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Manitoba Ombudsman releases her Report on Manitoba's Employment and Income Assistance Program

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May 26, 2010

Manitoba Ombudsman Irene Hamilton released a report on the Employment and Income Assistance Program of Family Services and Consumer Affairs. The report contains 68 recommendations for administrative improvement.

"As a program of last resort that provides assistance to those of us who cannot meet the costs of basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter, EIA is important to all Manitobans" said Hamilton. "It must be fair, equitable and designed to assist people to eliminate barriers that prevent them from overcoming poverty."

The investigation was initiated by a complaint from twelve community organizations whose clients include people who are participants in the EIA program. Hamilton noted that throughout the course of the investigation, full cooperation was received from Family Services and Consumer Affairs.

In its initial response to the report, the department noted that the collaborative undertaking "resulted in a well-balanced and informed report." The department added, "these reviews help programs determine strengths and identify ways to improve service delivery to increase efficiency and effectiveness."

The Ombudsman has requested a formal response from the department in accordance with subsection 37(1) of

The Ombudsman Act, which states, "Where the Ombudsman makes a recommendation under section 36 he may request the department, agency of the government or municipality to notify him within a specified time of the steps that it has taken or proposes to take to give effect to his recommendations."