The Ombudsman is an Officer of the Legislature who submits his reports directly to the Legislative Assembly. The Ombudsman's mandate is set out in the Ombudsman Act. The Ombudsman publishes an Annual Report as required by the Act, as well as special reports throughout the year on systemic investigations conducted by the Special Ombudsman Response Team.
The Ombudsman investigates complaints about the administration of Ontario's provincial governmental organizations and makes recommendations to improve government policy, programs and services. The Ombudsman can investigate both individual and systemic complaints brought forward by members of the public, Members of Provincial Parliament, and on his own initiative. The Ombudsman services are free of charge.
During the 2011/2012 fiscal year, the Ombudsman's Office experienced a 27% increase in its caseload, receiving over 18,500 complaints. We are on track to exceed this number for the 2012/2013 fiscal year. The Ombudsman's Office maintains a complement of 86 FTE's, 63 of which are members of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees union (COPE). The Office's current collective agreement expires March 31, 2013.
The Ombudsman also investigates citizens' complaints about closed municipal meetings pursuant to the Municipal Act, where no municipal investigator is in place. This additional jurisdiction was received in 2008 and was implemented using existing resources and with no resulting increase in the operating budget of the office. The Ombudsman also publishes an Annual Report on the Closed Meetings investigations conducted by his office, as well as special reports on individual investigations.
The Office of the Ombudsman maintains a high social media presence and individuals may contact the Office to lodge a complaint in person, in writing, via toll-free telephone, email, internet or using a mobile web application. The Office provides extensive information about its operations and specific investigations in both English and French, on its website at www.ombudsman.on.ca.
|TOTAL OPERATING EXPENSE TO BE VOTED||11,159,300||10,782,400||376,900||10,183,818|
|Total Operating Expense||11,159,300||10,782,400||376,900||10,183,818|
|STANDARD ACCOUNT BY ITEM AND SUB-ITEMS|
|Salaries and wages||7,271,700|
|Transportation and communication||593,000|
|Supplies and equipment||248,900|
|Total Operating Expense to be Voted||11,159,300|
|Total Operating Expense for Ombudsman Ontario Program||11,159,300|