What We Investigate

The Office of the Ombudsperson receives complaints about unfair administrative decisions or actions, including lack of adequate reasons, unreasonable delay, unfair procedures, and arbitrary or unauthorised procedures. If we cannot deal with your complaint, we'll do our best to refer you to someone who can. The Ombudsperson has discretion to decide whether complaints will be investigated. 

The Office of the Ombudsperson Can Investigate

The Ombudsperson has jurisdiction over a wide range of provincial public agencies, including:

  • British Columbia government ministries, including complaints regarding income assistance and the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program
  • Crown corporations such as ICBC and BC Hydro
  • government boards such as WCB and the BC Human Rights Tribunal
  • hospitals, health authorities, and health-related agencies such as Medical Services Plan and Pharmacare
  • schools and school districts
  • universities and colleges
  • local governments
  • professional associations such as the Law Society

The schedule to the Ombudsperson Act contains a complete list of authorities.

The Office of the Ombudsperson Cannot Investigate

The Ombudsperson does not have jurisdiction to investigate complaints involving federal government ministries or programs, private corporations, the courts or the police. Some examples are:

  • banks
  • consumer inquiries
  • doctors
  • employment issues involving private companies
  • federal programs, departments or agencies
  • home and property insurance
  • landlord and tenant (residential) inquiries
  • lawyers
  • municipal police
  • private life and health insurance
  • private schools
  • RCMP

The Ombudsperson has jurisdiction to investigate provincial organizations that provide oversight to some areas. These regulatory authorities include the Residential Tenancy Branch, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Inspector of Independent Schools, and Consumer Protection B.C.