Handling of Complaints

Explanation of how complaints to the Ombudsman are dealt with

After a complaint has been filed, the Office of the Ombudsman will  begin its investigation, unless the complaint has failed to satisfy the requirements laid down in the State Comptroller Law, 5718-1958 [Consolidated Version], or the complaint is of a frivolous or vexatious nature, or the Office is of the opinion that it is not the appropriate body for investigating the complaint.

Where a complaint is received concerning a body against which the Office of the Ombudsman is not authorized to investigate a complaint, the complainant will be notified accordingly and where possible, referred to a body which may be able to assist him.

Where it is apparent that the complainant did not make inquiries of the relevant body prior to filing his complaint, the Office of the Ombudsman will refer him to the body in question, while stressing that if the complainant does not receive an answer within a reasonable time or receives what he considers an unsatisfactory reply, he may resubmit his complaint with the Office.

Should the complaint address general matters without establishing that the complainant was directly harmed, it will be forwarded to the relevant audit department in the Office of the State Comptroller.

 The Office of the Ombudsman is authorized to investigate complaints in any way it sees fit and is not bound by the rules of civil procedure or laws of evidence.  The Office may interview any person or body as deemed appropriate and may obligate them to answer its questions and provide any documents or information considered necessary for the investigation of the complaint.

The Office of the Ombudsman may terminate the investigation of a complaint at any stage if it finds that no ground exists for proceeding with the matter, if the matter of the complaint has been rectified, if the complainant cancels his complaint or has failed to reply to inquiries of the Office.

Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Office of the Ombudsman will notify the complainant and the audited body of its findings.  In cases where the complaint has been found to be justified, the Office may inform the audited body of the need to rectify the defect disclosed by the investigation and the method and time-period for doing so, and the audited body must notify the Office of the measures taken to rectify the defect.

If the complaint has been filed by an employee claiming to be victimized as a result of his exposing acts of corruption in his workplace and the complaint is found to be justified, the Ombudsman may issue binding protection orders, including an order for the reinstatement of the employee in his place of work or the payment of special damages to him.  The same applies to an employee who is an internal auditor of an audited body and has been victimized in reaction to his activities in fulfilling his functions as internal auditor.  With the exception of these cases, the Ombudsman's decisions do not have the force of a binding order, although in the majority of cases the audited body honours the Ombudsman's decision and acts accordingly.