In 2017, the Parliamentary Ombudsman received a record number of 6,192 complaints, which is an increase of almost 1,300 complaints from 2016 (4,922 complaints).
Complaints against the Social Insurance Institution (Kela) totalled 1,169, and 814 of them concerned social assistance. The number of these complaints increased by about 700 compared to 2016. The criminal sanctions field, social insurance and labour and unemployment security were other administrative branches that saw a clear increase in the number of complaints.
The average processing time for complaints fell
In spite of the large number of complaints, the average processing time fell from 90 to 78 days. In 2017, a total of 6,094 complaints were resolved. The corresponding figure for 2016 was 4,839 resolved complaints.
At the turn of the year, no pending complaints dated back to more than a year. This target was reached for the fifth successive year.
Record number of measures taken
A total of 1,141 complaints or own-initiative investigations led to measures taken by the Parliamentary Ombudsman. This was about 18 per cent of all decisions. In 2016, 629 complaints or own-initiative investigations led to measures, which is about 13 per cent of decisions.
Increase in own-initiative actions
In spite of the strong increase in the number of complaints, the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman was able to increase its own-initiative actions. The number of inspections conducted last year was 120 (115 in 2016). Efforts have been made to allocate resources to the inspections made by the Ombudsman because the Ombudsman serves as the National Preventive Mechanism under the UN Convention against Torture.
The number of the investigations launched on the Ombudsman's own initiative increased also in 2017. The Ombudsman took the initiative in investigating 77 cases (60 in 2016).
New communication channels of the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman
In 2017, the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman introduced a new website and started to use Twitter as a communication channel. The new communication channels enable faster and more versatile communication of information.
For further information, please contact Information Officer Citha Dahl, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Parliamentary Ombudsman, Finland