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2017 Commissioner’s Award
Provincial & Territorial Ombudsman Offices in Canada
Author: Stewart Hyson
Publication Date: 2009
Parliamentary ombudsmen are appointed to investigate citizens' complaints and to provide checks on government administrative activity. In Canada, there are ten provincial and territorial ombudsmen, each with mandates over the whole of the public service within their regions. Though each ombudsman presents an annual report on his or her activities, there has been little sustained evaluation of the position's impact or its effectiveness.
In this collection, contributors describe and assess the performance of the ten ombudsman offices in light of their multiple and evolving functions. Ombudsmen both investigate citizens' complaints and direct them to already-existing agencies. They sometimes educate the public about administrative processes and initiate probes of systemic issues in need of amelioration or change. An important evaluation of a little-studied institution, Provincial and Territorial Ombudsman Offices in Canada offers background and theory, case studies, and perspectives on the emerging challenges for the office in the twenty-first century.
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