July 29, 2015

Select Standing Committee refers matter to Ombudsperson

UPDATE  September, 2015: The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services has by unanimous vote adopted Special Directions and has recommended approval of the Ombudsperson’s supplementary budget request.

July, 2015: The Legislative Assembly’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services has referred issues arising from the 2012 Ministry of Health employee termination matter to the Office of the Ombudsperson.

The motion of referral passed by the committee on July 29, 2015:

Be it resolved that this committee, pursuant to section 10(3) of the Ombudsperson Act refer the Ministry of Health termination file to the Ombudsperson for investigation and report as they see fit, including events leading up to the decision to terminate the employees; the decision to terminate, itself; the actions taken by government following the terminations; and any other matters they may deem worthy of investigation. The committee trusts that this investigation can be concluded in a timely manner.

Under s. 10(4) of the Ombudsperson Act the Ombudsperson is required to investigate any matter referred by the Legislative Assembly or any of its committees and also to report back.

Overview of Ombudsperson Investigations

The Ombudsperson Act allows the Office of the Ombudsperson broad access to records and personal evidence from any person. The Ombudsperson is empowered to take evidence under oath and may, by summons, compel any person to provide information or record. Ombudsperson investigations are required by law to be conducted confidentially unless there are special circumstances in which public proceedings are essential to further the investigation. At the end of the investigation, the Ombudsperson will make findings and any recommendations advisable.