Sierra Leoneís Ombudsman, Hon. Edmund Cowan, has disclosed that the Office of the Ombudsman concluded 127 cases in 2009.
This disclosure was made in a press briefing summoned on Tuesday 9th March 2010 at Santanno House in Freetown, to update journalists on developments in the Office of the Ombudsman.
Ombudsman Cowan revealed that a total of 203 complaints were received in 2009, of which 176 were from men and 27 from women.
These complaints, he furthered, fell under various categories which include non-payment of salaries and benefits, of which a total number of 94 complaints were recorded; wrongful dismissal 29 complaints; harassment 6 complaints; biased and unfair treatment 27 complaints, and others 47.
According to him, 55 matters are presently under investigations; 21 cases have been transferred to the appropriate institutions and; 127 cases have been concluded.
Ombudsman Cowan informed journalists that the Office of the Ombudsman was established by the Ombudsman Act No.2 of 1997. According to him, the Office is an independent institution empowered to investigate complaints from members of the public, who claim to have suffered administrative injustice by central and local authorities.
The Ombudsman said he has just concluded a provincial tour to the three provincial headquarter towns of Bo, Kenema, and Makeni, adding that he visited government officials and sensitized them on the roles and functions of the Ombudsmanís Office.
"We emphasized the urgent need for our office to extend its activities to the provincial headquarter towns" Hon. Cowan cited.
He furthered that the buildings that have been offered on lease for the establishments of the Ombudsmanís Offices in the three provincial headquarter towns would soon be inspected and certified.
According to him, the Office of the Ombudsman has recently concluded a week-long capacity training programme for staff members.
"The training was aimed at developing the technical and administrative know-how of the staff for the effective handling of complaints" he said.
Hon. Cowan also informed journalists that the Office of the Ombudsman has established a website which can be accessed on: www.ombudsmansl.org, adding that complaints can also be emailed using the info@)email@example.com email addresses.