If you are interested in obtaining information from the Ombudsman’s Office, you may wish to contact us and discuss your requirement.
Sometimes a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) request may be needed, however this is not always the case. Senior officers of the Ombudsman’s Office have been authorised to disclose the following information to a person who has made a complaint to the Office (or to a person acting on their behalf):
- Correspondence between the person and the Ombudsman's Office
- Records of contact, including telephone conversations involving the person
- Other documents where the officer making the disclosure is satisfied that the person would have already seen them (for example, copies of correspondence between themselves and the agency, which is the subject of their complaint).
The Ombudsman holds information in the following broad categories:
- Investigations, including complaints - this could include:
- correspondence and records of consultations with people making complaints, agencies and other information sources
- background material
- records of conversations
- Role of the Ombudsman - this could includes information relating to the Ombudsman’s role as the chief executive of a government agency with a particular set of responsibilities, such as:
- development and/or implementation of administrative process
- development and/or implementation of policy or legislation
- Management of the Ombudsman's Office - this includes information relating to the management of the Office, such as:
- contracting and financial management
- asset management
The information the Ombudsman holds may be disclosed in the following circumstances:
- On request - For example in relation to information sought by a person about the investigation of his or her own complaint, where:
- the documents are routine
- an ongoing investigation will not be prejudiced
- there is no other interest likely to be adversely affected by disclosure.
- As required under the Freedom of Information Act 2016
- In reports - for example:
- As required by law
The FOI Act creates a general right of access to documents held by government agencies, subject to exemptions, which recognise the need to protect sensitive personal and commercial information and some government records. Information about submitting an FOI request can be found here.
From time to time the Ombudsman’s office is required to provide information, for example in relation to legal proceedings or during the course of auditing. The legislation provides substantial protection for investigation information.