In addition to investigating complaints, the Ombudsperson has authority to initiate investigations and in 2007, the Ombudsperson created a small systemic investigation team. The Ombudsperson uses this authority to consider issues from a broad systemic perspective. A systemic investigation is an investigation initiated by the Ombudsperson that is likely to result in findings and recommendations and a published Ombudsperson report.
The Office of the Ombudsperson releases two types of investigation reports: public and special. A public report is issued in accordance with section 25 of the Ombudsperson Act. It contains recommendations that have not been accepted to the satisfaction of the Ombudsperson. A special report is issued in accordance with section 31 of the Ombudsperson Act. It contains recommendations that have all been accepted, and it is released if the Ombudsperson considers the release to be in the public interest or in the interest of a person or authority.
Since its creation in 2007, the systemic investigation team has completed seven major systemic investigations and has made hundreds of recommendations aimed at improving administrative processes and ensuring that a broad range of people in British Columbia are treated fairly. The systemic investigation team monitors the implementation of recommendations made and includes status updates in the Ombudsperson’s annual reports and on the Office’s website. As a result of its work, the B.C. Ombudsperson systemic team has built a reputation as a leader in conducting systemic investigations by a small team and has developed a training program on systemic investigations for small offices.
The following reports have been released since 2008. For a complete list of all the reports, please go to the Resources and Publications page.
The Best of Care: Getting it Right for Seniors in British Columbia (Part 2) (Public Report No. 47)
Honouring Commitments: An investigation of Fraser Health Authority’s Transfer of Seniors from Temporarily Funded residential Care (Special Report No. 33)
On Short Notice: An Investigation of Vancouver Island Health Authority's Process for Closing Cowichan Lodge (Public Report No. 48)
The Best of Care: Getting it Right for Seniors in British Columbia (Part 1) (Public Report No. 46)
Last Resort: Improving Fairness and Accountability in British Columbia's Income (Public Report No. 45)
Fit to Drink: Challenges in Providing Safe Drinking Water in British Columbia (2008) (Special Report No.32)
Winning Fair and Square: A Report on the British Columbia Lottery Coporation's Prize Payout Process (Special Report No. 31)