Toronto ombudsman Fiona Crean says the city needs a better complaints department.

In her first annual report Crean said she dealt with more than 1,000 complaints from the public last year. 

Most of them, she said, were resolved, but about half of the city's 29 divisions and agencies don't have a system to handle complaints.

Crean said the main complaint she dealt with during 2009 - in general - was poor customer service. 

"[Complainants] felt city hall just wasn't responsive to them," said Crean.  "I can't tell you how many people said 'I never heard back from the city.'

"I can tell you that the Toronto public service does have standards about returning calls and acknowledging correspondence," she said. 

Crean's recommendation to city council is to simply find out from each department how it deals with the public, and how it handles complaints. 

The ombudsman said her first year was spent focused on individual complaints.  She hopes next year to be able to conduct more wide reaching investigations into systemic problems within city government.