Nearly 7,500 inquiries and complaints were responded to and 1,900 early resolutions or investigations were completed last year by B.C.’s Ombudsperson Office and on June 6, the public will be able to make a complaint in person with Ombudsperson staff as an ‘Ombudsperson Office for the Day’ is set up in Courtenay/Comox.
“We serve the entire province, if people have not been successful in resolving their problems with the public agency and still feel they have not been treated fairly and reasonably, they can come to us”, says Ombudsperson Kim Carter. “While the majority of complaints are by telephone, mail or online, some people are more comfortable meeting face-to-face and I feel it’s important that this opportunity is available to people throughout the province.”
B.C.’s Ombudsperson Office can investigate complaints about all provincial ministries and boards, Crown corporations, colleges and universities, schools and boards of education, health authorities, local governments and self-governing professions.
Appointments need to be booked ahead of time by calling 1-800-567-3247. While Ombudsperson staff meet with individuals, the Ombudsperson will speak privately to public agencies under her jurisdiction and with community groups.
The role of the Ombudsperson is to uphold the democratic principles of openness, transparency and accountability, to ensure that every person in B.C. is treated fairly in the provision of public services, and to promote and foster fairness in public administration.