Statement: Select Standing Committee refers matter to Ombudsperson

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Victoria - The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services has referred issues arising from the 2012 Ministry of Health employment termination matter to the Ombudsperson for investigation and report.

“I am committed to a diligent and professional investigation into this matter,” said Ombudsperson Jay Chalke. “We understand the desire for answers in this matter and the wish that we complete this report in a timely manner. However, speed is not our first goal – a thorough, high quality investigation is our primary objective.”

Section 10(3) of the Ombudsperson Act empowers the Select Standing Committee to refer a matter to the Ombudsperson. The Ombudsperson is required to investigate and to report back. This referral is the first time in the 36 year history of the office that s. 10(3) has been used by the Legislature or one of its Committees.

“My advice to the committee was that a decision about the referral ought to be unanimous. While that was not the case, and would have been my strong preference, I respect the legal obligation conferred on me under the Ombudsperson Act and will carry out a rigorous investigation. I wish to acknowledge the work of the committee and the legislature over the last month which addressed legal barriers that had been identified.”

“Throughout this investigation, the Office of the Ombudsperson will continue to provide its regular services to British Columbians who need an independent voice for fairness.”

Date Wednesday, July 29, 2015