OVO EVALUATION REPORT STATEMENT
August 5, 2020
The Office of the Veterans Ombudsman (OVO) welcomes the recommendations made through an independent internal Evaluation Report recently released by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). It offers a detailed review of the OVO’s operations, effectiveness and the relevance of our mandate.
The OVO has initiated an Action Plan and has begun responding to these recommendations and we are blending our response to it as part of our ongoing efforts to improve our service investigating fair outcomes for Veterans and their families.
The single most important finding from this report, for our office, is the need to review the OVO’s mandate. Since its beginning in 2007, the OVO has shone a bright spotlight on system wide issues impacting Veterans and their families, and have made a real difference in individual lives. We strive to do our best, with the tools currently at our disposal, but we can and want to do more to address fairness issues Veterans and their families are experiencing.
An expanded mandate would make that possible. We could investigate more Veterans’ complaints, sooner, and more efficiently which would enable us to have a greater ability to impact equitable outcomes for Veterans and their families.
The OVO is encouraged that VAC will conduct an assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of VAC’s review/appeal and complaint resolution streams and processes in response to this report. We look forward to fully participating in this process.
On our part, the OVO’s response to -date includes refocusing our resources to increase the number of Early Intervention Officers taking complaints and introducing specialized staff training. The office wants Veterans to know that we are here and how we can help them. We started expanding the traditional reach of our communication activities through more pro-active social media campaigns and launched a quarterly newsletter to share more information around the outcomes of our work.
We will keep Veterans informed of our progress as we continue to address these recommendations. The OVO thanks all who contributed to this report. It’s findings come at a pivotal time in our history and benefit not only our organization but most importantly Veterans and their families seeking fairness.
For updates on the progress of our Action Plan, subscribe to our e-newsletter and follow us on social media.
Click here to read the full report: https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-vac/publications-reports/reports/departmental-audit-evaluation/2020-evaluation-office-veterans-ombudsman
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