The Office of the Ombudsman of Solomon Islands (OOSI) has successfully completed a two days’ consultation workshop on the importance of developing an effective “complaint handing system” for government ministries. This workshop was held at the Kitano Mendana Hotel, in Honiara, from 23 – 24 August 2018. All government ministries that participated at the workshop were represented through the Permanent Secretaries, Under Secretaries and Human Resources Managers.
The workshop is part of an ongoing task by OOSI to try and assist government ministries develop a comprehensive complaint handing system that should help in the effectively management of complaints. In his opening remarks, the Ombudsman Mr. Fred Fakarii highlighted that the number of complaints received by the Ombudsman’s Office is increasing every year. Most of the complaints are related to the government administration work. This clearly points to the fact that there is no proper complaint handling system in place within the government bodies to ensure that citizens’ grievances can be effectively addressed.
The Ombudsman further states that it is very expensive and time consuming for his Office to investigate cases, many of which should have been easily dealt with at the ministry level. Thus developing a proper complaint handling system and putting it in place will not only reduce cost but can foster accountability and public trust on government institutions.
The Permanent Secretaries, Under Secretaries and Human Resources Managers who attended the workshop have acknowledged the lack of Complaint Handling System within government bodies. In response, they had agreed to support the OOSI on the idea of developing an effective complaint handling system for government ministries that will help them to serve the people better.