How should a complaint be lodged with the ombudsman?

The Ombudsman is the High Commissioner of the Cortes Generales, whose mission is defend fundamental rights and public freedoms of citizens supervising the activity of Spanish public administrations. The figure is elected by the Congress of Deputies and the Senate, and his mandate lasts five years. Anyone can go to him and request his intervention by filing complaints. During 2019 the Ombudsman received a total of 20,216 of the same, according to data provided by the body itself.

The process

To make a complaint to this institution, different means can be used. Can claim any Spanish or foreign citizen regardless of their age or legal situation. The processing is totally free and the fact of residing outside of Spain, being in prison or incapacitated from a legal point of view, does not constitute in any case an impediment to making these claims. Something that an association or a legal person can also do.

Complaints must refer to some action by the public administrations of Spain and their agents, that are considered inappropriate and irregular and that therefore can be subjected to an evaluation and investigation by the Ombudsman.

With each complaint received, a file is opened. In a short time They will inform you if they can help you and whether or not the exposed problem falls within its powers. If not, they offer guidance on how to proceed.

If a suspected irregularity is occurring they contact the administration cited in order to obtain as much information as possible, make the pertinent evaluation and proceed to offer the solutions that are deemed appropriate.

Consumers submitting claim form

Violation of rights

The Ombudsman admits the claims both individually and collectively, provided that these relate to the actions of a central, regional or local administration, company or public service, and that it is considered that they have violated the rights of the claimants. Of the mime, you may be asked to file an appeal for unconstitutionality or protection before the Constitutional Court.

What it mainly monitors is that there are no violations of rights and if he considers it he will act ex officio, so that it will carry out actions or consultations despite not having received an express complaint.

In the event that anomalies are finally detected, it is true that it does not have powers to annul or modify the acts or resolutions of public administrations, as indicated on its own website. However, if he will try to convince you to the necessary measures are taken that straighten the situation, in fact according to the body itself the administrations they accept more than 82% of their resolutions.

Meet the requirements

What we must be clear about is that it will not be able to act if there has not been an intervention by public bodies, or if there are conflicts between individuals or with private companies that are not agents of the Administration. Time is also taken into accountIf more than a year has passed since the facts became known, the complaint will no longer be admitted.

It is very important that when manifesting any problem we comply with all the requirements that are demanded, for example anonymity is not allowed. In addition, the reasons that lead us to adopt this measure must be clearly stated, since if it is appreciated that there are bad intentions behind or that the legitimate rights of third parties may be harmed, then it will not be taken into account. They also have no place the approaches that do not accept the content of a judicial decision or if the case is pending a decision by the courts.

claim for appearing in delinquent files


There are several ways to present them: by ordinary mail, fax, in person at your office, located at 42 Zurbano street, Madrid, and also through your website. In all cases, you have to present a written document in which it is explained in detail what possible alteration of the rights we have detected and attach all the documentation that we consider will provide key evidence to our argument.

The complaint can be made in a very simple way online mode. For this you must go to the Your Complaint section, found in the upper right menu. Once inside you will have to fill in a box in which you have to clearly and simply indicate the problem and the name of the Spanish public administration, if you know it, and with which you disagree. This box supports a maximum of 4,000 characters, which is equivalent to a couple of pages in text format.

At the same time you can attach up to five different files that are related to the claim you are submitting. Then you have to give the following and a form will appear where you have to fill in personal and contact details. Then they will send you a verification to your email that everything has been done correctly. Throughout the process you will be kept informed and can be tracked on-line via Check your complaint, entering the username and password.