The Ombudsman Nova Scotia, Canada, has just published its Annual Report for the period 2018-2019. The Nova Scotia Office of the Ombudsman handled 2,278 complaints, inquiries, and youth contacts in the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
In his Annual Report, tabled in the House of Assembly October 1, 2019, Mr. William A. Smith, Ombudsman, outlines the various roles and oversight mandates of his Office under the Ombudsman Act and Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act, and provides a user-friendly overview of the Office’s activities and related statistics throughout the year.
Ombudsman Smith outlined that the Ombudsman Nova Scotia has one of the broadest mandates for an Ombudsman office in Canada. “The Office of the Ombudsman undertakes three oversight functions. First, pursuant to the Ombudsman Act, we strive to resolve complaints regarding the administration of provincial and municipal governments. This includes all municipal units, provincial departments, agencies, boards, and commissions. Second, we work with departments and agencies who provide services directly to children, youth, and seniors in the care of the province, to help better those services, and to function as an independent review mechanism when complaints arise involving the delivery of those services. Third, this Office reviews and investigates allegations or disclosures of wrongdoing from provincial government employees and members of the public”, Ombudsman Smith explains.
According to Ombudsman Smith the thousands of contacts with the Ombudsman office demonstrate that there is work to be done in fostering fairness, integrity and good governance. He views each case as an opportunity to address individual grievances and pursue best practices in government policy in a fair and impartial way, which may include issuing recommendations to public bodies that are intended to enhance service delivery and access.
Source: Nova Scotia Office of the Ombudsman, Canada