Once a complaint has been received, we will assess it to decide how the Office of the Ombudsman will proceed. We gather all relevant information and review the facts of the complaint.
If the complaint does not involve a provincial or municipal government department or agency, the complainant will be provided with appropriate referral information.
When a complaint involves a provincial or municipal government body, the office determines what steps the complainant has taken to have the complaint addressed. It is important that the government body be given the opportunity to initially address the complainant's concerns. As a result, the Ombudsman encourages the complainant to follow these internal avenues of appeal or resolution before the office will proceed.
The Office of the Ombudsman strives to address the majority of complaints through administrative review investigations, rather than proceeding to formal investigation. These complaints may result from miscommunication or misunderstanding of a government policy or procedure and can often be resolved by contacting the government representative to ensure both parties understand the problem and are therefore able to continue their working relationship.
Administrative Review Investigations also involve reviewing policies and procedures of the government body to see if they are being followed correctly, or if improvements are warranted. If this Office is not able to complete an Administrative Review Investigation within eight weeks, a notification letter is sent to the Deputy Minister or Chief Executive Officer, advising them of the complaint.