Most complaints to the Ombudsman are resolved individually without need for a formal investigation. When a formal investigation is launched, the process is as follows:
If the Ombudsman determines that an investigation is warranted, based on public complaints or on his own motion in light of a matter of public interest, his Office must issue a notice of investigation to the relevant Ministry or government/broader public sector organization.
Ombudsman staff gather relevant evidence, including interviewing witnesses (by phone, Skype or in person) and reviewing documents as warranted. The Ombudsman Act requires that Ombudsman investigations be conducted in private.
Findings and Response
Based on the evidence, the Ombudsman makes findings and recommendations. The Ombudsman Act requires that these be shared confidentially with the organization under investigation, to give it the opportunity to respond. The response is taken into consideration in any final report by the Ombudsman.
Tabling and Public Report
The final production process for an Ombudsman report normally includes editing, translation, printing and preparation for web posting. If the report involves a provincial government organization, it must be tabled with the Legislative Assembly, after which it is immediately made public. Occasionally, if the response indicates the issue has been satisfactorily resolved, the Ombudsman may elect not to publish a separate report, but include the case in his Annual Report.