What We Do

The Office of the Ombudsman addresses complaints involving provincial or municipal government departments, agencies, boards and commissions.

We are non-partisan and operate as an independent oversight agency. All complaints filed with the office are confidential and not subject to Freedom of Information requests.

The Ombudsman considers and investigates complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly when using government services, or when they believe a policy or procedure has not been followed correctly or is unfair.

The Office of the Ombudsman is not an advocate for either the Complainant or the Respondent. Based on research, the Office can, and does, make recommendations that can be favourable to either party, to both, and to neither. The Office is not a law office or a court, although laws and regulations impact most cases with which we deal. The Office is a forum of fair play. It encourages public service propriety, clear communications, and understanding among government entities and citizens. 

Our purpose is to improve the delivery of government services provided to Nova Scotians.

An important objective for our Office is to explain why and how a complaint can be seen as an opportunity to improve services provided by government. Even when a complaint is not supported, it presents an opportunity to review policies and procedures to ensure a high standard of service delivery.

Goals of the Office include:

  • Maintain a quality complaint resolution process
  • Increase awareness, access and understanding of the Office of the Ombudsman
  • Promote fairness and accountability in public sector administration

The Office of the Ombudsman does not handle complaints involving:

  • decisions of Cabinet
  • the courts or judges
  • federal government departments or agencies
  • private individuals and corporations
  • elected federal, provincial, or municipal officials
  • an individual whose complaint is represented by a union
  • a legislated avenue of appeal to a court or tribunal

Staff of the Office of the Ombudsman provide information and presentations on the role of the Office of the Ombudsman. Information on these services can be obtained by contacting the office at (902) 424-6780 or toll free at 1-800-670-1111, or by viewing our brochure.

More information

Do you have concerns about Provincial or Municipal Government Services?