Our Communications team can determine where best to direct your question.
The Association of Municipalities of Ontario has a selection of sample policies on its website. In addition, you may wish to contact other municipalities that have implemented their own local accountability offices. You can find these municipalities using the customized search function on the website of the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario.
In future, our Office will share information on best practices with municipalities, based on our experiences with municipal complaints.
An Ombudsman staff member may contact a representative of the municipality and advise them of the substance of the complaint. The staff member may request information relevant to the complaint and attempt to resolve the issue. If a formal investigation is necessary, the municipality will receive a written notice and an opportunity to respond. Representatives, officials and staff may also be interviewed and asked to provide documentation in response to the complaint. For the integrity of our process, the Ombudsman's Office determines which officials we need to contact and/or interview.
The Ombudsman does not replace the roles of public sector unions or grievance processes, or interfere in collective bargaining. Employment-related matters should be directed to the relevant union officials or managers first. If you have concerns about wrongdoing at a municipality, please call our Office so we can see if we can help. Complaints are confidential - we do not identify complainants without their consent.
The Ombudsman is an office of last resort. We strongly encourage municipalities to put local complaint mechanisms in place, because it is in the public interest to ensure citizens can get help with local issues in their communities. Our Office does not replace any local integrity commissioner, ombudsman, or other office that deals with complaints, but we can review decisions of those bodies to ensure the appropriate policies and procedures were followed.