The Ombudsman yesterday admonished the Housing Department after two of its officers entered a flat with only two young girls inside and asked the eldest, a 10-year-old, to make a written declaration. The girls' mother said the two men entered her flat in April last year to investigate whether her former husband lived there. She said her two daughters were alone at home at the time. The officers interviewed them and asked the eldest girl to sign documents she did not understand. Ombudsman Alice Tai Yuen-ying described the action as 'inappropriate' and said the department should apologise to the family and review its guidelines on domestic visits. Senior investigation officer Linda Cheng Chan Siu-ning said: 'As there were only two little girls at home, we consider it was inappropriate for two male staff members to seek to gain entry into the flat in the absence of any adult family member. It was also unreasonable to ask an underage girl to make a written declaration.' The department said the investigation was necessary because they had received the ex-husband's application for rehousing and had to conduct a home visit to ensure he was eligible. The two officers said they had asked for the girls' permission before entering and the girl signed the documents willingly. But the Ombudsman said whether or not invited, the action was still clearly inappropriate. The department accepted her recommendations and new guidelines have been issued. A letter of apology was also sent to the family.