The Office of the Ombudsman says its outreach efforts increased by 51 per cent in 2009-10 with a greater focus on youth, seniors, corrections and diversity. In the annual report tabled today, Dec. 2, Ombudsman Dwight Bishop said citizens have a better understanding of the office and its role. Last year the office addressed 2,271 complaints, inquiries and reviews. Those under the office’s jurisdiction totaled 1,744, up 2 per cent. The office issued 37 formal recommendations. Three were not accepted and are subject to further comment in the report. “Overall we are pleased with the response to our inquiries and recommendations from most government departments,” said Mr. Bishop. “But timelines to implement our recommendations has been unacceptable in some cases.” The office continues to handle complex and sensitive issues with more in-depth systemic examination of policies and procedures emerging. A summary of the investigations are included in the report along with a breakdown of issues and complaints addressed during the last five years involving correctional services. Twenty-three disclosure of wrongdoing inquiries were also reviewed resulting in 5 investigations — the most of any province with a disclosure process. “The process has been in place since 2004 and the office has noticed a gradual increase in the level of confidence civil servants have in this avenue of redress,” said Mr. Bishop. The report includes an outline of recommendations made by the Ombudsman since Disclosure of Wrongdoing regulations were introduced. The annual report is available on the Office of the Ombudsman website at www.gov.ns.ca/ombu .