Report to/Rapport au:   

Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee

Comité des services organisationnels et du développement économique


and Council/et au Conseil


27 June 2002/le 27 juin 2002

Submitted by/Soumis par: Kent Kirkpatrick, General Manager/Directeur général Corporate Services Department/Services généraux 

Contact/Personne-ressource: Pierre Pagé, Director of Secretariat Services/City Clerk /

Directeur de Services de secrétariat/Greffier 580-2424, ext. 22408    




Ref N°ACS2002-CRS-SEC-0061 










That the Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee recommend Council approve:

1. The revised Role of Advisory Committees, Lead Department Staff, Councillor-liaisons, and Committee Coordinators as outlined in the report;

2. The revised Participation Expense Policy for Advisory Committee members;

3. The revised Appointments Policy for Advisory Committees, Boards, and Authorities;

4. The Advisory Committee Workplan Guidelines and Workplan Funding Criteria;

5. The amalgamation of the Cycling and Mobility Issues Advisory Committees, and the Ottawa Forests and Environmental Advisory Committees, effective December 31, 2003, with development of the new structure and terms of reference as well as the viability of the newly merged committees be presented by the committees to Council by September 2003;

6. That a review of Terms of Reference of every Advisory Committee, including size and structure, and potential for merging committees with similar and compatible mandates, be conducted to determine continued relevancy and appropriateness at the end of every term of Council.





Que le Comité des services organisationnels et du développement économique recommande le Conseil approuvent :


1. le rôle révisé des comités consultatifs, du personnel du Service responsable, des agents de liaison avec les conseillers et des coordonnateurs des comités, ainsi qu’il est décrit dans le rapport ;

2. la politique révisée sur les frais de participation des membres des comités consultatifs ;

3. la politique révisée de nomination des membres des comités consultatifs, commissions et offices ;

4. les lignes directrices sur les plans de travail des comités consultatifs et les critères de financement des plans de travail ;

5. le regroupement des comités consultatifs sur le cyclisme et sur les questions de mobilité et des comités consultatifs sur les forêts d’Ottawa et sur l’environnement prendra effet le 31 décembre 2003 avec l’élaboration de la nouvelle structure et du nouveau mandat ainsi que la viabilité des nouveaux comités fusionnés soit présenté par les comités au Conseil d’ici à septembre 2003 ;

6. que l’on procède, à la fin de chaque mandat du Conseil, à l’examen des attributions de chaque comité consultatif, y compris leur taille et leur structure, ainsi que de la possibilité de fusionner les comités ayant des mandats analogues et compatibles, afin de déterminer s’ils demeurent pertinents et appropriés.





At the 28 March 2001 meeting of City Council, 16 Advisory Committees were created, and the structure and associated policies for those Committees was adopted.  Subsequent to this meeting, an additional 2 advisory committees and 2 task forces were created.


One of the motions passed by City Council directed the City Clerk to return to Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee with a review of the financial support and structure of advisory committees after a one-year period.


In conducting the analysis and review of the Advisory Committees, the following issues were identified as requiring clarification or improvement:

1.    Role of Advisory Committees

2.    Role of Committee Coordinators

3.    Role of Lead Department Representative

4.    Role of Councillor-liaisons

5.    Participation Expense Policy

6.    Appointments Policy

7.    Workplan Funding Criteria

8.    Workplan Guidelines for development of workplans and annual reports

9.    Amalgamation of Committees with similar/compatible mandates


Two meetings of Advisory Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs were held in the last year – the first in November 2001, and the second in April 2002, where issues of common concern and mandate were discussed.  A number of the recommendations made in the report reflect an attempt to resolve some of the “growing pains” identified at these forums. 


In addition, a meeting of Advisory Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs was also held on 25 June 2002 to review the direction and focus of the recommendations outlined in this report, and much of the feedback of members has been incorporated in the recommendations.




In the first year of creation there has been a significant amount of discussion surrounding the role of Advisory Committees, and their place in the local government hierarchy.  The following table clearly identifies the intended role of Advisory Committees, and their relationship to City Council, staff and the community.


Committee Role


Provide advice to Council

Advisory Committees were created to provide advice to City Council on their mandated area of responsibility.  This is done by making recommendations on specific issues to standing committees, and then Council.  The advice can be provided on issues the Committee has identified as requiring action or response, as an input mechanism to issues sent by Council and standing committees, or to staff when an issue is placed on an agenda for comment and consultation.

