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Appendix IV – Comparative Study of Selected Ombudsmen Models and Other Similar Agencies

 Power to InvestigateDiscretion to refuse investigationSelf-initiated InvestigationPrivacy of InvestigationPower to compel production of documentsPower to compel witness statementsRight of EntryExemption from Access to Information LegislationOffences and Penalty for Obstruction and Non-complianceNon-Compellability Immunity of Ombudsman & Staff
Alberta Ombudsman 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Algonquin College Ombudsman 3 3 3 3 3 7 7 7 7 7
Australian Defence Force Ombudsman 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 7 3 3
British Colombia Ombudsman 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
CBC Ombudsmen 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 7 7 7
CIDA Ombudsman 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
Concordia University Ombudsman 3 3 3 3 3 3 n/a 7 7 n/a
Correctional Investigator 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 7 3 3
Czech Republic Armed Forces Ombudsman 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 n/a n/a n/a
DFAIT Ombudsman 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
DIAND Ombudsman 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
Israeli Defence Force Soldiers' Complaint Commissioner 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 n/a
Manitoba Ombudsman 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
New Brunswick Ombudsman 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Norwegian Armed Forces Ombudsman 3 3 3 n/a 3 3 3 n/a 3 7
Nova Scotia Ombudsman 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Official Languages Commissioner 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 7 7 3
Ontario Ombudsman 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Parliamentary Commissioner German Armed Forces 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 n/a 3 3
Protecteur du citoyen du Québec  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3
RCMP External Review Committee  3  3  3  3  3  7  7  7  7  n/a
Royal Netherlands Armed Forces Inspector General  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  n/a  3  n/a
Saskatchewan Ombudsman  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  3
Swedish Ombudsman  3  3  3  7  3  3  3  7  3  7
TD Bank - "Between Us" Program  7  7  7  7  7  7  7  7  7  7
TD Bank – Ombudsman  3  3 7  3  3  3  3  n/a  7  7
US Department of Defense Inspector General  3  3  3  3  3  3  3  n/a  3  n/a

 

Legend:
 

