The Office of the Ombudsperson can help determine whether provincial public authorities have acted fairly and reasonably – and whether their actions and decisions were consistent with relevant legislation, policies and procedures. As an independent statutory office of the provincial legislature, our services are provided free of charge.
Each year, we receive approximately 7,500 enquiries and complaints and conduct 2,000 individual investigations and early resolutions. We also publish larger-scale systemic investigation reports that address the wider concerns.
Since 1979, we have worked to improve the principles of openness, transparency and accountability in public administration. By upholding these principles of administrative fairness, we strive to:
- Ensure that every person is treated fairly in the provision of public services in British Columbia.
- Improve policies and procedures.
- Support better and fairer public administration.
What we do
- Respond to inquiries from the public.
- Provide information, advice and assistance on issues of administrative fairness.
- Generally oversee the administrative actions of public agencies to enhance transparency and accountability.
- Conduct thorough, impartial and independent investigations of complaints.
- Look for fair resolutions and make recommendations to improve administrative practices.
- Consult with, provide reasons, and make recommendations to authorities to improve administrative practices.
- Provide reports to the Legislative Assembly and the people of British Columbia about administrative fairness issues and how they can be remedied.
How we Investigate
When conducting thorough and impartial investigations, we:
- Identify issues of administrative unfairness.
- Identify causes of recurring unfairness and how it can be avoided in the future.
- Attempt to resolve complaints through consultation.
- Employ an approach that identifies and addresses the underlying causes of complaints.
- Make recommendations and issue reports that are based on sound analysis of the facts, are consistent with our statutory mandate and apply the principles of natural justice and administrative fairness.