Relationship with City staff

Advisory Committee members are volunteers appointed by Council to provide input to Council on their mandated area of responsibility.  They do not direct the work of staff, without the approval of Council.  Staff identify issues they are working on that fall within the mandate of the Committee and bring these items to the Committee for input, prior to review by standing committee and Council.  Should the Committee recommend a new work program or direction for staff, Council must approve this.  Staff provide technical advice and answer questions and inquiries raised by the Committee.

Community involvement and public participation

Advisory Committees serve as a forum for community involvement and public consultation in their respective mandated area of responsibility.  This means that in consultation with the Committee Chair, members of the public can place items on the agenda for the Committee’s review, action or input, that the Committee is tasked with involving the public in their consultations, and identifying issues and trends within their respective communities that will enhance the advice they provide to Council.

Provide expertise and input

Committee members are appointed from a wide range of perspectives, background and experience to enhance the advice they provide to Council, and to ensure the Committee reflects a balanced view.  All members of the Committees are volunteers who bring expertise to the table in the Committees’ mandated area of responsibility, and enrich the public consultation process, and the expertise provided to Council on a variety of issues.  Committee members are appointed to provide advice to Council, and not the advice of consultants or researchers.

Represent the views of the City versus individual views

Committee members are appointed by Council, to serve on a Committee of Council, and therefore when they speak as Committee members they are speaking on behalf of the City, rather than representing their individual views.  Members should note that if a recommendation has been made by an Advisory Committee, they should speak to the recommendation from the perspective of the Committee, and not represent their individual or personal views.




There must be a clear and current reason for creating an advisory committee or task force.  It must add value to the decisions made by Council or to the services delivered by the administration.   The Committee must be City-wide, cross-departmental and address issues of substance.  It must be structured to meet Council’s timeframes for information or advice so as not to delay Council’s rendering of a decision.




In keeping with the corporate philosophy and practice of centres of expertise, all Advisory Committees to Council are staffed and operated out of the Secretariat Services Branch, with dedicated Committee Coordinators.  As noted above, a review of best practices has consistently shown that those municipalities with the most effective advisory committees are serviced internally through the City Clerk’s office, where staff support the Committee and act as a liaison and link to other City Departments, Council and its Committees.


The Committee Coordinator is responsible to:

1.    Coordinate all aspects of formal committee meetings

2.    Attend all formal Advisory Committee meetings

3.    Provide procedural advice

4.    Prepare the official minutes of the formal meetings

5.    Assist the Committee Chair in determining the best method for proceeding with committee recommendations

6.    Ensure other departments tap the advice and expertise of the committee

7.    Act as liaison between the committee and other advisory groups

8.    Provide a status report on standing committee/council action on approved committee recommendations

9.    Monitor the Committee budget

10.   Implement the Participation Expense Policy for members

11.   Coordinate the recruitment and appointments process for the individual committee

12.   Assist the Committee in drafting wording in motions


The Committee Coordinator is not responsible for:

1.    Coordinating or attending any meetings other than formal committee meetings (including sub-committee meetings).  Assistance is limited to booking of rooms.

2.    Writing or researching the reports and issues identified in the workplan by the Committee.  This is the role of the volunteer committee members, with input and/or assistance from the Coordinator or lead department staff, where appropriate.


As noted in the following section, a lead department will be assigned to each committee, and one staff resource from that department will attend all meetings of the Committee.  The Committee Coordinator will arrange for staff resources from other departments to attend, as required, depending on the agenda items under consideration.




A lead department will be assigned to each Advisory Committee with the department assigning a representative of a level sufficient to speak on behalf of the department on issues before the committee. 


The role of the lead department representative is to:

1.    Attend formal Advisory Committee meetings

2.    Provide technical information related to the committee mandate

3.    Inform the committee of annual priorities and workplan of the lead department

4.    Provide budget related information relevant to departmental priorities in the preparation of the Committee workplan

5.    Provide a status report on departmental action on Council-approved committee recommendations

6.    Provide professional advice


The role of the lead department representative does not involve:

1.    Acting as a voting member of the Committee

2.    Providing personal or unsolicited opinions to the Committee

3.    Leading or guiding the discussion of the Committee in any way

4.    Making suggestions on motions to be moved or recommendations that should be made by the Committee

5.    Commenting on the activities of the Committee, other City departments or of City Council




The role of the Councillor Liaison is to establish and create a link between City Council and the Advisory Committee.


