Legal Structure and Governance
The Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia (PGT) is a corporation sole established by the Public Guardian and Trustee Act . The office was originally established in 1963 and with the February 2000 implementation of the Public Guardian and Trustee Act, the name and role of the office changed from Public Trustee of British Columbia to the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia. In order to ensure the independence of the office, the law provides that the PGT holds office for a fixed term of six years.
Authority to provide services is derived from various laws (see our Legislation and Fees page for links). British Columbians become clients of the PGT through legislation, court order, trust deed, and by referral. The PGT is accountable to clients, the Court, and, through the Service Delivery Plan, the public.
With respect to the cases in which it is involved and the clients it serves, the PGT is both an independent organization and an Officer of the Supreme Court. The PGT is the modern manifestation of a centuries-old tradition in the British judicial system of an independent body appointed to protect those who cannot protect themselves. The fiduciary role of the PGT is exercised solely in the interest of those persons served. Independence of the PGT is necessary to ensure the interests of the clients it represents are protected, even when those interests are not in alignment with those of government. The Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia's public interest role is to ensure that private interests are protected.
PGT services are funded by a combination of fees for services and supplementary funding from the Government of British Columbia. Fees and commissions charged by the PGT are set out in the Public Guardian and Trustee Fees Regulation.
The operating funding for the PGT is held in the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia Operating Account. The account is a Special Account of the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Overall, most funding is from fee for service and some service areas operate on a full cost recovery basis.
Audited financial statements for estates and trusts administered as well as corporate operations are included in the PGT's Annual Reports, which are available from the Publications page of our website.
The PGT provides services to clients through three broad operational program areas: Child and Youth Services; Services to Adults; and Estate and Personal Trust Services. These programs are in turn supported by Client Finance and Administrative Services; and Legal Services. The Executive Office provides overall direction, coordination and planning, policy and communications support.
Service Planning and Reporting
Section 22 of the Public Guardian and Trustee Act requires that PGT prepare an annual three year service delivery plan and deliver it to the Attorney General not later than December 31st of each year. If approved by the Attorney General, the plan must be submitted to the Province's Treasury Board for approval.
Section 25 of the Public Guardian and Trustee Act requires PGT to report to the Attorney General in each fiscal year on the operations of the office for the preceding fiscal year. This report must be provided to the Attorney General by September 30th of each year and thereafter tabled in the Legislative Assembly. It must contain:
Detailed information on the roles and services of the PGT can be found in the Services pages of our website. Service Delivery Plans and Annual Reports are available on the Publications page of our website.
- Audited financial statements on the stewardship of estates and trusts under administration,
- Audited financial statements on the operations of the Public Guardian and Trustee,
- A statement of the extent to which the Public Guardian and Trustee has met the performance targets and other objectives established in the service delivery plan under section 22, and
- A report from the Auditor General or an independent auditor on the performance statement.