Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Information Disclosure Guide

Information disclosure Gateways with other government departments: The Parliamentary Ombudsman

The Parliamentary Ombudsman (also known as the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration) investigates complaints of maladministration leading to injustice by government departments and certain public bodies. The Ombudsman is an officer of Parliament and can only look into complaints referred through Members of Parliament with the consent of the person who made the complaint.

Information which can be disclosed

In investigating complaints, the Ombudsman has the same powers as a court of law to examine witnesses and obtain documents. They may require Ministers or officials to furnish information or supply documents relevant to an investigation. No obligation to secrecy or other restriction can be applied on behalf of the Crown to prevent disclosure of information for the purposes of an investigation (except that the Ombudsman is specifically excluded from obtaining information relating to Cabinet proceedings).

Legislation which allows disclosure

  • Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967.

Procedure to follow

The Ombudsman should make all requests for information through HMRC’s Complaints Management Team. If the Ombudsman approaches you directly, you should contact the Complaints Management Team immediately. See IDG80100 for contact details.

Further guidance

Further information about the Ombudsman can be found in Policy Making Guidance: Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration. See IDG80300.

For further guidance on disclosure and confidentiality generally please contact your Data Guardian.