The Councillor-liaison:

1.    Attends formal meetings of the Committee, where possible, or sends a staff person on his/her behalf

2.    Acts as a contact for the Committee on City Council

3.    Provides advice to the Committee on issues within their mandate, where possible

4.    Is not required to speak on behalf of the Committee or its recommendations

5.    Is not required to represent the views of the Committee or act as its advocate at Council




When City Council created the original 16 Advisory Committees in March 2001, a Participation Expense Policy was approved, with the intent of ensuring that voting members of Advisory Committees were not out-of-pocket for providing their volunteer advice to City Council.  Since that time, there have been a number of anomalies in what qualifies as an expense and what does not, that require clarification. 


Attachment 1 to the report outlines reimbursable expenses and should serve to clarify the policy. 



Changes from the previous policy include:

1.    Definition of what is an eligible expense

2.    An additional category for reimbursable expenses including childcare for children with exceptional needs and dependant care

3.    A definition of what type of meeting is eligible for reimbursement of expenses

4.    The provision that the policy applies to voting members or official representatives of the committee only, not reserve members or members of the public who have volunteered their time or services to a specific project


It should be clearly noted that the Participation Expense Policy applies only to City of Ottawa Advisory Committees, or bodies which serve in the same function, manner and relationship to City of Ottawa Advisory Committees, and not to external and autonomous boards, to which City Council appoints citizen members.  It should also be noted that staff will apply flexibility when applying the Policy to Chairs of Committees to reflect the significant time commitment and additional duties they provide on behalf of the Committee.




The attached Appointment Policy for Committees, Boards and Commissions was approved in March 2001, with the original report on the structure for Advisory Committees.  Since that time, a number of issues have arisen which require clarification, particularly those relating to the composition and function of the Selection Panel.  The recommended changes are outlined and  highlighted in Attachment 2, where the complete and revised policy is provided for approval.




Upon the creation of the Advisory Committees in March 2001, it was determined that an effective Committee is an accountable Committee, and annual requirements for workplans and annual reports were implemented.  Unfortunately, with newly created Committees in 2001, it was a challenge for the Committees to envision the potential scope and workload their respective workplans would undertake.  As such, there was confusion and frustration in the development of the 2001 workplans.  As the first year draws to a close, many Committees are more familiar with their mandate and role, and the 2002 budget process provided a number of broad guidelines to be applied to the future development of workplans.


The funding criteria and additional guidelines are outlined in the chart below for approval by Council, and should form the basis for a sound approach to workplan development in the future.





Workplan deadline

All advisory committees are required to complete a workplan to be approved by standing committee and Council outlining their proposed projects and activities for the coming year.

The report should be approved by the Advisory Committee in August/September of each year, and by the standing committee in September/October of the same year, in order to be approved as part of the budget process for the following year.

Workplan format

The workplan should identify each and every activity the Committee plans to undertake in the upcoming year, whether they have a budgetary impact or not.  The item should be identified, a brief description of the project or activity should be noted, and the anticipated timing of the item should be provided.  The Committee Coordinator, Lead Department Representative and Financial Services will assist in determining the estimated budget associated with each activity.

Committees should commence work on their workplans in early summer, and have them complete by September each year.

Role of lead department in workplan development

The Lead Department Representative will provide the Committee with information on the departmental workplan and priorities, where the workplan of the Committees’ tie into that workplan, and where the Committee can assist with that workplan.  The Lead Department Representative will also advise on what staff and/or financial resources are available as part of departmental priorities.

The lead department representative will be able to provide information on departmental workplan priorities and budget process.

Workplan funding criteria



As previously approved by City Council on 27 March 2002, there are a number of activities and/or projects, which are ineligible for funding in Advisory Committee workplans. They include:

1.    Hiring of consultants

2.    Travel requests for committee members

3.    Requests for attendance at conferences by committee members

4.    Cash advances for committee members

5.    Requests for provision of meals for committee members

6.    Requests to hire additional staff to support the Committee’s work


On a case by case basis, attendance at conferences may be approved if the conference is directly related to the mandate and responsibilities of the Committee.  Approval of the specific request will be reviewed by Secretariat Services management.



Workplan funding for projects

City Council has approved an annual allocation of $150,000 to be divided among  eligible advisory committees for their annual workplan projects and activities.  The funds are allocated by the standing committee to whom the advisory committee reports at the time of workplan review and approval, and is then forwarded to Council for ratification.  Should Advisory Committees be amalgamated, this amount will be distributed among the remaining committees eligible for workplan funding.






