SKIP NAVIGATION Office Of The Ombudsman, Hong Kong

Who We Are

The Ombudsman's Message

Jack CHAN Jick-chi

The Ombudsman

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Welcome to the website of the Office of The Ombudsman.


The Office of The Ombudsman is an independent statutory body established in 1989 in accordance with The Ombudsman Ordinance (Cap 397, Laws of Hong Kong).  It functions as the community’s watchdog of public administration in Government departments and main public organisations with a view to promoting fair and quality public service.  We conduct independent, objective and impartial investigation into complaints of maladministration and self-initiated investigation into topics of significant public interest or concern.


We encourage departments and organisations to proactively respond to complaints and address public concerns, adopt a positive and collaborative attitude in order to enhance the quality of public administration.  It is only with one heart and one mind that we can foster a more efficient, open and accountable public administration and benefit our community.


This website aims to provide easy access to our service and facilitate understanding of our work.  I and my colleagues endeavour to provide a high standard of service to the public.  We look forward to your continuous support and feedback.



Jack Chan
The Ombudsman

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.

Our Functions

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

Our Powers



conduct inquiries, obtain information and documents, summon witnesses and inspect premises of organisations under complaint

Conclusion and Recommendation

Conclusion and Recommendation

decide on complaints and make recommendations



report the results of investigation to head of organisation concerned or, if appropriate, to the Chief Executive

Secrecy Requirement

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.

Our History

our history
  • to enable the public to lodge complaints directly, instead of by referral from LegCo Members
  • to extend the jurisdiction to some major statutory bodies
  • to empower the Commissioner to publish anonymised investigation reports
  • to empower the Commissioner to initiate direct investigation
  • to establish The Ombudsman as a corporation sole with full powers to conduct financial and administrative matters
  • to empower The Ombudsman to set terms and conditions of appointment for staff
  • to adopt systems and processes separate from Government

See our past Commissioners/Ombudsmen

The Ombudsman Ordinance

The Ombudsman Ordinance, Cap 397 of the Laws of Hong Kong

Organisational Structure

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.

Performance Pledges

We are committed to providing efficient services to the public. Here are our performance pledges for service delivery:


Reply to written enquiry

95% Within 5 working days

99% Within 10 working days

New Complaints

Acknowledge receipt of complaint

Within 5 working days 99%

Close a complaint case after initial assessment due to jurisdictional restrictions

Within 10 working days 90%

Within 15 working days 99%

Conclude complaint case

Within 3 months 80%

Within 6 months 99%

Take notes for the press release

Re-assessment and Review of Complaints

Complete review of a complaint case

Within 3 months 70%

Within 6 months 90%

Complete re-assessment of a complaint case

Within 1 month & 2 months 95% & 99%

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 informationProcessing 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

Join Us

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.