Government & Police Complaints

If you're unhappy with a decision made by the government or how the government or the police have treated you, you can make a complaint to us.

What we can help with

We investigate complaints that cannot be resolved through the organisation's internal complaints process.

If we uphold your complaint, we can make recommendations about how to make things right. We always consider whether action should be taken to stop the same thing happening to others.

We use what we learn to recommend improvements to public services.

Did you know?

We continue to do the work previously done by the Office of the Complaints Commissioner.

Before you come to us

Try to resolve your complaint with the organisation through their internal complaints process. Visit their website to find out how to make a complaint. Give them a chance to make things right.

Regarding police misconduct, you may make a complaint at any police station or directly to us.

What to expect

We review all of the information you provide regarding your complaint and decide whether we have the authority to investigate. If we don't, we try to refer you to the appropriate organisation.

We act fairly, independently and impartially, without taking sides and give the organisation a chance to respond to your complaint.

If your complaint is upheld, it means we found the organisation got things wrong. We can recommend what the organisation should do to resolve this. If not, we'll explain why and provide alternative ways to resolve the complaint.

Did you know?

We have the same powers as the Grand Court to get information from organisations for our investigation. Our process is less formal than a court hearing.

I'm ready to make a complaint

Complete the complaint form. Write out the details of your complaint as briefly and clearly as possible. Focus on the main problem and what you think should be done to fix it. Send us your signed and completed form, together with copies of the most important documents relating to the matter. We'll then contact you.

Download the Maladministration Complaint Form

Download the Police Complaint Form

Frequently asked questions

If you have a question, the answer may already be here for you.

What is our authority?

The Office of the Ombudsman was established by The Ombudsman Act, 2017 with the power and authority to investigate complaints of government maladministration under The Complaints (Maladministration) Act (2018 Revision) and The Police (Complaints by the Public) Act, 2017.

We operate in a fair and independent manner to decide whether injustice has been caused by improper, unreasonable or inadequate government administrative conduct or police misconduct.

What types of complaints can we investigate?

Examples include:

  • Police misconduct
  • Bias, lack of impartiality
  • Abuse of power
  • Poor or delayed service
  • Refusal to answer reasonable questions
  • Neglecting to inform a complainant about their rights or entitlement, including appeal routes
  • Knowingly giving misleading or inadequate advice
  • Failure to adequately monitor compliance with procedures

Who does the Ombudsman report to?

A committee made up of Members of Parliament called the Select Committee to Oversee the Performance of the Office of the Ombudsman.

How do I complain?

You can fill out a Maladministration Complaint Form, fill out a Police Complaint Form, you can call us (946-6283) or you can come to our office at the 5th floor of the Anderson Square building in George Town.

How long does it take to resolve a complaint?

We work to resolve your complaint as soon as possible.

Is my complaint private?

Yes, we conduct our investigations in private and maintain confidentiality of your information.

Can the Ombudsman investigate authorities such as the Water Authority, Civil Aviation, Port Authority, Cayman Airways or other statutory authorities and government companies?

Yes, we have jurisdiction to investigate all government ministries, companies, departments, portfolios, statutory boards and all other government authorities in the Cayman Islands. 

What happens if we uphold your complaint?

We might ask the organisation to:

  • apologise to you
  • provide a service you should have received
  • make a decision that should have been made before
  • reconsider a decision that was made improperly
  • improve procedures so similar problems do not happen again
  • follow their complaints process

We do not have the legal powers to force organisations to follow our recommendations, but they do so in most cases.

Are there any types of complaints that you cannot consider?

We cannot consider complaints regarding the following:

  • actions certified by the Governor to affect relations or dealings between the government and any other government
  • matters involving defence, external affairs or internal security
  • actions taken by the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Commissioner of Police, the Director of Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman or the Director of Customs and Border Control for the purposes of investigating crime, or protecting the security of the islands
  • actions taken in connection with the Governor's power of pardon
  • civil or criminal proceedings
  • staffing decisions made by the government (appointments, removals, pay, discipline or other personal matters)
  • legal advice given by the Attorney General or the Director of Public Prosecutions
  • action taken by the Auditor General
  • any judicial function

Who do you involve when investigating a complaint?

We will discuss your complaint with you to gain a full understanding of your concerns. Ensuring that your complaint is clear and concise will improve the likelihood of finding a satisfactory resolution. We will also contact the organisation you are complaining about to understand their position and find out if anything can be done to put things right.

What do you need to know about my complaint?

We want to find out:

  • what happened
  • what should have happened
  • why you are complaining
  • why you feel it is still not resolved after complaining
  • what would put things right for you