How does Ombuds Brussels operate?

In the context of our mission, Ombuds Brussels works in close collaboration with the Brussels administrations.

If you are working for a Brussels administration and would like to find out more about our work, make sure to read this page as it may contain the answer to your question.

If you have any other questions, make sure to contact us for further information or an appointment.

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What is the role of Ombuds Brussels in relation to the public administrations?

As an independent institution, Ombuds Brussels adopts a neutral stance between the public administrations and their users.

  • We listen to citizens who report a problem with a public administration.
  • By engaging in dialogue with the public administration we inform them of the problems citizens have reported to us and get to hear their point of view.

The aim of Ombuds Brussels is to reconcile the various points of view and, where necessary, to make recommendations to improve the situation in everyone's interest.

How does Ombuds Brussels handle complaints?

As a member of a regional or municipal administration, Ombuds Brussels may contact you in the context of a complaint. Check the various steps in the complaint handling process to find out when we could contact you.

  • 1

    We check the admissibility of the complaint:

    • If the query is manifestly inadmissible, we wouldn't normally contact the public administration and would simply close the file.
    • If the complainant hasn't contacted the public administration in question yet, we will ask him to contact the administration concerned first.
  • 2

    If the complaint is admissible, we gather all the documents needed to understand the situation.

    • At this stage, we may contact you to get all the details we will need to understand the complaint.
    • Sometimes we may conclude that the complaint is unfounded purely based on the information the complainant provided. In that case, we will not contact you.
  • 3

    We examine the elements of the file in the light of the applicable legislation, the context, and the Ombuds Brussels standards.

    These 15 standards describe what citizens are genuinely entitled to expect from a fair and qualitative public administration.

    At this stage we may contact you to hear your point of view and to discuss our analysis.

  • 4

    Our intervention may lead to:

    • Where possible, a reconciliation between your point of view and that of the complainant.
    • The conclusion that the complaint is founded, in which case we will ask you to rectify the situation.
    • The conclusion that the complaint is unfounded, in which case we will notify you and the complainant to that effect.

How to inform your users about Ombuds Brussels?

Check the PDF document to find out how you can mention Ombuds Brussels in your letters or on your website.
We also invite you to display our posters and leave our leaflets in your reception areas. Please, do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Which public administrations is Ombuds Brussels competent for?

Ombuds Brussels deals with complaints (user dissatisfaction) and disclosures (in the event of an abuse of authority or fraud) involving public administrations, institutions, and associations at the following levels of competence:

  • The Brussels-Capital Region
  • The French Community Commission (COCOF)
  • The Common Community Commission (COCOM)
  • Municipalities and PCSWs

Do bear in mind that STIP-MIVB and a number of municipalities and PCSWs have their own ombudsman to deal with complaints. In their case, our mission is limited to disclosures of abuse of authority or fraud.

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If you have witnessed an incident of abuse of authority or fraud within your own public administration, proceed as follows:

  • Use your public administration's internal channel. The internal channel is a department or person within your public administration appointed to receive disclosures and to investigate possible incidents of abuse of authority or fraud. The law encourages using the internal channel whenever possible.
  • If you fear reprisals or for any other reasons associated with the nature of your disclosure, you can contact Ombuds Brussels, the external channel, directly.

Publications by Ombuds Brussels

Annual report 2023

Annual report 2023

See the publication


Annual report 2022

Annual report 2022

See the publication


More information

Contact us!

If you have any questions, please contact Louise Degryse, external relations manager:
+32 490 67 45 80
+32 2 549 67 07