In October 2019, the Auditor General of Ontario released the Special Audit of the Tarion Warranty Corporation which included a number of recommendations to help Tarion deliver better customer service, enhance transparency, and increase consumer protection. Below you will find Tarion’s Implementation Plan for those recommendations.
Tarion is committed to implementing the Auditor General’s recommendations as we build a more transparent, fair, and accountable new home warranty and protection program – and this plan is the roadmap.
Of the 25 recommendations directed to Tarion in the report, 11 have been completed, with eight more to be completed by the end of this year. Tarion is also committed to completing the remaining six items in 2021.
Since the release of the Auditor General’s report, Tarion has been implementing improvements in a timely manner, and has already:
- Strengthened corporate governance by protecting the New Home Ombudsperson’s independence, reducing executive compensation, and revising our corporate by-laws.
- Improved customer service by ensuring service targets are met, developing clear customer standards and enhancing quality assurance measures.
- Enhanced consumer protection by eliminating the backlog of investigations into illegal building and homeowner complaints, establishing a new process to complete investigations in a timely manner, and increased Ontario Building Code training of staff.
- Increased homeowner access to timely and cost-effective ways to appeal Tarion decisions including piloting an independent, third-party mediation program.
- Created greater transparency by publicly reporting on outstanding issues raised by the New Home Ombudsperson, and adding past convictions and information about exceptions to displaying the dollars in claims paid to the Ontario Builder Directory.
- Stronger oversight of builders by ensuring past performance is considered, requiring better evidence of financial means to complete projects, and investigating all reasons leading to the cancellation of projects.
We have also supported the Home Construction Regulatory Authority (the HCRA) as it prepares for potential designation as the new regulator of new home builders and vendors under the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017. If designated, the HCRA would be responsible for builder licensing, code of conduct, the builder directory disclosure and compliance, among other responsibilities.
Our Implementation Plan is focused on the Auditor General’s recommendations directed to Tarion. As a result, it does not include a progress update on recommendations that are being addressed directly by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) or the HCRA, if designated.
As an organization, we recognize we have significant work ahead of us, but we are confident that our modernization efforts will create a stronger new home warranty and protection program for all Ontarians.
As we move forward, we will provide updates on the progress we are making with implementing the Auditor General’s recommendations.