October 20, 2020

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Ombudsman: The Lost Letter What You Say

Ombudsman: The Lost Letter What You Say

She fears that she will now have a criminal record. This has consequences for their future. To explain her story, she sends a letter to the Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM). She also sends a letter to the court in her hometown.

Since she didn’t get an answer, Janneke called both organizations a week later. Both say they didn’t receive their letter. She agrees to email the letter again. The OM employee promises Janneke that her letter will be in the court file. But during the trial it turns out that the letter is not on her file. How is that possible? This is very important information!

Janneke won’t let it happen. She files a complaint with both organizations about her lost letter, which was not on the file. But the OM and the judgment do not answer. No matter how often Janneke calls and sends e-mails, she is not helped. She feels like she has been bumping into a wall for weeks.

Powerless, Janneke calls the National Ombudsman. She says the prosecution and the court are not taking her complaint seriously. She still has not received an explanation. Employee Johan * listens to Janneke’s story and takes action. Citizens can expect the government to take their complaints seriously. The ombudsman has established rules for this.

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Johan finds out what exactly happened to Janneke’s complaint. His investigation shows that the prosecution and the court did not respond properly to Janneke’s complaint. She should have gotten a clear answer much earlier. Correct handling of complaints is important because it helps citizens. And the government can learn from complaints.

The ombudsman discussed the results of the investigation with the public prosecutor and the court. The prosecutor will improve the handling of complaints. The ombudsman will monitor whether the court does the same.

Janneke is happy that her complaint was taken seriously thanks to the ombudsman. She has received explanations and apologies from both organizations. She hopes that other people with a complaint will be helped in the future. And she only camps in places where she is allowed.

* Fictional name