Guidance Notes

The Ombudsman focuses on the Principles of Good Administration mainly on the six broad statements of what public bodies within the Ombudsman jurisdiction should do to deliver good administration and customer care. The Principles show the sorts of behaviour we expect and the tests we apply when determining complaints.

It was in our tenth Anniversary, 1st November 2009 that the Ombudsman promoted the Principles of Good Administration and accessed that by being open with public bodies about his expectations of good administration it would help to drive and achieve an overall improvement in the provision of public services.

It must be stressed that the Principles of Good Administration are not a checklist by which the Ombudsman will assess and decide individual cases, but it will be used as a broad test of fairness and reasonableness, when taking into account the circumstances of each particular complaint. Basic human rights principles of fairness, respect, quality, dignity and autonomy would also be considered.

These Principles of Good Administration should be read in conjunction with our Principles of Good Complaint Handling. The Principles set out are intended to promote a shared understanding of what is meant by good complaint handling and to help public bodies in the Public Services Ombudsman’s jurisdiction deliver first-class complaint handling to all their users.

To download or view the Principles in .PDF format please click on any of the below

Principles of Good Administration Principles of Good Administration (105 KB)


Principles of good complaint handling Principles of good complaint handling (109 KB)



To download or view the Principles in PowerPoint format please click below

Principles of Good Administration (PowerPoint) Principles of Good Administration (PowerPoint) (2360 KB)

As from October 2010 Senior Heads of Departments have been invited to attend our presentation 'Principles of Good Administration' at the Ombudsman's office. They have had the opportunity to listen to the presentation and benefit from discussing these issues with the Ombudsman. We have now expanded by presenting the Principles to the front-line staff of different government departments. Our goal is for the majority of services under the Ombudsman's jurisdiction to have listened to our presentation by the end of 2011. The Ombudsman would then consider preparing another presentation under the heading 'Principles of Good Complaint Handling'. 



The Ombudsman together with his Public Relations Officer giving presentation 
'Principles of Good Administration' to the front-line staff of the Department of Social Security.