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 Roles and Powers
The Office of The Ombudsman, established in 1989 by The Ombudsman Ordinance (“the Ordinance”) , Cap 397 of the Laws of Hong Kong, serves as the city’s independent watchdog of 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
95% Within 5 working days
99% Within 10 working days
Acknowledge receipt of complaint
Within 5 working days 99%
Close complaint case after initial assessment due to jurisdictional restrictions
Within 10 working days 90%
Within 15 working days 99%
Conclude complaint caseNote
Within 3 months 80%
Within 6 months 99%
The actual case progress depends on various factors, such as:
- the cooperation of complainants and organisations under complaint in providing adequate and accurate information
- case complexity
- our workload at the time
Normally, the processing time commences on the date when the complainant has given sufficient information for a prima facie case, consent to our releasing to and obtaining from the organisation(s) under complaint his/her personal data; and in the case of a complainant being a body corporate, proper authorisation of a representative for lodging the complaint with our Office. Depending on the actual circumstances, if a new allegation is subsequently added, the commencement date may be adjusted.
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!