The British Columbia Attorney General recently announced that a review of all provincial administrative justice agencies will be conducted over the next 13 months. There are more than 60 such agencies.
The objectives of the review are stated to be to ensure that: the administrative agencies meet the needs of the people they serve; their processes are open and transparent; their mandates are modern and relevant; and that government has provided the legislative and policy framework which the agencies require in order to carry out their mandates effectively.
Another issue is to be considered in relation specifically to administrative tribunals where proceedings involve government as a party is an agency appointments policy. The purpose of this policy is to provide a set of transparent guidelines on expectations and procedures for applicants, appointees, public officials and members of the public.
The announcement sets out a timetable for the project which includes a period for public input during March-April 2002. The final report is projected for August 31, 2002. Consultation with interested professionals and the wider community will be welcomed and encouraged throughout.
One of the agencies selected for review is the B.C. Expropriation Compensation Board. This Board was established by the Expropriation Act to hear claims for compensation and procedural matters arising from expropriations conducted under that statute. While no specific criticisms of this Board or any other are mentioned, this review appears to be the first for this Board since it was established in 1987.
The terms of reference for the study are available from the Ministry of Attorney General website found at www.ag.gov.bc.ca/media_releases/2001/july2001/admin_justice_tor.htm