How to Make a Complaint
When a complaint comes to us, it follows a process that includes determination of jurisdiction, preliminary inquiries and research, analysis, possible investigation and resolution. Here is a brief description of how our process works.
Step 1 – Is this the type of complaint we can take?
We will listen to your complaint and ask questions to determine if our office is the best place to deal with it. The Ombudsman Act sets out the types of complaints that we can take. If the Act does not apply to your complaint, we will talk to you about other options.
Step 2 – Is the complaint ready for us?
We will ask what steps you have already taken to resolve your complaint. We will want to know things such as:
- Did you ask the government office to give you reasons for the decision?
- Was there an appeal process? If so, did you try it?
- Did you attempt to resolve your matter with the management of the department?
If you have not tried some of these options, we’ll ask you to do so, before we take your complaint. The Office of the Ombudsman is a place of last resort. You must first try any internal government processes that are available to resolve your matter, before coming to us.
Step 3 – What information do you have?
We will ask you for all the details about what happened. We may ask you to write down your story and give us copies of any documents you have about your complaint.
Step 4 – How do we deal with the complaint impartially?
We will look at your information and will also ask the government for information so that we can determine how best to deal with your complaint. We will try to resolve your complaint informally.
Step 5 – If your complaint is not resolved, what’s next?
If your complaint can’t be resolved informally, we may investigate. Sometimes things can be resolved through discussion with the department during the investigation process. After investigation, if your complaint is substantiated, the Ombudsman:
- may meet with the department/agency to try to resolve the complaint in a fair and reasonable way
- may make recommendations to the department/agency to improve administration
- will provide results of the investigation to the complainant
- may make a report to Cabinet and the Legislature if recommendations are not carried out.
Complaint Form for download
- What kinds of problems can the Ombudsman help me with?
The Ombudsman can investigate complaints about:
- Yukon government departments,
- crown corporations and independent authorities or boards,
- public schools,
- Yukon College,
- professional and occupational governing bodies, and
- municipalities and Yukon First Nations (at their request only).
- What kinds of problems can the Ombudsman NOT help me with?
There are a number of problems that are outside the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction. The Ombudsman cannot investigate:
- disputes between individuals;
- complaints about the federal government, the RCMP, the courts, the Yukon Legislature, the Yukon Elections Office, or lawyers acting on behalf of government;
- landlord/tenant matters;
- home or auto insurance;
- businesses; and
- matters which took place before the Ombudsman Act became law (1996)
- What should I do if I want to get help from the Ombudsman?
The Ombudsman is generally a place of last resort. This means that you should first try to resolve your problem by using any internal complaint and appeal procedures available within the government body you are dealing with. Many complaints can be resolved quickly in this way. If you are not certain what complaint procedures are available, you can speak to the government body directly or ask the Ombudsman to help you find information on how to address your problem.
- make notes of your interactions with the government body,
- get the names and titles of the people you have dealt with,
- keep track of the dates of your contacts with the government body, and
- keep all papers and letters or emails relating to your complaint.