Table of Contents
This Service Standard Policy is prepared in accordance with section 5 of the Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009. The Act prescribes that the Service Standard Policy contain the following:
1. Every adjudicative tribunal shall develop a service standard policy. 2009, c. 33, Sched. 5, s. 5 (1).
2. The service standard policy must contain,
a. A statement of the standards of service that the tribunal intends to provide;
b. A process for making, reviewing and responding to complaints about the service provided by the tribunal; and
c. Any other matter specified in the regulations or in a directive of the Management Board of Cabinet. 2009, c. 33, Sched. 5, s. 5 (2).
3. The service standard policy must be approved by the tribunal's responsible minister. 2009, c. 33, Sched. 5, s. 5 (3).
4. Nothing in the service standard policy shall be interpreted as affecting,
a. A process or remedy available under the Ombudsman Act;
b. A right of appeal from decisions of the tribunal available under any Act; or
c. A right to bring an application for judicial review. 2009, c. 33, Sched. 5, s. 5 (4).
The Normal Farm Practices Protection Board (Board) is a quasi-judicial adjudicative board committed to providing a fair hearing and decision process to all parties involved in disputes regarding normal farm practices. The Board operates within the context of a professional and accountable public service, and is committed to providing a high standard of service to the public.
From time to time, the Board may receive complaints about the quality of service related to its practices, or the conduct of Board members or staff. This policy outlines the Board's service standards for communication between the Board and the public and informs the public about the Board's process for responding to complaints.
Correspondence: Written correspondence (mail, e-mail or fax) will be acknowledged within 15 business days.
Telephone: Telephone calls will be returned within one business day. Voicemail messages will provide an option for reaching an alternate staff person to assist.
In-person service: Core hours for staff assisted service is 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Applications for hearings: Applicants will be informed whether their application for a hearing has been accepted by the Board within 20 days, beginning with the receipt of a complete application that meets Board requirements. To assist the applicant, the Board has provided full application forms showing all the required information on the Board web page.
Issue of Board decisions: Following completion of a hearing, the Board will issue its written Decision with reasons to the parties according to the following schedule:
• Hearing lasting less than 5 days: Decision issued within 60 calendar days
• Hearing lasting 5 to 20 days: Decision issued within 60 calendar days
• Hearing lasting more than 20 days: Decision issued within 60 calendar days
The Accessibility Document of the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board is published on the Board website.
The Normal Farm Practices Protection Board (Board) is committed to providing quality service to the public.
• The Board is open and honest in its behaviour, responsive to change, and committed to continuous self-improvement and integrity.
• The Board will make every reasonable effort to resolve an issue in a fair, consistent manner and is committed to effective relationships with the general public, clients and other staff within and across ministries, and with elected officials.
From time to time, the Board may receive complaints about the quality of service related to Board policies and procedures, the application of those policies and procedures or the conduct of the Board members and staff. The purpose of this policy is to create a transparent and fair method of responding to public complaints.
Important Points about the Policy
• Dissatisfaction with the outcome of a decision is not a complaint. Such an issue cannot be resolved by the Board directly. The complaint procedure is not another form of reconsideration, appeal or judicial review.
As part of the Board's commitment to service quality, the Board will accept complaints from the public about quality of the Board's service. Persons who can make a complaint include a party to a Hearing; a party's representative, a witness; or any member of the public who has dealt with the Board on the issue.
• Where possible, complaints will be addressed immediately. However, some complaints may require more effort to address. The Board Secretary will acknowledge verbal or telephone complaints within two business days, and complaints received by mail, email, fax or CD within 15 business days.
• If the complaint cannot be resolved immediately, the acknowledgement will indicate when it will be resolved.
• The Board will respond to your complaint and make every reasonable effort to resolve it in a fair and consistent manner.
This policy does not affect your right to raise your concerns with the Ombudsman of Ontario if you are dissatisfied with the responses provided by the Board.
Board Complaints Procedure
Confidentiality: Complaints are kept strictly confidential, with one exception: thorough and fair review of a complaint involving a Board or staff member will include disclosure to the member of all details of the complaint, including the source of the complaint.
Making a Complaint about Agency Policies and Procedures
• Take your complaint to the Board Secretary. If the Secretary cannot resolve it, the Secretary will take it to the Chair. The Secretary's contact information is shown below.
Making a Complaint about the Secretary
• You can raise a complaint about the Secretary directly with the Secretary. If you do not receive a satisfactory response, you can refer the complaint to the Manager, Support Services (contact information below). You can also bypass the Secretary and take the complaint directly to the Manager.
Making a Complaint about a Board Member (other than the Chair)
• If you have a complaint about the conduct of a Board member while the Hearing is in process, take it to the Board Secretary. Except in unusual circumstances, the Chair may defer the review in order to maintain the integrity and impartiality of the Hearing process. The Chair will provide an initial response within 15 days of receipt of the complaint. The Chair will advise the Board member, conduct a review and fully respond to the complaint as soon as, in the Chair's opinion, it is appropriate to do so.
• If your complaint about the Board member occurs after the Hearing is finished, or if the Board member is not involved in the Hearing, the Chair will provide an initial response within 15 days of receipt of the complaint.
• The review of the complaint by the Chair will take the form of hearing by written submissions. Your complaint should be fully explained in writing (written submission). Your submission will be issued to the Board member, who will be required to submit a written response within ten working days. Your submission will also be issued to any witnesses identified in your submission, and they too will be required to submit a written statement within ten working days. All responses will be forwarded to you, so that you can, if you wish, respond to them as appropriate. You must submit your response document within ten working days. The Chair will then consider all documents submitted and issue a written decision, with reasons, within 20 working days of receiving all written submissions.
Making a Complaint about the Board Chair
• The Minister or Minister's delegate is the most appropriate choice for reviewing complaints against the Board Chair. You can submit the complaint in writing, or in other forms as appropriate for persons with disabilities, either through the Board Secretary or directly to the Minister's office. The review may be conducted by the Minister or his or her delegate.
Normal Farm Practices Protection Board
1 Stone Road West, 3rd Floor
Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2
Board Secretary: Secretary (519) 826-3433
Manager, Support Services: Manager (519) 826-3615
125 Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M53 2C7
General Inquiry Client Access Centre
(416) 586-3300 or 1-800-263-1830