Here are some of the questions people ask us. If you have more questions, check out the other pages on this site or give us a call.
What kinds of complaints does the Ombudsman take?
We take a wide variety of complaints about Saskatchewan government ministries, agencies and Crown corporations, and also municipalities and municipal council members. For more details, see Before Making a Complaint or Where to Complain. You can also call us to see if we can take your complaint.
Can a friend or family member make a complaint on someone’s behalf?
Not usually. We prefer to hear directly from the person who was affected, but they can authorize someone else to represent them. Sometimes this is necessary, however, such as when the person is not capable of representing themself.
If someone is in a provincial government institution, such as a senior’s residence or correctional centre, does the institution have to provide access to the Ombudsman?
Yes. The Ombudsman Act, 2012 says that certain designated facilities are responsible for ensuring that the residents in their care know about our services and how to contact us, and are provided the means to communicate with us in private. For more details, see section 20 of the Act.
Will the Ombudsman represent me?
No, but we will listen to your complaint and consider whether there is a role for us. We are independent, so we are not on anyone’s side. We have the ability to look at the issues impartially and determine whether something was done or decided unfairly.
Do all complaints get investigated?
No. We assess each complaint as it comes in to determine whether there is a role for us. Some complaints are investigated, but others are resolved informally with our involvement or referred back to the government body. For example, if you come to us before you have tried all the available ways to resolve the problem, we will probably talk with you about how to pursue the issue yourself, and invite you to call us back if you are still dissatisfied after you have a final decision from the government body you are dealing with.
Why do I have to try to resolve the problem myself first?
We are an office of last resort, which helps to ensure that the government entities within our jurisdiction have a fair opportunity to resolve problems themselves before we get involved.
How long does it take for your Office to complete an investigation?
It depends on several factors including the nature of the complaint and the amount of information that needs to be gathered and reviewed. In general, though, it is our goal to complete investigations within six months.
Why aren’t your recommendations binding?
When we complete an investigation, if the Ombudsman believes there are sufficient grounds for making a report and recommendations, we provide a draft copy of our tentative findings to whomever we have given notice to, plus anyone that may be adversely affected by our findings. This is part of a fair process. It gives these people and organizations an opportunity to know that we intend to make findings about them, to review the information we intend to rely on, and to submit new or alternative information to us. As a result, when we make our final recommendations, they are usually recognized as being fair and are implemented.