Frequently Asked 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

What are the functions of the Ombudsman?

If you believe that any Government department or authority has unfairly treated you, you can take your complaint to the Ombudsman.

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.

Generally, the complainant’s grievance is remedied.

What is the Ombudsman’s Jurisdiction?

The Ombudsman may investigate complaints related to the functions and duties of most Government departments and agencies; but he 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 him or call at his office. If he is unable to help, he will make every effort to refer you to someone who can.





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