When the Ombudsman initiates an actual Ombudsman investigation, he usually raises specific questions and asks the authority for a statement and the case documents. Normally, the complainant is given the opportunity to comment on the authority’s reply.
There may be a number of consultations before the Ombudsman writes his final statement.
The Ombudsman has now taken up the matter and initiated an actual Ombudsman investigation. However, he determines whether he will investigate all the items of complaint put forward by the citizen.
No interviews or searches
The Ombudsman processes cases on a written basis, consequently basing his reports on the case files, the authorities’ reports and the citizen’s comments.
By contrast, the Ombudsman does not take witness statements like the courts of law or conduct searches like the police. Therefore, we have to look to the information provided by authority and citizen.
The authorities are obligated to provide the Ombudsman with the information and documents, he asks for, and the authority is obligated to tell the truth. The authorities are also obligated to submit a report to the Ombudsman if he asks for it. This is stipulated in Section 19 of the Ombudsman Act.
Criticism and recommendations
If the Ombudsman finds that the authority has committed errors, he can express criticism and, if necessary, recommend that the authority reprocess the case and make a new decision.
The Ombudsman cannot demand that the authorities follow a recommendation – however, in practice they always do.