Hawaii Office of the Ombudsman

The Ombudsman is an officer of the legislature who investigates complaints about actions of executive branch agencies of the state and county governments. By law, the Ombudsman is authorized to investigate the administrative actions of state and county agencies. It cannot investigate complaints about the governor and lieutenant governor and their staffs; the legislature and its staff; the judiciary and its staff; the various county mayors and councils; the federal government; a multistate governmental entity; or a nongovernmental entity. The Ombudsman’s office has the power to obtain necessary information for an investigation and to recommend corrective action if a complaint is found to be substantiated.

The Ombudsman serves as a neutral, independent intermediary between the citizen and the agency. This office conducts investigations in a fair and impartial manner. The Office of the Ombudsman does not provide legal advice, nor does it serve as legal counsel, advocate, or representative on behalf of any person or agency. The Office of the Ombudsman is authorized by law to receive inquiries on a confidential basis. If it can, it will investigate your complaint without revealing your identity, although this is not always possible. If you have concerns about confidentiality, please feel free to discuss them with the Ombudsman. Most complaints can be made by telephone with no forms to fill out. Inmates who have been sexually assaulted in a state or county-run Hawaiian detention facility can contact the Office of the Ombudsman to report the assault and any concerns regarding the handling of investigations into such abuse.