Complaints about government services increased by 20 per cent in the past year.

 

The Office of the Ombudsman, which investigates and logs citizen’s complaints, released its annual report yesterday. In the 2007-2008 fiscal year, there were 2,251 complaints. There were 1,801 in 2006-2007.

 

The report said gaming, environment, youth, and corrections were the dominant issues. The number of complaints from seniors also rose to 43 in the past fiscal year from 25.

 

More Nova Scotians are aware of the ombudsman because of a number of outreach sessions held around the province in the last year: A pilot project collected input from young people about how they access government services. An outreach program for seniors found the best approach was to educate families and caregivers on how the office works.

 

“We're pleased that there has been greater awareness and use of the Office of the Ombudsman during this past year,” said Dwight Bishop, ombudsman, in a statement yesterday.

Two investigations of disclosure and wrongdoing resulted in recommendations for policy development, and another investigation led to a finding of wrongdoing.