To choose not to investigate the complaint

After having reviewed a complaint, the Ombudsman may decide that he will not undertake a further investigation of the case. Even if – possibly after having requested more information from the citizen or the authority – he could have finalised and concluded the case with a statement. Instead, the citizen  receives a short letter explaining why the case is closed. Normally, the authority will also receive a copy of the letter to the citizen.

Section 16(1) of the Ombudsman Act stipulates that the Ombudsman can decide to close a case without further investigation. The main reason for closing the processing of the case in these circumstances is that we must use the resources available to the Ombudsman as sensibly as possible.

When we decide that we will not investigate a case, it may be for one or more of these reasons:

  • The complaint is about minor issues.
  • The case falls outside the Ombudsman’s core activities, for example cases regarding purely contractual law matters.
  • It is not clear what the complaint is about. In these cases, we give guidance to the citizen about his or her options, or we ask the citizen to write more precisely what he or she wants to complain about.
  • The law provides an especially easy access to bringing the case before the courts, for example certain cases that are processed according to the Sentence Enforcement Act.