AOA Fact Sheet Ombudsman of Thailand
JANUARY 5, 2009 INSTITUTIONAL OVERVIEW NUMBER 1
The B.E.2540 (1997) Constitution of Kingdom of Thailand and the Organic Law on
Ombudsmen B.E.2542 (1999), which was published in the Royal Gazette book no.116,
Legal chapter 81 (Kor) on 14 September 1999 established Thai Ombudsman to consider and
Framework investigate complaint of injustice, illegality, or maladministration done to the person by a
civil servant, member or employee of a government body, state agency, state enterprise
or local government.
According to Section 10(1) of the Organic Law on Ombudsmen, B.E.2542 (1999),
Jurisdiction/Fun Ombudsman of Thailand shall consider and investigate complaints lodged by any
ctions aggrieved person or through the Senators, or Member of House Representatives
a. A civil servant, member or employee of a government body, state
agency, state enterprise or local government violates the law or exceeds
the jurisdiction of his or her authority;
b. When an action or inaction by civil servant, member or employee of a
government agency, state enterprise or local government causes harm,
damage or injustice to an individual or to the general public, whether or
not this action or inaction is within his or her jurisdiction; or
c. The law warrants investigation.
And submit reports, comments, and recommendations to the National Assembly. In
addition, if, in the Ombudsman’s opinion, a law, regulation, or action of the agencies
or officials is in violation of the Constitution, the Ombudsmen shall refer the matter to
either Constitutional Court or an Administrative Court for further review.
Ombudsman of Thailand, however, shall not intervene in the following matters:
1. Policies announced by the Cabinet in Parliament, except when the exercise of
these policies violates the conditions set forth in Section 16 (1);
2. Cases currently under consideration in a court or cases in which the court has
issued a final ruling;
3. Complaints not pertaining to the action on duty of the government bodies /
officials or caused by individual dispute.
4. Complaints relating to personnel management or disciplinary action which
may be taken against the officials.
5. Complaints in which the complainant does not comply with the provisions of
Section 20 of the Organic Law on Ombudsmen, 1999 i.e.
• Unsigned complaints
• Anonymous letter or
• Letter containing inflammatory language
• Complaint without grounds and relevant circumstances for lodging the
According to the organic law on Ombudsman B.E. 2542 (1999), Ombudsman of
Thailand shall, in the exercise of his or her duties under the provisions of this
legislation, have the power to:
1. Refer the complaint violating the constitution to either Constitutional Court or an
Legal Powers Administrative Court for further review;
2. Refer complaint, which is not within his jurisdiction, to the appropriate
government agencies for further action;
3. Demand occurrence reports, statements of opinion, objects, documents r any
other type of evidence relevant to his or her investigation from any government
body, state agency, state enterprise, or local government;
4. Demand occurrence reports, secure testimony, or obtain objects, documents, or
any their evidence relevant to his or her investigation from the head or from
subordinates of any agency or from any government official, staff of the attorney
general’s office, investigating officer, or any other individual;
5. Request from the court any object, document, or other evidence relevant to the
6. Enter any premises where a complaint has occurred provided that the owner or
person in charge has been given prior notice;
7. Issue regulations and procedures for receiving complaints and conducting
8. Issue regulations and procedures for reimbursing witnesses for travel expenses
and officers for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the performance of their
duties under this legislation.
Currently, Thai Ombudsman has only one office in the capital city, Bangkok, without
Implementation any branch offices in the region due to facilities provided for easy access to the
Arrangements complainants such as toll-free number.
For general written complaints, investigators will send the letter to request the concerned
government agencies for explanation including relevant documents to be a consideration
in conjunction with the provision of the relevant law. During the stage of consideration,
complainants will be informed by the office’s letter about the progress of their
For the implementation of Ombudsman’s recommendation, although Thai Ombudsman
does not have power to enforce the agencies to comply with his recommendation, in case
of failure of compliance, the matter may be referred to the supervisory Minister, the
Prime Minister, and responsible Cabinet for further action. If the failure persists, the
Ombudsman may submit an urgent report on that matter, where the public shall have
access, to the Senate or the House of Representatives. This strategy will be implemented
as a social sanction measure to efficiently force the agencies to redress the grievance.
In order to place an emphasis on systemic solution, Research and Technical Support
Division was founded to cover the theory behind the complaint and to undertake research
of similar cases from Ombudsman’s offices throughout the world. Results and
experience gained are taken into consideration for the investigations.
Analysis Wing Research officers compile and analyze case information on the issues and the law, so that
they can assist the investigators in determining the probable cause of complaints, as well
as to propose suggestions for administrative changes to reduce or prevent similar
complaints. In addition, the standard of case investigation was recently set up in order to
be as a guideline for handling complaints in fair, consistent, and efficient manner.
Investigation manual was developed in order to assist and facilitate new officers to
operate in a clear understanding.
Techniques Site-visit, interview, and small-group discussion are some of the techniques applied in
the investigation process. Like other Ombudsman’s work, Thai Ombudsman corresponds
with the complainants and the agencies in written documents. However, many telephone
calls and meetings are used during the fact-finding stage. Generally, cases lodged
through various channels to the office will be assessed for proper manner to deal with.
Concerning complaints via telephone, regarded as an uncomplicated matter, investigator
will make a fact-finding by telephone in accordance with the cabinet-endorsed
coordination scheme that requires the agencies to extend their cooperation for internal
coordination by telephone to redress complainant’s trouble.
In some cases such as dispute on land ownership, Ombudsman with his staff will visit the
actual area to see the suffering, inquire about the fact, listen to both parties and shall act
as a mediator in peacefully manner.
When the complaint was settled and the complainants received the letter informing the
result of Ombudsman’s consideration, their disagreement on it with additional
information, submitted to the office within 15 days since receiving the letter, is
welcomed for reconsideration.
According to section 77 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand 1997, in order
PGR rules & not only to prevent corruption and malpractice but also to promote work efficiency, the
guiding code of conducts was announced on April 16, 2004. Under this code, The
standards Ombudsman and his staff shall determine to redress public’s grievances with prompt and
fair service. They shall establish a good understanding between state agencies and
Moreover, since the delay of agencies in giving explanation and clarification obstructs
Ombudsman from settling the complaints promptly. Measures were designed by giving
definite time frame to agencies, warning, and report such delay to Permanent Secretary
and to the Minister in charge respectively. It was approved by the Cabinet with its
resolution, on 27 April 2004, where all government bodies have to accelerate their own
explanation when receiving the request from Office of the Ombudsman.
As one of independent organizations established by Constitution of Kingdom of Thailand
B.E. 2540 (1997), Ombudsman of Thailand has to comply with the Official Information
Act B.E. 2540 (1997), especially section 23 regarding the individual information
FOI Standards management. Besides, the confidentiality in complaints handling has been emphasized
by not disclosing personal information in his control without prior or immediate consent
given in writing by the person who is the subject thereof except for the disclosure to the
agencies which are in charge of redress grievance for the complainants. The resolution of
all finished complaints will be reported to the Parliament in March every year.
Use of • Telephone: Toll Free number 1676
Technology • By post : P.O. Box 333, Samsennai, Phya-Thai, Bangkok 10400
• Internet : access through www.ombudsman.go.th
Parallel Through the Senators, or Member of House Representatives
Through Department of Legal Aid and Civil Rights Protection, Office of the
Complaint Attorney General in every province throughout the country.
redress systems By any other means specified by the Ombudsman