In the original report creating Advisory Committees, 16 advisory committees were created, with an operating budget for 11 committees.  Subsequent to this, an additional 2 advisory committees and 3 task forces were created.  The 2002 budget reflected an increase in operating expenses required to provide support and service to these committees.


Inherent in the initial creation of the committees was the requirement for an annual review of the operations and structure of Advisory Committees.  It has been determined that there are some Committees which have a similar and compatible mandate, and which consideration should be given to amalgamating.


It is proposed that amalgamation of the committees be effective for December 31, 2003, and that the Committees be tasked with working together to develop a new structure and terms of reference to be presented to Council in September 2003.  Effective 2004, the Committee membership should reflect a more manageable number of members to be determined by the Committee, but not more than the 17 members some committees presently have.  In addition, the members who shall continue to serve through 2003 shall be tasked with the development of the new Terms of Reference to reflect the combined mandates of the new Committees.


The first proposal for amalgamation includes the Ottawa Forests and Environmental Advisory Committee.  There are extremely similar mandates for these Committees, and many members offer expertise in similar areas.  In addition, subcommittees can be created to address specific issues.  Committee members have been consulted and have provided input.  The Ottawa Forests Advisory Committee The Ottawa Forests Advisory Committee is not in favour of amalgamation, and has expressed concerns with specific mandate, too large a workload, and that they have been in operation for less than a year.  Environmental Advisory Committee members have provided both very supportive comments for amalgamation, as well as expressed some concerns about the level of workload if the committees are combined. 


 The second proposal for amalgamation, following the process set out above, are the Mobility Issues and Cycling Advisory Committees.  As the Mobility Issues Advisory Committee has a mandate for all other modes of transportation, with the exception of cycling, the combined mandate is appropriate and effective.  In addition, separate motions to further divide the mandate of the Mobility Issues Advisory Committee into Transit and Pedestrian Committees were defeated upon the creation of the committees one year ago.  The Chairs and Vice Chairs of both of these Committees have been consulted and have provided input.  Initial reaction is that the mandates and responsibilities are large and varied and that the workload may be excessive.




In order to address suggestions of Committee mandate, area of responsibility, size and structure, it is recommended that a regular review of all Advisory Committee Terms of Reference be conducted by the Committee, with support from Secretariat Services and lead department staff, in order to determine the continued relevancy and appropriateness of the committee.  This review should include the number of members, mandate, reporting relationship and structure.


It is proposed that this review will be conducted every three years, at the end of a term of City Council.


It should be noted that the Advisory Committee can also recommend changes at any time to their Terms of Reference, which will require the approval of the respective standing committee and Council.  In effect, reviews can take place prior to the three year cycle.


In addition to the Terms of Reference review every three years, the continued feasibility of all committees should be analysed, as well as the potential for merging committees with similar or compatible mandates.




A meeting of Advisory Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs was held on 25 June 2002 to review the recommendations and direction in the report.  The presentation made to Advisory Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs was distributed to all members of advisory committees for comment and feedback following the meeting. 


The following comments were received and incorporated or reflected in the report:

1.    That the writing of minutes be added as a duty of the Advisory Committee Coordinator

2.    That dependant care (e.g. an elderly parent) also be included in the Participation Expense Policy

3.    That representation of a Committee member at an external meeting or event be eligible, provided no honorarium is provided to the member

4.    That reimbursements for individuals with a buspass be investigated

5.    In the Appointments Policy, the Committee should be able to choose two representatives to sit on the Selection Panel if the Chair and Vice-Chair cannot

6.    Recruitment outside of the annual recruitment should only be undertaken if the membership reaches one above quorum

7.    That conference registration fees outside of Ottawa also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

8.    Revisit amalgamation in another year, give Committees a chance to really get up and running before they are subjected to a review. (This comment has been incorporated, as the original suggestion for the date of amalgamation was January 2003 rather than December 2003).

9.    Require a review of all Committees terms of reference by Committee members at the end of every term of Council

10.   That the minutes should distinguish between absent and regrets for those individuals who cannot make the meeting, but take the time to offer regrets.

11.   That having a workplan funding ceiling provides an effective guideline for workplan development

12.   That a financial education session on City budgeting and finances be arranged for all Committees to ensure they understand how the process works.  (This is being arranged for all committees by Council and Committee Services staff).

