The purpose of the Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009 ("ATAGAA") is to ensure that adjudicative tribunals are accountable, transparent and efficient in their operations, while remaining independent in their decision-making.
Section 5 of the ATAGAA requires that every adjudicative tribunal shall develop a service standard policy which must contain, among other items, a process for making, reviewing and responding to complaints about the service provided. This policy provides a complaint process for the public.
Tribunals Ontario may receive complaints about the quality of service related to its practices or the conduct of its Members or staff. The purpose of the Public Complaints Policy ("the Policy") is to inform the public about the process by which such complaints will be received, reviewed and resolved.
It is important to note that:
Complaints must be submitted in writing to the Office of the Executive Chair. A complaint may not be made anonymously. In submitting a complaint, the complainant must understand that the person or persons who are the subject of the complaint may be informed of it. Complainants must be willing to disclose their name, address, telephone number and connection to the matter on which their complaint is based.
The written complaint should clearly describe the complainant's concern and provide details of the alleged conduct at issue. Wherever possible, the complaint should identify the complainant by name, if the complaint relates to a person, and provide the relevant case number(s). All information will be kept confidential and among parties involved, as appropriate.
Action on a complaint may be postponed in cases of an ongoing proceeding. The complaints process will be applied to ensure that it does not interfere with the fairness of any proceeding or with adjudicative discretion and independence.
Except in rare circumstances, where accommodation of a complainant necessitates receipt of a verbal complaint, only written complaints (including through email) will be processed using this Policy. In cases where a verbal complaint is received under this Policy, the Executive Chair (or her/his designate) shall record the particulars of the complaint in writing.
In all cases, receipt of the complaint will be acknowledged within five business days.
Public complaints to Tribunals Ontario will be addressed in one of the following ways:
(a) Summary Dismissal:
(b) Informal Resolution:
(c) Investigation, Findings and Recommendation:
A complaint about a staff member may be raised with the Executive Director. Where it is decided to investigate a complaint, the Executive Director will provide the staff member with a copy of the complaint and an opportunity to respond. If the Executive Director decides to conduct an investigation in response to the complaint, the complainant will be provided with a copy of the staff member's response to the complaint and the opportunity to reply.
A complaint about a Member, Vice Chair, Associate Chair or Alternate Executive Chair may be raised with the Executive Chair.
Disclosure: Maintaining Integrity and Impartiality of the Adjudicative Process
If the complaint relates to the conduct of the Executive Director, the procedure outlined for complaints will apply, except that the review may be conducted by the Deputy Attorney General or his/her delegate, Ministry of the Attorney General.
If the complaint relates to the conduct of the Executive Chair, the above procedure will apply, except that the Minister responsible for Tribunal Ontario or her/his delegate, being the Attorney General, may conduct the review. The Attorney General or her/his delegate will determine any action to be taken.
The Executive Chair or Executive Director shall endeavor to respond to every complaint as expeditiously as possible.
If it is not possible to respond to a complaint within the estimated timeframe communicated to the complainant, the Executive Chair or Executive Director will notify the complainant of the delay and will provide them with a revised estimate for the completion of the response.
Tribunals Ontario will ensure that any information provided, concerning a complaint, will be kept confidential and among the parties involved.
Complaints about Tribunals Ontario policies and procedures are directed to the Executive Director and/or the Executive Chair. Complaints of this nature are not covered by this Policy but will be reviewed by the Executive Director and/or the Executive Chair, as appropriate in accordance with the commitment to provide high quality service.
This Policy is available in various accessible formats including Braille, audio tape and large print. For alternative format or a paper copy, please contact the Office of the Executive Chair.
This policy will be reviewed every 3 years along with the other documentation required by ATAGAA.
This Policy was jointly adopted by the Executive Chair and the Executive Director.
Tribunals Ontario Executive Office
15 Grosvenor Street, 1st Floor
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2G6
TTY (via Bell Relay): 711
This document is available on Tribunals Ontario website: tribunalsontario.ca
If you have any questions about this document or would prefer it in an alternative format, please contact the Executive Office, Tribunals Ontario.