  • 3 = yes
     
  • 7 = no 
     
  • n/a = not applicable or unknown
     

COMPARATIVE STUDY OF SELECTED JURISDICTIONS

Alberta Ombudsman Ombudsman Act, R.S.A. 1980, c.O-7. Jurisdiction: Dept and Agencies of the prov. Gov’t; Restrictions: Exec council actions, Boards of Universities, public colleges, institutes, general hospitals, privileged information, secret documents, actions of the Crown Counsel and Crown solicitors.
Algonquin College Ombudsman Algonquin College Directive No. E20. Mandate is to “investigate, at the request of any student, any complaint regarding various aspects of student life and to serve as an information service by providing advice on policy and procedure, rights and responsibilities, and general guidance on where and to whom complaints and inquiries are appropriately directed."
Australian Defence Force Ombudsman Commonwealth and Defence Force Ombudsman, Ombudsman Act 1976 (Commonwealth). Jurisdiction: may investigate complaints made by mbrs of the Defence Forces. Restrictions: Actions taken by the Minister, Justice or Judge of a court, officer of a court, proceedings in Parliament, disciplinary action.
British Columbia Ombudsman Ombudsman Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c.340. Wide jurisdiction; Restrictions: no authority to investigate decision, recommendation, act or omission in respect of which there is a right of appeal or a right for a review or a decision, recommendation, act or omission of a person acting as a solicitor for an authority (s.11).
CBC Ombudsmen Both CBC Ombudsmen (Corporate Resolution) TOR mandates them to adjudicate complaints involving all information programs on CBC Radio, TV and the Internet. Restrictions: complaints involving entertainment programming are generally beyond the Ombudsman’s mandate and should be addressed directly to the programs concerned.
CIDA Ombudsman Mandate is to offer employees an informal, confidential problem-solving process.
Concordia University Ombudsman Concordia University Ombudsman Office TOR, has scope over University-related concerns or complaints; Restrictions: collective agreements (s. 1)
Correctional Investigator Corrections and Conditional Release Act, R.S.C. 1992, c. 20 Part III. Jurisdiction: offenders’ problems re: decisions, recommendations, acts or omissions of the commissioner or those under his control/management; Restrictions: recommendations, decisions, acts or omissions of the National Parole Board, or decision emanating from a prov. correctional facility (s.167(1)(2))
DFAIT Ombudsman Mandate is to listen and to facilitate resolution of complaints by DFAIT personnel in an informal fashion.
DIAND Ombudsman Mandate is to help employees deal with all sorts of issues in the workplace, they can include unfair employment practices, conduct of other employees, and issues of ethical behaviour. It is an informal alternative to formal methods of resolving staff problems.
Israel Defence Force Soldiers' Complaint Commissioner The Military Law Part II: Examination of Soldiers’ complaints, added to the Military Justice Law in the Book of Laws 664, August 1, 1972. Jurisdiction: complaint by soldiers or dependants (s.4). “The Commissioner may investigate the complaint himself or appoint any other person to do so…may investigate the complaint in any manner he deems fit, and he is not bound to procedural law or to rules of evidence.” (s.17); Restrictions: n/a.
Manitoba Ombudsman Ombudsman Act, R.S.M. 1987, c.O45. Jurisdiction: Depts and agencies of the prov. Gov’t; Restrictions: Courts, Legislature, Mbrs or Committees of the Exec Council, Arbitration Boards.
New Brunswick Ombudsman Ombudsman Act, R.S.N.B. 1997, c.O-5. Jurisdiction over Prov. Agencies, Local gov’ts, school & hospital boards, Public corporate bodies; Restrictions: Exec council, courts, Privileged Info.
Norwegian Armed Forces Ombudsman “Shall assist in safeguarding the civic rights of personnel in the Armed Forces and also by means of its activities endeavour to increase the efficiency of the Armed Forces.” (s.1). Jurisdiction over matters such as mbrs economic and social rights; and matters concerning educational and welfare, work, messing, pensions, equipment, clothing and accommodation. (s.3). Restrictions: “No matter is too insignificant to be submitted to him”.
Nova Scotia Ombudsman Ombudsman Act, R.S.N.S. 1970-71, c.3. Jurisdiction over Prov. Depts and agencies, Local gov’ts; Restrictions on Exec council actions, Actions of judges, prosecutors or counsel for the Crown, or functions of law courts, Information certified by Attorney General to pertain to deliberations or activities of Exec Council.
Official Languages Commissioner Official Languages Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. O-31. Jurisdiction over Institutions of the Parliament or Gov’t of Canada including the House of Commons, the Senate and federal courts (s.2); Restrictions: n/a.
Ontario Ombudsman Ombudsman Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.O-6. Jurisdiction over Prov. Gov’t organizations; Restrictions on Exec Council (Cabinet), Crown Counsel, Judges and Courts.
Parliamentary Commissioner German Armed Forces Act in Respect of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the German Armed Forces (Act in Respect of Article 45b of the Basic Law, or Wehrbeauftragtergesetz) last amended March 30, 1990 (BGBI. I p.599). Jurisdiction: soldiers’ constitutional rights, responsible for monitoring adherence to the principles of Innere Führung (Part A, s.1).
Protecteur du citoyen du Québec Loi sur le Protecteur du citoyen, L.R.Q. 1995, chapitre P-32. Jurisdiction over all “public body” whenever le Protecteur has reasonable cause to believe that a person or group of persons has suffered or may very likely suffer prejudice as a result of an act or an omission […] (s.13); Restrictions: n/a.
RCMP External Review Committee RCMP External Review Committee: RCMP Act, R.S.C. 1985, R-10, amended. Jurisdiction over RCMP grievances, appeals of formal discipline, appeals of discharge and demotion; Restrictions: if Commissioner chooses not to follow committee's recommendations, the reasons for not doing so must be included in the final decision.
Royal Netherlands Inspector General (Military) Jurisdiction by Royal Decree on matters relating to Armed Forces and instituting investigations in matters relating to Armed Forces personnel or former personnel (s.2).
Saskatchewan Ombudsman The Ombudsman and Children's Advocate Act, R.S.S. 1978, c. O-4. Jurisdiction over prov. Agencies (s.2(a)) and Public corporate bodies; Restrictions on Exec council actions (s15) Privileged information, Crown Solicitors, Decisions of Courts, Judges.
Swedish Ombudsman The Parliamentary Ombudsman (JO – Justitieombudsmannen) is mandated to supervise all central and local gov’t agencies, their staff and persons who exercise public authority, including all judges and military officers; Restrictions: JO is not intended to supervise Cabinet ministers, members of the Riksdag or local gov’t officials.
TD Bank – “Between Us” Program Organizational ombuds function whose main aim is to ensure that every voice within TD Bank can be heard and that every problem can receive an impartial view. The Program exists to help surface and resolve in a fair and equitable manner problems that arise within the organization.
TD Bank – Ombudsman Mandate is to address customer concerns in an attempt to maximize customer satisfaction.
US Department of Defense Inspector General Department of Defense – Inspector General Act of 1978 (amended). Jurisdiction: independent and objective office in the DoD, conducts, supervises, monitors, initiates audits and investigations relating to DoD … to detect fraud and abuse (s.3), … investigates, recommends corrective action … violation of law, abuse of authority, danger to the public health and safety (s.5).

 

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