June 23, 2014 1:35 pm

Facts and Highlights: Ontario Ombudsman’s Annual Report 2013-14

ABOVE: Global’s Alan Carter breaks down the Ombudsman’s annual report – with Hydro One coming directly into André Marin’s cross hairs once again

TORONTO – Ontario Ombudsman André Marin released his Annual Report for 2013-14 outlining public complaints about more than 500 provincial government ministries, corporations, agencies and boards.

During a press conference Monday, Marin said complaints have gone up 37 per cent from 2012-2013 to 26,999.

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“A good chunk of those are Hydro One complaints, now at more than 7,900,” Marin said. “But we’ve also seen an increase in many of the province’s most complained about organizations, and in complaints about the MUSH sector.”

Below are the main facts and highlights from the report.

Top 5 most complained about organizations

1. Hydro One (6,961 complaints)
2. Family Responsibility Office (1,157)
3. Ontario Disability Support Program (621)
4. Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (522)
5. Developmental service programs (501)

MUSH sector complaints

  • Municipalities (excluding 158 complaints about closed meetings): 1,595
  • Universities: 41
  • School Boards: 147
  • Hospitals and long-term care homes: 471 (hospitals); 72(long-term care)
  • Children’s aid societies: 536 (4,086 total since 2005)
  • Police: 538

Key themes and complaint trends

Bill to open MUSH sector to scrutiny: Bill 179, the Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, introduced in March, proposed extending the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction for the first time – to municipalities, universities and school boards. The bill died in May but is expected to be reintroduced.

Review of “ghost” licences: The Ministry of Transportation continues to review its database of duplicate driver’s licence records, which the Ombudsman termed “ghost licences” in 2012. It has found more than 13,866 duplicate licence records, 1,039 of which were flagged for suspension, and 138 of which were considered “high-risk”.

Family Responsibility Office (FRO) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP): A communication breakdown between these two agencies deprived hundreds of families of hundreds of thousands of dollars in support payments

Unfinished business: Other bills derailed by the June 12 election would have addressed recommendations, including replacing the Public Works Protection Act, improving monitoring of drivers with certain medical conditions, and regulation of the non-emergency medical transfer industry.

Read the FULL REPORT here.

SOURCE: Ontario Ombudsman

© Shaw Media, 2014

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