The Ombudsman has the power to investigate issues or complaints about:
- Any public service Ministry, Department or officer, including the Police and Correctional Services;
- Honiara City Council;
- Provincial Governments and officers;
- Statutory corporations such as Solomon Water, Solomon Power, SIPA, CEMA and their officers;
- Government contractors and agents.
The authorities who are exempted by the Solomon Islands Constitution from the Ombudsman’s powers of investigation are:
- The Governor General or his personal staff;
- The Director of Public Prosecutions or any person acting on his instructions;
- The Judges, Magistrates, and Registrars of Courts in their “judicial functions” or court decisions, rulings or judgements (this implies that the Ombudsman can investigate non-judicial decisions of Courts);
- Non-government contractors;
- Private individuals.
The Ombudsman is also prohibited by section 98(2) of the Constitution from investigating matters prejudicial to the national security of Solomon Islands if the Prime Minister notifies him of such matters. The pdf Ombudsman Act 2017 (1.83 MB) extends the limitation by specifying the following as circumstances under which the Ombudsman may not investigate:
- where the aggrieved person still has, and can reasonably pursue his or her complaint through other available avenues such as through an appeal or the courts;
- complaint is frivolous or vexatious or trivial;
- complainant has no sufficient interest in the matter complained of;
- unreasonable delay beyond 12 months to make a complaint to the Ombudsman.