Piloting Complaints Intake Unit
Following the 2011 analysis on the office’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) about our processes and procedures impending the handling of complaints efficiently, effectively and expeditiously, a consultant was engaged to develop a Procedure Manual relevant to the Ombudsman mandate and functions.
The consultation recommended a creation of a Complaints Intake Unit (CIU) this has not yet been incorporated in the structure of the Ombudsman office, the Office while re-thinking this issue, beginning first week of April, this year has launched, in a pilot form, the Complaint Intake Unit (CIU). This has been built up to comprise the Principal Investigations Officer, Chief Legal Officer and Systems Support Officer inclusive of the receptionist who directs the complainants to the Unit for consultation.
All the complaints whether by letter, walk-ins, phone call or fax will be received by the Unit. The main duties of CIU are:
- determining case sustainability
- to call the complainant for clarification
- The unit will also be responsible for allocation of complaints cases to investigations officers depending on whether it is a systemic, complex, urgent or simple matter.
After the allocation, the Ombudsman will then approve or disapprove the decision of the Unit. Notwithstanding these functions, a systemic matter is in practice usually subjected to inquiry proceedings wherein the Ombudsman sits and operates like the Judge of the High Court of Lesotho in terms of summoning, issuing subpoenas, hearing and adducing of evidence before a matter can be determined.