Publications & Resources
Office of the Ombudsman Annual Report 2014/15
Posted: September 1, 2015
Summary of the Ombudsmanís 2014/15 report on LAO
The Ombudsmanís Office was established in 1975 to help Ontarians resolve problems with provincial government services and administration. LAO receives inquiries from the ombudsmanís early resolution officers on behalf of members of the public. Many of the inquiries received by the Ombudsmanís Office are questions that can be answered by the front line staff and do not require any assistance from LAO. The operations section of the office, which consists of early resolution officers and investigators, focuses on resolving individual cases. Cases that cannot be informally resolved are referred for formal investigation, while others are brought to the attention of the senior government officials and successfully addressed.
The percentage of inquiries regarding LAO that were made to the Ombudsmanís Office in 2014/15 remains consistent. For the past ten years, LAO has accounted for between 0.83-1.28 per cent of the ombudsmanís total inquiries received each year. This is admirable especially considering that public complaints to the Ombudsmanís Office have increased 86 per cent since 2009/10.
For the 2014/15 fiscal year, LAO ranked ninth in number of cases received by the Ombudsmanís Office. However, this accounted for only 1.11 per cent of all cases received within their authority. Appendix 1 provides a breakdown of all organizations in the Top 15 provincial government organizations and programs complained about to that office. Appendix 2 provides a breakdown of LAOís ranking with the Ombudsmanís Office over the past ten years.
The chart below compares the numbers recorded by the Ombudsmanís Office as compared to the number of contacts recorded by LAO. We find it encouraging that many of the inquiries can be resolved by the Ombudsmanís Office using their knowledge about LAO. This year, we were contacted regarding 70 matters but the annual report showed a total of 157 inquiries received regarding LAO.
|Year||Number of Inquiries to LAO from Ombudsman||Number of inquiries about LAO received by Ombudsman|
Of the 70 inquiries forwarded by the Ombudsmanís Office in 2014/15, there were no instances where the matters were escalated past the preliminary inquiry stage. Five inquiries were determined to be substantiated.
- On four occasions, the clients had not received responses from various provincial office departments. In all cases, a written response and apology was provided to each complainant.
- One client was incorrectly advised to submit a reconsideration for a non-resident refusal. Non-resident refusals are not subject to the appeal process.
- The subject of the inquiries received breaks down as follows:
- Although efficiency is a priority, the duration between receipt and resolution is frequently beyond our control as the ombudsmanís representative must also communicate with the initiator of the inquiry. However, the Complaints Department was able to resolve 63 per cent of the 70 ombudsman inquiries received within 30 days.
About the Ombudsmanís Office
- Due to a change in provincial legislation, the Ombudsmanís Office will begin taking complaints about school boards on September 1, 2015, and municipalities and universities on January 1, 2016.
- Mr. Marin completed his second five-year term as provincial ombudsman in May 2015. His contract has been extended until September 2015.
- The Ombudsmanís Office continues to be maintaining its public visibility with the use of a webpage, news articles, television and radio news items, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a mobile application.
We will continue to enhance our relationship with the Ombudsmanís Office and use the subjects of inquiries to identify possible gaps in our policies and procedures.
|Number of cases 2014/15||Percentage of all cases within authority||Number of cases 2013/14|
|Family Responsibility Office||1,167||8.28%||1,157|
|Ontario Disability Support Program||684||4.85%||621|
|Workplace Safety and Insurance Board||481||3.41%||552|
|Private Career Colleges Branch||274||1.94%||15|
|Driver Licensing Ė Medical Review Section||243||1.72%||141|
|Developmental Services Program||160||1.14%||501|
|Legal Aid Ontario||157||1.11%||150|
|Ontario Student Assistance Program||156||1.11%||134|
|Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee||142||1.01%||180|
|Community Care Access Centres||128||0.91%||122|
|Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology||110||0.78%||100|
|Ontario Provincial Police||101||0.72%||111|
|2014/15||9th out of the top 15|
|2013/14||8th out of the top 15|
|2012/13||8th out of the top 15|
|2011/12||6th out of the top 15|
|2010/11||6th out of the top 15|
|2009/10||15th out of the top 20|
|2008/09||Not in top 20|
|2007/08||19th out of the top 20|
|2006/07||20th out of the top 20|
|2005/06||Not in top 20|