News Release

Ombudsman Kevin Fenwick tabled his annual report in the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly today. He said his office "raised the bar" in 2006 - that is, he now wants government to use best practices when it comes to fairness.

Fenwick said that, more than ever, his office is identifying ways government can improve fairness.
"There is always room to improve. For example, if someone brings a complaint to us, and we determine that government made a fair decision, but we think they could have done better, we will tell them so."

He also noted that his office's involvement often results in action from the provincial government. In 2006, the office received 2,533 complaints that were within its jurisdiction. More than 500 complaints were resolved or had the situation improved through government voluntarily making changes in the early stages of an investigation, mediation or negotiation. This is in addition to many instances where the office's initial inquiries were sufficient to draw government's
attention to the issue and effect a change. As part of the Ombudsman's "raising the bar" approach, his office also made 16 formal recommendations to government in 2006, compared to seven in 2005.

Fenwick says that, while government is often responsive to his office, he is asking them to be even more proactive. "We now have workshops that offer  government offices an opportunity to examine their services through a fairness lens and adopt best practices for fair practice. These include fairness in decision-making, processes and relationships. Ultimately, if government takes these principles to heart, citizens will receive better, more fair services."

Copies of the Ombudsman Saskatchewan 2006 Annual Report are available on the Ombudsman website at www.legassembly.sk.ca/officers/ombuds.htm, in Regina at the Ombudsman Office, Suite 150 - 2401 Saskatchewan Drive or in Saskatoon at the Ombudsman Office, 315 - 25th Street East.

The Ombudsman is an Officer of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan with the authority to
investigate complaints received from members of the public who believe the government administration has not dealt fairly with them. Government administration includes any department, branch, board, agency or commission, responsible to the Crown, and any public servant in Saskatchewan. The Ombudsman was established by the Ombudsman and Children's Advocate Act.

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For more information contact:
Leila Dueck
Director of Communications
Phone: 787-7369
Fax: 787-9090

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