Frequently Asked Questions

Questions 
What are the functions of the Ombudsman? view
What are the steps in making a complaint? view
What is meant by maladministration? view
How are complaints handled? view
What is the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction? view
How much does it cost to make a complaint? view
Who can make a complaint to the Ombudsman? view
If I lodge a complaint, with the Ombudsman, will my matter be kept confidential? view
How does the Ombudsman make sure his recommendations are followed and that the same problems don’t recur? view
Can the Ombudsman make the government fix my problem? view




Answers
What are the functions of the Ombudsman?

The main function of the Ombudsman is to provide an independent and impartial review of administrative decisions. She investigates complaints from members of the public who feel that they have been unfairly treated by Governmental agencies-Ministries, departments and offices, statutory authorities, regional corporations and other local government authorities. 

The Ombudsman’s Office was established solely for the purpose of giving assistance to persons who believe that they have suffered injustices at the hands of public officers employed by Government agencies and department as a result of maladministration.




What are the steps in making a complaint?

If you are dissatisfied with the action/decision taken by an authority or department of Government, or if you have been adversely affected due to inaction, you can ask the Ombudsman to look into the matter.

In order to do so, you should write directly to the Ombudsman providing the full details of your complaint. All complaints must be made in writing. If this is difficult, you may visit our Offices and you will be assisted with your complaint.




What is meant by maladministration?

Maladministration occurs when a Government department or authority makes a wrong decision, acts outside its statutory authority or fails to take required action. Examples of maladministration are unnecessary delays, bias, failure to follow proper procedures, negligence, wrong decisions and improper service.




How are complaints handled?

The Ombudsman has a staff of experienced and knowledgeable investigators who are assigned to obtain/compile pertinent details in respect of complaints and investigate them.

If after reviewing the results of an investigation, the Ombudsman finds that the department or agency has made a mistake or caused an injustice due to maladministration, a recommendation for corrective action will be made.




What is the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction?

The Ombudsman may investigate complaints related to the functions and duties of most Government departments and agencies; but she may not investigate the following matters, among others:

  • Disputes between private individuals/companies.
  • Personnel matters related to service in any office or employment in the public service.
  • Any matter related to persons who are members of the armed force with regard to their terms and conditions, orders or punishments.
  • Proceedings and decisions of the Courts of Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Matters related to contractual or environmental transactions with a Government department.

If you are in doubt whether the Ombudsman can investigate your complaint, you can write to her or call at her office. If she is unable to help, she will make every effort to refer you to someone who can.




How much does it cost to make a complaint?

The services offered by the Ombudsman are free of charge.




Who can make a complaint to the Ombudsman?

Anyone can make a complaint to the Ombudsman. If you are unable to make the complaint yourself, you can ask someone else to make the complaint on your behalf.




If I lodge a complaint, with the Ombudsman, will my matter be kept confidential?

All information obtained by the Ombudsman in the course of an investigation is privileged information and can only be used for the purpose of her investigation. This provision is an additional safeguard for the public.




How does the Ombudsman make sure his recommendations are followed and that the same problems don’t recur?

At the conclusion of an investigation, the Ombudsman usually requests that the affected government organization or ministry report back to her on a regular basis on its progress in implementing any recommendations she has made. Complaints are monitored closely and serious, recurring issues are highlighted.




Can the Ombudsman make the government fix my problem?

The Ombudsman recommends solutions. Although she has strong investigative powers, she has no power to enforce her recommendations. Generally, most complaints are resolved within a reasonable timeframe.




Contact Us
 
Photo Gallery


Schedule of Visits-
Outreach Programme

Point Fortin

2nd Wednesday each month

Chaguanas

2nd Friday each month

Siparia

3rd Monday each month

Sangre Grande

Last Tuesday each month

Rio Claro

Last Thursday each month

Couva

3rd Wednesday each month

click for details....