Frequently Asked Questions

Office of the Ombudsman Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I file a complaint with the Ombudsman’s Office?

A: Complaints, together with the $25.00 fee set forth in RSA 91-A: 7-b, I, should be submitted to the Office of the Right to Know Ombudsman, Room 12, State House Annex, 25 Capitol Street, Concord NH 03301.  Complaints must be signed and submitted in writing.   Checks for the filing fee should be made out to “Treasurer, State of New Hampshire.” The Ombudsman is unable to accept review of matters by telephone.

 

Q: Does the Right to Know Ombudsman work for the Secretary of State?” 

A: No.  The Right to Know Ombudsman (“RKO”) is an independent agency administratively attached to the Secretary of State’s office under RSA 21-G: 10  Section 21-G:10 Administratively Attached Agency. (state.nh.us).

 

Q: Can the Ombudsman provide me with informal advice regarding a Right to Know request?

A:  No.  Parties appearing before the Ombudsman’s Office (and any person wishing to speak with the office, even without the filing of a complaint) should clearly understand that the Ombudsman is not their representative, and does not provide legal advice or representation.  The Ombudsman serves in a neutral, quasi-judicial capacity and is tasked with resolving disputed matters that come before the office.     

 

Q: Who is the Ombudsman?

A:  Thomas F. Kehr has been a New Hampshire attorney for over 35 years.  He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire – Durham (BA in History) and Rutgers University School of Law – Camden (NJ).  During law school, he served as a summer law clerk to the NH Supreme Court.  Upon graduation he became a law clerk to the NH Superior Court, ultimately becoming the senior (supervisory) law clerk to that court.  He then entered private practice at a Concord, NH law firm, where his work focused on civil litigation at the trial and appellate levels, in both state and federal courts.  While engaged in private practice, he also served as an attorney member of the NH Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.  Mr. Kehr opened his own practice, and ultimately formed a partnership which focused on civil litigation.  He started his career with the state in 2002, serving for 20 years as Policy and Procedures Administrator for the Department of Administrative Services, while active as a member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary in New Castle, NH.  He has served as the presiding officer in numerous adjudicative proceedings and public comment hearings, and is experienced in the processes of RSA 541-A (the NH Administrative Procedures Act).  Mr. Kehr is an avocational historian, focusing primarily upon the early revolutionary period in the New Hampshire seacoast.  He was appointed  New Hampshire’s first Right to Know Ombudsman on December 21, 2022, for a term beginning on January 27, 2023 and ending on July 1, 2025, at which time the Office of the Ombudsman will expire by law (Laws 2022, Ch. 250:6-7 billText.aspx (state.nh.us) ).