If you have the possibility to complain to one or more authorities, you have to do so first and then wait for that authority’s reply before complaining to the Ombudsman.
We ask that complainants do not continuously send copies of their correspondence with an authority for our information (for instance add the Ombudsman as ‘cc’ in e-mails to the authority).
If we receive an e-mail sent for our information (sent ‘cc’), we normally do not take any action in regard to the e-mail. We have chosen this procedure because we, to the extent possible, focus our attention on the processing of actual complaint cases.
Authorities must write in their decisions if there is a possibility of complaining to another public administrative authority. Typically, this information can be found at the end of the letter.
If the channels of complaint have not been used
If the citizen has not used his or her channels of complaint, we either ask the citizen to do so or we forward the complaint to the relevant authority.
Deadline for lodging a complaint
The deadline of 12 months is calculated from the time when the citizen has received the decision from the highest authority.