Tripartite co-operation among Office of The Ombudsman, the public and organisations under complaint encouraged to enhance administrative quality and efficiency

Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The following is issued on behalf of the Office of The Ombudsman:

     At the 21st Presentation Ceremony of The Ombudsman's Awards today (October 11), The Ombudsman, Ms Connie Lau, encouraged tripartite co-operation among the Office of The Ombudsman, members ofthe public and organisations under complaint to bring about further enhancement in the quality and efficiency of public administration through the lodging and handling of complaints.

     Ms Lau said, "It is very important to maintain an open and positive attitude in the face of complaints. This Office, members of the public and those organisations under complaint are not in opposition to one another. Rather, there exists some kind of co-operation among the three parties.

Members of the public lodge their complaints and this Office conducts investigations, while the departments accept our recommendations and implement them. This is essentially a process of promoting fair, open and just administration through concerted efforts."

      The Grand Award this year went to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). Since the financial crisis in 2007-08, complaints about banking services and malpractice have surged.

The HKMA has adopted a positive and pragmatic approach in formulating an effective complaint handling mechanism and improved its complaints management. The HKMA spares no effort in rendering assistance to the investigations conducted by the Office of The Ombudsman and in providing the Office with timely and comprehensive information despite the volume of documents and the complexity of issues involved.

     The other two winning organisations were the Planning Department and the Correctional Services Department. The two departments always handle and respond to enquiries from the public in a timely manner, and are co-operative with the Office's inquiries and investigations.

The Office is pleased to recognise their positive attitude in handling complaints and continuous efforts in delivering efficient and quality services to the public.

     At the ceremony, Ms Lau commended the contributions made by the public officers who received the Individual Awards. She said, "All positions within a government department or public organisation are inter-related and high efficiency can only be achieved through the joint efforts of officers at different levels. I hope that each of the awardees can exert their influence so that all public officers can make further improvement as a team and provide excellent services to the public." A full list of the awardees this year is in the Appendix.

     Ms Lau said that mediation not only resolves the complainants' grievances as quickly as possible, but also allows government departments to focus their resources on other more significant issues.

Therefore, new awards relating to mediation will be included in The Ombudsman's Awards starting next year to encourage departments to resolve disputes by way of mediation.

     The Ombudsman's Awards Scheme was introduced in 1997. In 1999, the Scheme was extended to honour individual public officers. In 2011, the scope of the Awards was further extended to recognise public officers' efforts in handling enquiries and complaints relating to the Code on Access to Information.

Published on: 2017-10-11

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