Annual report summary Ontario Ombudsman 2021-22

Published: October 13, 2022

The following summary contains information pertaining to Legal Aid Ontario in the annual report from the Ontario Ombudsman. The original report was released on August 10, 2022.

Background

The Ontario Ombudsman was established in 1975. They are an Office of the Legislature, independent of the government and political parties and assist Ontarians in resolving complaints and identifying systemic issues within provincial government services and administration.

The Ontario Ombudsman oversees more than 1,000 public sector bodies, comprising more than 500 Ontario government ministries, programs, agencies, boards, commissions, corporations and tribunals, as well as municipalities, school boards, school authorities, universities and Children’s Aid Societies. The Office has recently added two former offices of the Legislature, the French Language Services Commissioner and the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth.

The Complaints department, acting as the liaison between LAO and the Office of the Ombudsman, receives inquiries from the Ombudsman’s Early Resolution Officers on behalf of members of the public. Many of the inquiries received by the Ombudsman’s Office are questions that can be answered by frontline Ombudsman staff and do not require any assistance from LAO.

Details

For the 2021-22 fiscal year, it should be noted that inquiries pertaining to LAO accounted for only 0.3% of all cases received by the Ombudsman (76 out of 25,161 cases).

Complaints against LAO and clinics constituted 5% of all complaints against agencies reporting to the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) even though LAO represents a significant amount of the agency funding allocated to MAG. There were 1,567 complaints pertaining to MAG and it’s agencies with 65 of those inquiries pertaining to LAO and 11 pertaining to Legal Aid clinics.

LAO was not among the top-10 provincial government organizations and programs complained about to the Ontario Ombudsman during 2021-22.

There were no case studies in the annual report pertaining to LAO.

Conclusion

We will continue to enhance our relationship with the Ontario Ombudsman and use inquiries to identify possible gaps in our policies and procedures.