Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

FAQs - FAQs

The Commission on Administrative Justice, more commonly known as “Office of the Ombudsman”, is a constitutional commission established under Article 59(4) of the Constitution, and the Commission on Administrative Justice Act, 2011.

The mandate of Office of the Ombudsman is two-fold, and extends to both national and county governments. Firstly, the Commission has the mandate of tackling maladministration (improper administration) in the public sector. In this regard, the Commission is empowered to, among other things, investigate complaints of delay, abuse of power, unfair treatment, manifest injustice or discourtesy. Secondly, the Commission has the mandate of overseeing and enforcing the implementation of the Access to Information Act, 2016.

The term “Ombudsman” is a gender –neutral, Swedish word that refers to an officer or office mandated to receive and redress complaints against public officers or entities. An Ombudsman is also a public officer.

In the Kenyan context, the Ombudsman handles complaints relating to maladministration and access to information.

  1. Maladministration (improper public administration): the Ombudsman handles an array of complaints in this regard including on service failure, delay, inaction, inefficiency, ineptitude, discourtesy, incompetence and unresponsiveness in public offices.
  2. Complaints relating to access to information: as the overseer and enforcer of the Access to Information Act, the Commission tackles complaints relating to violations of the right to access to information by citizens.

The Commission implements its mandate in the following ways:

  1. Complaints handling which is carried out through inquiries, investigations, adjudication or alternative disputes resolution methods;
  2. Public education and awareness;
  3. Training (on complaints management) and technical support on setting up complaints handling infrastructure;
  4. Advisory opinions on matters affecting public administration;
  5. Public interest litigation by initiating or joining on-going cases, either as a party, a friend of the court or interested party; and 
  6. Audits or spot checks on public offices to ascertain standards of service delivery.

The role of the Commission is to oversee and enforce the right to access to information under the Access to Information Act.

The specific functions in this regard are:

  1. Investigate complaints from the public or on its own motion of violations of the Act;
  2. Hear and determine, and review decisions arising from violations of the Act;
  3. Monitor implementation of the Act through consideration of reports from public entities and private bodies on implementation of the Act;
  4. Develop and facilitate public education programmes;
  5. Monitor Kenya’s compliance with its international treaty obligations relating to access to information and data protection;
  6. Promote protection of data;
  7. Work with public entities to promote the right to access to information, and with regulatory bodies on promotion and compliance with data protection measures; and
  8. Submit annual and special reports to Parliament and the Cabinet Secretary for information on the status of implementation of the Act.

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Any person can lodge a complaint on their own behalf or on behalf of another person. Additionally, a complaint may be lodged by a Member of Parliament.

No. It is a criminal offence to obstruct, threaten, or victimize a complainant or an officer of the Commission. Any person so doing is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding KES 500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.

       

  1. His/her particulars unless the complaint is anonymous.
  2. Details of the public institution/officer complained against.
  3. Information on whether the same complaint has been lodged with the Ombudsman before, or with other entities, or if the matter is in Court.
  4. A clear, factual and concise brief on the complaint. Besides the letter detailing the issue, a complainant is required to give any available supporting documents.
  5. If the complainant has made attempts to resolve the issue with the relevant authority, he/she needs to indicate what happened and reasons for dissatisfaction with the outcome.
  6. The remedy being sought.


Feedback on service or matters relating to procedures or policies may be communicated through info@ombudsman.go.ke or feedback@ombudsman.go.ke

If a person is unhappy with the decision of the Ombudsman, he/she may request for review of the decision (by the Commission), or challenge the decision in the court.

Our Partners

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Contact Details

Head Office:

2nd Floor, West End Towers
Opposite Aga Khan High School off Waiyaki Way – Westlands
P.O. Box 20414 – 00200
NAIROBI.
Tel: +254-20-2270000/2303000/2603765/2441211/8030666

Email : info@ombudsman.go.ke

 

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