case of non-compliance. We may, in the public interest, publish an investigation report without disclosing the names of the persons involved.
See our past Commissioners/Ombudsmen
The Ombudsman Ordinance
Our organisation is formed by the following three broad categories of staff:
Directorate staff – set directions and formulate strategies for fulfilling our mission and statutory functions under the Ordinance.
Investigation staff – act as the executive arm in carrying out our mission and functions, work under different complaint handling and investigation teams headed by Chief Investigation Officers.
Administrative and support staff – provide administrative support at managerial and supporting levels in the areas of finance and administration, human resources management, external relations, information technology and translation for the efficient operation of the Office.
In addition, a panel of advisers with expertise in the fields of accountancy, architecture, engineering and surveying, law, medical and nursing as well as social work and rehabilitation is appointed to provide advice and contribute to enhancing public governance.
Reply to written enquiry
Acknowledge receipt of complaint
Within 5 working days 99%
Close a complaint case after initial assessment due to jurisdictional restrictions
Conclude complaint case
Complete review of a complaint case
Complete re-assessment of a complaint case
Within 1 month 95%
Factors affecting performance
The progress of our case handling depends very much on the cooperation of complainants and organisations under complaint in providing us with adequate and accurate information. Processing time is also affected by case complexity and the volume of complaints received at the time. Normally, the processing time commences on the date when the complainant has provided details of his/her identity document and postal address, sufficient information for a prima facie case, and acknowledgement of the Important Notes for Lodging Complaints; and in the case of a complainant being a body corporate, proper authorisation of a representative for lodging the complaint with this Office. For re-assessment and review of complaints, the processing time commences when the complainant has provided justifications and/or further information for seeking a re-assessment or a review.
Access to Information
We are an equal opportunities employer committed to workplace equality. We also strive to foster a healthy working environment and a learning culture in the Office by providing wellness workshops and training to empower our staff with positive energy in addition to necessary knowledge and skills.
Stay tuned for more opportunities to work with us!Application Form