13.   That advisory committees are an effective tool to involve the public in the local government process

14.   That the Participation Expense Policy apply to representatives of organizations appointed to Committees as well as voting members



The following comments were received but not incorporated into the recommendations:

1.    Investigate the Kanata tax reimbursement system as a possible alternative (Council and Committee Services staff are discussing this suggestion with Finance)

2.    That all members of the Selection Panel be required to meet at least once throughout the selection process, in person or via conference call

3.    That some groups be explicitly restricted from sending an applicant. (i.e. a political action group or a lobby group) and that this amendment be reflected in the Appointment Policy, or that Selection Panel members be made aware of this suggestion)

4.    State clearly that if interviews are to be at the discretion of the Selection Panel, they are not required to meet with all applicants if they wish to interview, just those they are interested in (This suggestion is understood)

5.    That workplan funding can be carried over from year to year, especially when identified projects are to be completed over the course of a number of years.

6.    The Ottawa Forests Advisory Committee is strongly against any form of amalgamation

7.    The workload of Committees will remain the same from year-to-year and so the amalgamated Committees would have to meet more often thus negating any cost savings envisioned

8.    That lead department representatives should be closely involved in the development of workplan guidelines to ensure that the Committee’s plan ties into departmental budgets and priorities

9.    That the role of the Councillor-liaison be reviewed to ensure that the Councillor not set the agenda and direction of the Committee

10.   That the agendas and procedure for meetings is bureaucratic

11.   There should be a minimum number of meetings per year that the Councillor-liaison must attend so they are familiar with the work of the Committee

12.   That items of similar mandate and interest be brought forward to Committees to ensure that they work closely together.  (The best way to implement this suggestion is being reviewed by Council and Committee Services staff).

13.   That Committee member terms be limited to two or three year appointments, to limit the possibility of losing members who have just gotten involved

14.   That employees should be permitted to volunteer as Committee members as they understand the municipal structure

15.   That committees are given too tight turnaround times to comment on reports or information going forward to Council

16.   That the reimbursement policy should also apply to reserve members

17.   That the entire Committee should be involved in the direct recruitment and review of applications for new members

18.   That every Committee be given workplan funding in the amount of $5,000 with no rules on how to spend it.  If they need more than $5,000 then they should go to Council with a formal request

19.   That meals should be provided for working lunches and dinners of Committee members

20.   That the Committee be permitted to hire consultants to act as facilitators at Committee meetings

21.   That the Committee be permitted to hire writers to prepare their reports to Council

22.   That the Committee be provided with coordinators for sub-committees

23.   That reimbursement for expenses related to cycling or walking to meetings (i.e. expenses related to bicycles or shoes) be considered


The report was distributed to all members of Advisory Committees when distributed to members of Council through the Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee agenda.




The amalgamation of the four Committees into two will result in operating budget savings of $28,000 effective 2004.




Attachment 1 – Revised Participation Expense Policy

Attachment 2 – Revised Appointment Policy for Citizen Members of Boards, Committees and Authorities




Following Council approval, recommendations 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be implemented immediately.  Recommendations 5 and 6 will be implemented as per the timeframe outlined in the report.




City of Ottawa Advisory Committees




The Participation Expense Policy is a City of Ottawa policy regarding reimbursement of expenses incurred by voting citizen members or official representatives of Advisory Committees.  As such, no expense shall be reimbursed without provision of an original receipt.




1.1 Attendance: A Citizen Member shall be deemed present if the accepted minutes of the meeting so indicates.  Where the request for reimbursement is for a subcommittee meeting at which there is no Committee Coordinator present, one voting member of the Committee shall be deemed responsible to record the time, date and attendance at the meeting and forward the information to the Committee Coordinator.


1.2 Bus Fare / Para Transpo Fare: Reimbursement shall be provided for any bus fare incurred by a member to attend the meeting. Bus transfer or receipt is deemed as acceptable proof of payment.


1.3 Children with exceptional needs : Children are deemed as having exceptional needs if the parent provides the City of Ottawa with a signed doctor certificate indicating that the child requires additional or specific care in the absence of the parent or guardian.  This clause provides for reimbursement of childcare expenses above and beyond the $7.50/hour maximum provided to care for children who do not have exceptional needs.


1.4 Mileage: Mileage shall be calculated by the member on the basis of the SHORTEST distance to and from the meeting from either work, home, or the next closest destination of the member.  No member shall claim mileage for the longest distance traveled.

