Public Protector gets help from Ombudsman of Ontario, Canada

Eighty-five (85) Public Protector investigators from all over the country arrived in Pretoria on Monday to undergo an intensive training course aimed at ensuring in-depth and speedy investigations.

Termed “Sharpening Your Teeth: Advanced Training for Administrative Watchdogs”, the three-day course is conducted by the Ombudsman of Ontario in Canada, Andre Marin, and his team comprising Director of Special Ombudsman Response Team (SORT) Gareth Jones and Manager of Investigations Sue Haslam.

The course, which enjoys the backing of the International Ombudsman Institute, has been attended by hundreds of administrative investigators and ombudsmen from all over the world.

These include the Canadian federal and provincial agencies, US states and federal departments, Europe, the Caribbean, Australia, South America and Asia, amongst others.

Speaking ahead of the course, Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela said although the course focuses on systemic investigations, its lessons are relevant to all investigations and will bring her office closer to achieving its goal of balancing rigour with speed.

“With this course, our investigators will also improve on their skills to balance thoroughness with expeditiousness in line with our aim to resolve complaints in a prompt yet in-depth manner,” she said.

In Canada, Mr Marin has an unsurpassed reputation for fair, thorough and objective systemic investigations. His SORT model has resulted in major government reforms that improved the lives of the people of Ontario.

These include Ontario’s procedures for newborn screening, property tax assessment system, funding for the disabled and special-needs children, out-of-country medical treatment, crime victim compensation and legal aid.

The Public Protector and Mr Marin will this week host a roundtable discussion, which will center on Ontario Ombudsman’s approach to investigations. The discussion will be held as follows:

Date: Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Time: 09:00
Venue: Public Protector House, Pretoria

Members of the media interested in attending the event and interacting with the Public Protector and Mr Marin can confirm attendance with Oupa Segalwe on 072 264 3273 or 012 366 7035.

For more information, contact:

Kgalalelo Masibi
Senior Manager: Outreach, Education and Communications
Tel: (012) 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399


Published Date: 
Monday, August 22, 2011