Colette Langlois was appointed as the NWT's first ombud in April 2019. Photo: Submitted
The Northwest Territories Ombud is asking for members of the public to share their experiences with the territory’s staffing appeals process as part of an investigation into its fairness.
In a news release on Monday, Colette Langlois, who became the territory’s first ombud in April 2019, said this is the first time her office has invited the public to provide input into a systemic investigation.
“There is a lot of public interest in the fairness of the GNWT’s hiring process,” she was quoted as saying. “Approximately five percent of all inquiries to the ombud office are related to hiring decisions.”
The NWT government’s staffing appeals process gives people who unsuccessfully applied to jobs with the territory’s public service the chance to appeal if they think a procedural mistake was made during the hiring process. Appeals are decided on by staffing review officers who are appointed by the minister responsible for the public service.
Langlois said while investigations by her office are usually conducted privately, there is a section under the NWT Ombud Act that allows for the public to provide input if it is needed to further an investigation.
“We were concerned that if we limited ourselves to speaking with officials and did not give members of the public a chance to comment directly, we would be missing an entire perspective,” she said in a news release. “We need to hear the voices of the candidates who have used the appeal process.”
Anyone interested in contributing to the investigation can call 1 (844) 686-6283 or fill out a survey on the ombud’s website before November 17.
The NWT ombud is an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly that investigates complaints from people who feel they have been treated unfairly by territorial organizations.
Correction: October 24, 2023 – 8:15 MT. A previous version of this story stated Colette Langlois became the territory’s first ombud in April 2018. In fact, she became the ombud in April 2019.