The Alberta Ombudsman has been providing oversight of the provincial government since our office opened in 1967. Its purpose – to protect the rights of all Albertans to be treated fairly in the provision of public service. Our collaborative relationship with provincial agencies, boards, commissions and departments has resulted in positive change within the Alberta government and the ministries with which we work. We offer guidance to early resolution of complaints and in the case of a full investigation, we share findings and recommendations aimed at both short- and long-term solutions. Changes to our jurisdiction over the years has widened our scope and offered more Albertans the benefit of an independent, impartial third party in addressing administrative fairness complaints. In the full application of the oversight role, the Ombudsman brings the values of fairness, natural justice, empathy, integrity and accountability.

For more information about the principles the Ombudsman uses in determining administrative fairness, visit our Administrative Fairness Guidelines page.

Some of the provincial agencies in our jurisdiction include:

  • Justice and Solicitor General (includes Correctional Services and the Maintenance Enforcement Program)
  • Community and Social Services (includes AISH, Alberta Works and various appeal panels)
  • Workers’ Compensation Board
  • Children’s Services

If you are an Alberta government decision-maker looking for resources to better apply standards of administrative fairness within your department, you may find our Fundamentals of a Complaints Mechanism and our Internal Complaint Mechanism Checklist to be of use. For information regarding case summaries, findings and recommendations, our Annual Reports can be found here.

Related Case Studies

Calculating fairness — with interest

In order to satisfy citizens a decision is fair, government authorities should be able to explain it. A man complained Court Services in Alberta Justice and Solicitor General paid inadequate interest on $5,000 he was required to deposit into a court trust fund as security. The money was deposited in the 1990s. When his case…

Applying all relevant considerations ensures fairness

The Ombudsman exists to help balance the rights of individual citizens against the power of a large bureaucracy. In performing this task, the Ombudsman accepts a secondary function, equal to or nearly equal to the first, to improve the systemic fairness of government. An individual complained she was required to pay a $7,150 overpayment by…

Forthright letter moves case forward

Opting to apply our early resolution process is more than expedient. Quicker, less formal intervention may also help restore relationships. In the case of Children’s Services, there can be several stakeholders: children; parents; extended family; custodial parents; and Children’s Services itself. A grandmother termed the treatment she received from the local Children’s Services office “insulting…

Investigation leads to overpayment forgiveness

A client of the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program complained about an AISH Appeal Panel decision he believed created an apprehension of bias. This bias was found in the panel’s written decision. The most significant example of bias was a sentence claiming the client displayed “considerable hostility” toward the panel. In response…