An Organizational Story
1.3.2 More focused, systemic interventions
Sometimes, when questioned by the investigators of the Commissioner’s Office, government ministries and agencies ask them whether a specific complaint has been received on a particular subject. When there has been no complaint, their response in some cases is that it will be necessary to wait until there is one before proposing any corrective measures. This stance is clearly unacceptable, and there will be even less room for it in the new approach of the Commissioner’s Office. For one thing, the Commissioner has the power to investigate on his own initiative, and for another, such unreceptiveness on the part of the public service makes no sense from the standpoint of accountability to Ontario’s citizens.
The Commissioner’s Office has to be able to count on the receptiveness and cooperation of government ministries and agencies, especially since his interventions with their executives will now be more focused around the following:
- A trend analysis of the complaints received by the Commissioner’s Office;
- The issues raised by community organizations in the various sectors; and
- The fundamental action priorities identified by the Commissioner’s Office in each sector.
Under this new approach, the Commissioner will focus on two or three fundamental issues in each sector and present them to the executives of the ministry in question, whether complaints have been received or not. One of those priorities may eventually become the subject of an extensive investigation by the Commissioner’s Office. Ultimately, one or more recommendations may come out of that process. Whatever the case, it will be important for the Commissioner and his team to be able to work with the Office of Francophone Affairs to guide the government ministries and agencies in implementing any recommendations, or in developing any systemic solutions.