Québec City, September 21, 2023 – Today, Québec Ombudsman Marc-André Dowd tabled his 2022-2023 Annual Report in the National Assembly.
Should labour shortages, a widespread phenomenon in all activity sectors, be an inevitability or a challenge for government departments, agencies and public networks? From the outset, Mr. Dowd raises the question since staff shortages are sometimes presented as a pretext for shortcomings in public services.
Granted, government administrations now, more often than before, must deal with lack of teams and with recruitment problems. And the result? The complaints and reports that the Québec Ombudsman handles show that many public organizations cannot manage to maintain quality service when staff are just not there to provide it: lengthy wait times, mistakes, lost documents, service interruptions, jammed phone lines.
"I’m calling on authorities, decision-makers and their organizations to step up to the plate when it comes to service quality and personalization. It’s true that in some cases, it’s quite a feat. Therein lies the challenge," said Mr. Dowd.
The year in review
Whether because of understaffing or for other reasons, the situations denounced in the Québec Ombudsman's 2022-2023 Annual Report highlight failings by government departments and agencies and health and social services network organizations. Here is an overview:
Taking action, remaining confident
In closing, the Québec Ombudsman emphasized that its investigations have also shown that public organizations are inventive in providing citizens with comprehensive, prompt, empathetic, strategic and innovative services.
"I'm confident in the government's ability to deal with the various challenges posed by staff shortages. Why do I say that? Because public services can depend on workers who, as a rule, care about a proper and humane approach to citizens, provided they are given the means to do so," stated the Québec Ombudsman.
The Québec Ombudsman acts impartially and independently in ensuring that people's rights are respected in their dealings with public services. Its services are free and user-friendly.
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