How to complain

A complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsmen (Riksdagens ombudsmän) can be made by anybody who feels that he or she or someone else has been treated wrongly or unjustly by a public authority or an official employed by the civil service or local government. In other words it’s not necessary for a person to be a Swedish citizen or have reached a certain age to be able to lodge a complaint. Your complaint does not have to be about something that affects you personally.

What information should a complaint contain?

  • Who the complaint is about, or in other words the authority and/or the public official who has acted incorrectly
  • A short description of the case or of what happened
  • When it happened
  • The behaviour that is considered to be incorrect
  • Any registration or file number the authority may have assigned to the case
  • The reasons why you consider the authority and/or the public official acted improperly
  • The name and address of the person complaining
  • Attach copies if possible of any documents that help to show that the authority and/or the public official acted improperly
  • A written complaint should be signed

Important things to bear in mind

Anonymous complaints are not investigated by the Ombudsmen. 

A complaint should not in principle concern circumstances that date more than two years prior to the complaint (this is known as ”the two-year rule”).

A complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsmen (JO) and the documents sent with it are in the public domain as soon as they are delivered. This means that anyone has the right to look at them unless they can be classified as confidential according to the Secrecy Act (details about the health of the complainant may, for instance, be classified as confidential).

If an Ombudsman begins an inquiry into a complaint, the official concerned will be told who has made the complaint.

An Ombudsman is not able to alter a judgment or a decision. If you are dissatisfied with a judgment or a decision you can, as a rule, appeal to a higher instance within the time stipulated in the judgment or decision.

Complaint forms