When the initial contact with a client is made, the OFOVC makes an assessment to determine whether it is an inquiry or a complaint. In response to inquiries, the OFOVC opens a file, provides the information requested and closes the file. For each complaint, a file is opened and a further assessment is made. If the assessment determines the complaint is outside the office’s mandate, a referral to the appropriate organization or mechanism is provided and the file is closed. If the complaint is within the office’s mandate, the case is reviewed and a solution recommended. If this leads to an early resolution, the file is then closed. If not, further recommendations are made and follow-up actions monitored until it is resolved, when the file is closed. If a victim’s concern falls outside the office’s mandate, a Complaint Review officer will refer them to the agency or organization best suited to assist them.
The OFOVC determined that the reasons for contacting the office were as follows: inquiries 200; complaints 122; inquiries and complaints 66; and those we were unable to determine 11.
The OFOVC also tracks the locations where files originate. Thus, in 2016-2017 the number of files opened originating from Newfoundland and Labrador was 2; from Prince Edward Island, 1; from Nova Scotia, 15; from New Brunswick, 5; from Quebec, 59; from Ontario, 151; from Manitoba, 12; from Saskatchewan, 8; from Alberta, 36; from British Columbia, 49; from Yukon, 0; from Northwest Territories, 4; and from Nunavut, 1; United States of America, 7; international, 18. The origin of 31 files was unknown. The total number of files opened was 399.
The OFOVC identifies and quantifies its files by the category of the individual making the contact. Thus, in 2016-2017 the number of files opened by a direct victim was 236; by *other was 63; by a family member of a victim was 49; by a non-governmental organization (NGO) was 25; by a concerned citizen was 11; by police service was 5; by a friend was 3; and by a provincial or territorial government department was 1.
*“Other” refers to contacts by persons who wished to remain anonymous or could not be identified.
The OFOVC also monitors the top five topics of interest to our clientele. In 2016-2017 they were: issues related to other levels of government, 240; victims’ rights, 160; victim assistance options, 42; limited role of the OFOVC, 40; safety concerns 33.
*Note: A single file may have multiple associated issues, or topics
Following coming into force of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (CVBR), the OFOVC began monitoring requests for information or assistance related to the Act. In 2016-2017 the number of times victims raised these issues with OFOVC was as follows: right to information 55; right to protection 14; right to participation 17; right to seek restitution 2; and right to remedies 25.
The OFOVC classifies these cases according to the rights listed in the CVBR. However, one case may involve several aspects of the CVBR. Although the OFOVC is committed to ensuring that its data is standardized and consistent, the interpretation and the classification of these cases are subjective.
The OFOVC keeps track of expenditures by category. In 2016-2017 expenditures for salaries and wages were $770,754; for information/communications, $22,694; for training and professional dues, $13,232; for professional and special services, $39,307; for legal services $3,023; for translation Services $34,250; for other services $2,034; for rentals, $5,247; for repairs and maintenance, utilities, materials and supplies, $4,473; for travel and relocation, $39,109; and for other, $965.
The total expended by Ombudsman’s office was $895,781. The total for corporate costs (controlled centrally) was $90,041.
Total expenditures were $985,822.
Public Services and Procurement Canada contributed to the cost of occupying and maintaining OFOVC premises, $106,404.