The Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman

The Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman is an autonomous institution of the Parliament headed by the Ombudsman. It has around 60 employees.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman is a supreme overseer of legality elected by the national parliament whose duties are set out in the Constitution. The Ombudsman exercises oversight to ensure that the authorities, public servants and others who perform public tasks obey the law and fulfil their duties. The Ombudsman has a special focus on the implementation of good governance and fundamental and human rights.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman and two Deputy-Ombudsmen work independently and have the same powers. The Ombudsman submits an annual report to the Parliament.

The Ombudsman investigates complaints received by him or her and, based on the results of the investigation, takes any action he or she finds necessary. The Ombudsman may also investigate illegalities or shortcomings on his or her own initiative.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman began his work in 1920, making Finland the second country in the world to adopt the institution. In Sweden, a similar post had been created in 1809.
Every year, the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman receives some 5,000 complaints, which are divided between legal advisers specialising in different branches of administration for investigation. During an investigation, the object of the complaint is heard, and information and statements are requested from the relevant authorities.

The office carries out some 100 inspections of closed institutions, units of the Defence Forces and offices every year.
Shortcomings observed in the course of inspections are subsequently investigated on the Ombudsman’s own initiative.

More than one half of the personnel in the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman are legal advisers, and the remainder are office staff. Complaints are investigated by the three divisions led by the Ombudsman and the two Deputy-Ombudsmen.

The administration division directed by the Secretary General is responsible for the administrative running of the Office, recording complaints, customer service, filing and communications. The Office also has two on-duty lawyers who advise customers in filing complaints, and two investigating officers who assist the legal advisers in dealing with complaints.

In 2012, a Human Rights Centre with three employees was established under the aegis of the Office.  In 2013, the Parliamentary Ombudsman was designated the national preventive mechanism referred to in the UN Convention against Torture.  This brought new duties to the Office and increased the level of international co-operation.

Key values jointly defined by the Office personnel are fairness, responsibility and closeness to people. 

Published 2014-11-03 at 12:04, updated 2020-07-07 at 15:38

The Little Parliament annex.

Good to know about us

Working at the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman is motivating and interesting. The Office has a good working atmosphere and a low hierarchy. The personnel have their representatives in the Management Group. The equipment of the Office and occupational health care services for its personnel are provided by the Parliament.

The Office occupies modern and attractive premises on the first floor of the Parliament's annex building, Pikkuparlamentti, at the address Arkadiankatu 3.

Contact information

The Office of the Parliamentary  Ombudsman
Arkadiankatu 3, Helsinki

Tel. +358 (09)*4321

The website of the Office of the Parliamentary  Ombudsman

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