The Office of the Northern Ireland Ombudsman was established in 1969, but its current governing statutes are the Ombudsman (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 and the Commissioner for Complaints (Northern Ireland) Order 1996. His role is to deal with complaints of maladministration by government and public bodies in Northern Ireland. Unlike the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, he has no role in investigating individual ethical conduct by councillors.
The Ombudsman is appointed by the Queen. The current Ombudsman, holding both offices, is Tom Frawley CBE, who was appointed in 2000.
As Assembly Ombudsman the Ombudsman may investigate:
As Commissioner for Complaints the Ombudsman may investigate:
By the Commissioner for Complaints (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, his functions include complaints about doctors, dentists, pharmacists and optometrists providing family health services and complaints by other health care professionals in the Health and Personal Social Services. This includes complaints about the exercise of clinical judgement by health care professionals.