The Ombudsman is an officer of the legislature who investigates complaints about actions of executive branch agencies of the state and county governments. Our office has the power to obtain necessary information for an investigation and to recommend corrective action if a complaint is found to be substantiated.

State Ombudsman Robin Matsunaga - Generations Magazine - August - September 2012

State Ombudsman Robin Matsunaga

The Ombudsman serves as a neutral, independent intermediary between the citizen and the agency. We conduct our investigations in a fair and impartial manner. We do not provide legal advice, nor do we serve as legal counsel, advocate, or representative on behalf of any person or agency.

What should you do if you have a complaint?

In fairness to the agency involved, you should first try to resolve the complaint directly with the agency. Many times agency officials are eager to explain what they did and why they did it, or will correct the problem to your satisfaction. In many cases, you will be able to settle the problem on your own.

Here are some good common sense steps to take in trying to resolve any “consumer” problem, whether it involves a government agency or a company in the private sector:

Be prepared. Know what questions you are going to ask (it helps to write them down). Be sure to have any relevant information you need available before you contact the agency.

Keep records. Take notes, ask for the names and titles of employees you speak with, and save all of your correspondence.

If you do not want to contact the agency yourself, or if you complain to the agency and are not satisfied with its response, then feel free to contact us. We can conduct an investigation on your behalf.

We are authorized by law to receive inquiries on a confidential basis. If we can, we will investigate your complaint without revealing your identity, although this is not always possible. If you have concerns about confidentiality, please feel free to discuss them with us.

Most complaints can be made by telephone with no forms to fill out. Ways to contact us are either by phone, email, or mail:

Phone: 808-587-0770, Fax: 808-587-0773, TTY: 808-587-0774
Hawai`i: 974-4000, Maui: 984-2400, Kaua‘i: 274-3141, Moloka‘i/Lanai: 800-468-4644
e-mail: complaints@ombudsman.hawaii.gov

Office of the Ombudsman
465 South King Street, 4th Flr.,
Honolulu, HI 96813

Open from 7:45 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, except for state holidays.

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