Manitoba Ombudsman releases 2011 Annual Report under The Ombudsman Act and The Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act.

June 11, 2012 |Acting Manitoba Ombudsman Mel Holley released the Ombudsman’s Annual Report under The Ombudsman Act and The Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act (PIDA) for the calendar year 2011. The report highlights the work undertaken by the Ombudsman Division of the office, and includes an overview of divisional activities and investigations.

“This annual report acknowledges the work and accomplishments of former Ombudsman Irene Hamilton,” Holley stated. “It includes case summaries reflecting the variety of complaints and issues brought to our office, and some of the decisions made by the Ombudsman in an effort to achieve fairness for complainants.”

 “One reported case demonstrates that our efforts to assist people are not limited to cases where a formal recommendation is warranted while another, in which we disagreed with the department but declined to make a recommendation supporting the complainant, demonstrates our neutrality and the fact that we are neither an advocate for the complainant nor a spokesman for the government,” Holley said.

Highlights of the 2011 Annual Report under The Ombudsman Act and PIDA:

  • The Division investigated disclosures of wrongdoing under PIDA related to alleged gross mismanagement of public funds. As a result of our investigation, 3 recommendations were made to the government organization. Read “Disclosure of wrongdoing” on page 2.
  • Numerous case studies on pages 1 to 3 highlight the wide variety of issues investigated by the Division under The Ombudsman Act. Included is a report on the conclusion of an issue that we first looked at over a decade ago. See “A long-standing issue: holding of youth under The Intoxicated Persons Detention Act” on page 1.
  • The Ombudsman was able to assist an individual who was denied reimbursement for out-of-province medical expenses from Manitoba Health. See “Out-of-province health benefits” on page 2.
  • As a result of a complaint from an individual who did not have an opportunity to appeal an Environment Act Licence because the minor alteration did not trigger the statutory appeal process, the Ombudsman took the view that appeal provisions in the Act are triggered by the issuance of a licence, and not by the nature of the alteration.  However, based on the circumstances of the case we determined that it would not be appropriate to make a recommendation in favour of the complainant. See “Environmental Assessment and Licensing” on page 3.

The 2011 Annual Report under The Ombudsman Act and PIDA is available by clicking on Publications or What’s New at http://www.ombudsman.mb.ca/ombudsman.htm. It is also available in print by calling (204) 982-9130 (Winnipeg) or 1-800-665-0531 (toll free in Manitoba).

The 2011 Annual Report under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and The Personal Health Information Act was released June 7, 2012.