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British Columbia has eight non-partisan statutory offices that support the work of Members of the Legislative Assembly by carrying out important functions, from the monitoring of government programs and performance to ensuring compliance with provincial laws. They are headed by independent officers who are appointed by, and report to, the Legislative Assembly. Reports of some offices are also reviewed by all-party parliamentary committees.
To ensure their independence, statutory officers have: a legislated mandate; annual budgets reviewed by an all-party parliamentary committee; and the authority to hire staff. An independent process is also used to select statutory officers for appointment and for setting remuneration.
Office of the Auditor General
Carol Bellringer, FCA, MBA
The Auditor General, an officer of the Legislature appointed under the authority of the Auditor General Act, exists to help Members of the Legislative Assembly hold the government accountable. Through its financial audit opinions, the Office of the Auditor General gives legislators and British Columbians assessments about the fairness and reliability of the financial statements and public accounts of the government. The Office also reviews the wider operations and performance of government organizations or programs and whether they are achieving objectives effectively, economically, and efficiently. The reports of the Auditor General are tabled with the Legislative Assembly and discussed, in a public forum, with the all-party Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
Office of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner
Paul Fraser, QC
Conflict of Interest Commissioner
As an officer of the Legislative Assembly appointed under the Members' Conflict of Interest Act, the Conflict of Interest Commissioner performs three separate but related roles: advising Members of the Legislative Assembly on their obligations for conduct; meeting with Members of the Legislative Assembly at least annually to review the disclosures of financial interests and the general obligations imposed by the Act; and providing opinions in response to requests from Members of the Legislative Assembly or members of the public respecting compliance or alleged contraventions of the Act. The office is located in the legislative precinct.
Facsimile: 250-356 6580
Keith Archer, Ph.D
Chief Electoral Officer
An officer of the Legislature, the Chief Electoral Officer is responsible for the fair and impartial administration of the electoral process in BC pursuant to the Election Act, the Recall and Initiative Act and the Referendum Act. Elections BC also administers campaign financing and advertising rules under the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act. The Chief Electoral Officer heads Elections BC, the independent, non-partisan office responsible for administering provincial elections, plebiscites, voter registration and list maintenance, enumerations, referenda, electoral boundaries, election financing, registration of political parties and constituency associations, registration of election advertisers, recall petitions, initiative petitions and initiative votes, and other aspects of the provincial electoral process.
Toll-Free: 1 800-661-8683
TTY: 1 888-456-5448
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
Acting Information and Privacy Commissioner, Registrar of Lobbyists
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner is the independent oversight agency responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection Act. An officer of the Legislature, the Information and Privacy Commissioner has a mandate that includes: conducting reviews of access to information requests, investigating complaints, initiating investigations or audits in the public interest, monitoring compliance with the Acts, commenting on the access and privacy implications of proposed legislation or policy, and promoting freedom of information and protection of privacy principles through public education and outreach. The Commissioner is also designated the Registrar of Lobbyists pursuant to the Lobbyist Registration Act, and is responsible for maintaining the Lobbyists Registry and enforcing the legislative requirement for lobbyists to register.
Toll-free: 1 800-663-7867
Office of the Merit Commissioner
The Merit Commissioner is an officer of the Legislature mandated to provide independent oversight and insight into merit-based hiring in the BC Public Service. The Merit Commissioner monitors the principle of merit in appointments as defined in the Public Service Act.
Office of the Ombudsperson
The Office of the Ombudsperson has two principal roles. It investigates individual complaints of unfair or unreasonable treatment (administrative unfairness) by provincial public agencies and it provides general oversight of the administrative fairness of governmental processes. It conducts three types of investigations: investigations into individual complaints; investigations that are commenced on the Ombudsperson’s own initiative; and investigations referred to the Ombudsperson by the Legislative Assembly or one of its Committees.
The Office has a broad mandate and can investigate complaints involving provincial ministries; provincial boards and commissions (such as Worksafe BC); Crown corporations (such as BC Hydro); local governments; health authorities; colleges and universities; schools and school boards; and self-regulating professions and occupations (such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons). A full list of authorities can be found in the Ombudsperson Act.
The Ombudsperson is independent and impartial officer of the Legislature. The Office conducts confidential investigations that are consultative, resolution-oriented, fair to all those involved and designed to remedy underlying problems. The Office responds to approximately 8000 inquiries and complaints annually. The Ombudsperson may make recommendations for change and improvement and can report to the Legislative Assembly and the public about any issue she investigates.
Telephone: 250 387-5855
Toll-Free: 1 800 567-3247
Facsimile: 250 387-0198
Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner
Stan T. Lowe
Police Complaint Commissioner
The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner is the independent oversight agency that provides an accessible way for the public to voice their concerns about the conduct of any municipal police officer or department. The Police Complaint Commissioner ensures thorough and competent investigations of police complaints and fair adjudication with respect to both citizens and police officers alike. The Commissioner, an officer of the Legislature, is responsible for ensuring compliance with Part 11 – Misconduct, Complaints, Investigations, Discipline and Proceedings, of the Police Act, as well as maintaining records of all complaints and their dispositions, and providing statistical information and reports regularly to the public.
Toll-Free: 1 877-999-8707
Office of the Representative for Children and Youth
Representative for Children and Youth
An independent officer of the Legislature appointed under the authority of the Representative for Children and Youth Act, the Representative for Children and Youth has a three-part mandate: reviewing, investigating and reporting on the critical injuries and deaths of children in care or children receiving reviewable services from public bodies; advocating on behalf of children and their families respecting designated services; and monitoring, reviewing, and auditing the provision of designated services. Effective September 30, 2013, advocacy services were expanded to include young adults with special needs aged 19 to 24.