The year 2019 was another successful year for the Office of the Ombudsman, particularly in reducing an overwhelming number of complaints received and dealt with over the years, amounting to backlog. In January 2019, the Ombudsman’s Office was investigating a total of 257 complaints. At the end of December 2019, the total number of registered complaints within the office was reduced to 142.
The Office registered 46 new complaints in 2019 and a total of 150 was dealt with by the end of that year. Dealing with backlog cases was a challenge for the office over the past, however after the appointment of the Principal Legal Officer in March last year and the current Ombudsman in July, new processes were initiated, established and implemented to ensure cases are being dealt with more efficiently and in a timely manner.
The Ombudsman Office currently has a total of 9 Investigators but the office is structured to have 24 Investigators. With the current reduction of backlog cases, and the upgrade of management, the amount of time to complete an investigations time frame will be reduced significantly.
The new investigations management concept introduced by Ombudsman Bulu, will now see the new complaints received and registered dealt with in 3 different categories of timeframes and are: 3 months, 6 months and 12months.