Focused on Fairness
What we do (at a glance)
The Alberta Ombudsman responds to complaints of unfair treatment by
provincial government authorities and designated professional organizations.
- Is independent from government
- Is approachable and responsive
- Provides services free of charge
- Recommends solutions that are fair for both the complainant and government
- Promotes standards of fairness
- Is respected, influential and effective
Who is the Ombudsman?
Peter Hourihan was sworn in as Alberta’s eighth Ombudsman in October 2011. Peter spent 35 years in the RCMP working in a variety of policing roles including oversight of all police operations in the province of British Columbia. Peter has significant experience in mediation, development and implementation of programs as well as working as an advisor in the areas of discipline and grievances.
Quick Stats (April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012)
- 885 Written Complaints Received
- 153 New Formal Investigation Files
- 33 New Alternative Complaint Resolution Files
- 699 Declined for Investigation (referral or non-jurisdictional)
Alberta's Voice of Fairness Visits the South
Anyone interested in fair government may attend open houses at the Medicine Hat and Lethbridge Public Libraries on May 29 and 30, 2013. Alberta Ombudsman, Peter Hourihan, will speak and members of his staff will be available to meet with individuals.
"The purpose of the tour is to increase awareness in Southern Alberta of the services provided by my Office," Mr. Hourihan explains. "Alberta has an excellent civil service, but in every large organization instances of unfairness occur. This is rarely through intent, but individual circumstances as well as changes to personnel, policy and legislation can create confusion."
The standards of fairness Albertans can expect are always increasing, Mr. Hourihan observes. "Not too many years ago a decision-maker could simply say no, but that doesn't work in the modern world. Decision-makers must demonstrate they have listened to information and arguments put forward by applicants, they must give reasons that relate the information they received to their legislated authority."
Anyone wishing to meet with an investigator at the open houses is invited to book an appointment by calling the Ombudsman's complaint line at 1-888-455-2756 (toll free).
The two open houses are:
Medicine Hat Public Library
414 - 1 Street SE
12:15 to 1:00 pm - Ombudsman Speaks
1:00 to 3:00 pm - Individual Consultations with Investigators
Lethbridge Public Library
810 - 5 Avenue S
12:00 to 1:00 pm - Ombudsman Speaks
12:00 to 3:00 pm - Individual Consultations with Investigators
Public Interest Commissioner
Mr. Hourihan was recently named Alberta's first Public Interest Commissioner. He is organizing this office in preparation for final proclamation of the full legislation by the provincial government; this is expected to happen in late spring.
International Ombudsman Institute (IOI)
- The Ombudsman was recently elected the North American Regional President of the IOI. He will be heading to Vienna, Austria, in mid-April to attend the next Board meeting. Vienna is where the head office for the IOI is located. It is very beneficial to be a member of this community as the global environment is quite active and there are a number of areas that can assist Alberta as we continue to seek better information, approaches, etc. Mr. Hourihan's goals as the Regional President are to seek information and develop in the area of critical analysis capabilities as well as accountability frameworks.