1.5 Official Meeting: is the one meeting per month of the Advisory Committee as established by the Committee, AND any official subcommittee meeting as approved by the advisory committee, AND any Advisory Committee to which a member has been appointed liaison to, AND any presentation to Standing Committee by any one official delegate as approved by the Committee, AND where any one member has been officially appointed by the Committee to represent the views of the Committee at a conference, speaking engagement etc.


1.6 Parking: Any long or short-term placement of a personal vehicle in a monitored or unmonitored area. Because a receipt is necessary for any reimbursement, parking meters are not eligible for reimbursement, nor will parking tickets incurred as a result of meeting attendance be reimbursed.






All Citizen members are authorized to receive any of the following reimbursements providing they are deemed “present” in the accepted minutes of the meeting.


Reimbursement is based on the following:


2.1 Parking expenses incurred to attend official meetings are eligible.  Parking expenses at City facilities will be reimbursed via parking tickets or parking stamps, not in cash.


2.2 Nominal Child and Dependant Care expenses incurred to attend official meetings will be eligible on the following basis: up to a maximum of $7.50/hour. The amount payable will be calculated by the official start and end time of the meeting PLUS up to a maximum of one hour for traveling time. Reimbursement for Child Care on a per child basis will not be eligible.


2.3 Specialized Child Care expenses (for children with exceptional needs) incurred to attend official meetings will be eligible on the following basis: up to a maximum of $15.00/hour. The amount payable will be calculated by the official start and end time of the meeting PLUS up to a maximum of one hour for traveling time.


2.4 Bus Fare / Para Transpo Fare to and from official meetings (A bus transfer or receipt will be acceptable as proof of return trip payment) will be eligible. Upon receipt of such a transfer, the City of Ottawa shall reimburse the member with the appropriate amount of bus tickets for a return trip, or where a bus pass or ParaTranspo was used, for the amount equivalent to one regular round trip fare.


2.5 Mileage for members using a personal vehicle to attend official meetings will be eligible at the rate of $0.35/km.


2.6 Reimbursement for meals or refreshments or other out of pocket expenses such as taxis will not be eligible.


2.7 Reimbursement for meetings with Community Groups, Councillors, staff, citizens or otherwise are not eligible for reimbursement.


2.8 Reimbursement for expenses incurred to perform the duties of the members will not be eligible, including, but not limited to, reimbursement for office supplies, technology or telephone expenses etc, as any of these services that may be required are available through the Committee Coordinator.




3.1 The staff of Secretariat services reserve the right to review and/or refuse any expenses submitted by a voting citizen member for reimbursement, with reasonable cause and justification.



3.2 If it can be proven that a member is submitting fraudulent claims for participation expenses the City of Ottawa Secretariat Services reserves the right to either:


3.2.1 Refuse to reimburse the specific individual; or


3.2.2 Refer the incident to Corporate Security or the appropriate authorities.




City of Ottawa Advisory Committees


APPOINTMENT POLICY - Citizen Members of Boards, Committees and Authorities


The Appointment Policy for Citizen Members of Boards, Committees and Authorities is a City of Ottawa Policy regarding the selection process for citizen members of official City of Ottawa Advisory Committees, Boards and Authorities.




1.1 It is the policy of the City of Ottawa to encourage participation of its citizens in creating a better environment in which to live, work and prosper through the creation of committees, boards and authorities who provide advice to City Council on specifically mandated areas of interest.


1.2 To encourage participation, the City will adopt the general concepts of equity, accessibility and accommodation, to ensure that all citizens have equal opportunity.  




2.1 Standing Committees


2.1.1 made up solely of Council members

2.1.2 make recommendations to City Council

2.1.3 may have decision-making power delegated by City Council


2.2 Quasi-judicial Boards or Committees


2.2.1 hear and decide appeals as an impartial tribunal under legislation

2.2.2 decisions or processes may be appealed to a higher jurisdiction

2.2.3 Council members may or may not be members


2.3 Advisory Committees to Council


2.3.1 Composed of citizens, and may have representatives of specific organizations, all requiring Council approval

2.3.2 Provide advice to City Council, through relevant standing committees, on major public issues and social trends

2.3.3 Must be a clear and current reason for the Committee

2.3.4 Must be City-wide, cross-departmental and address issues of substance

2.3.5 Act as vehicles for public consultation on issues of municipal interest

2.3.6 Provide specific technical expertise

2.3.7 Conduct research, report on findings, and make recommendations

2.3.8 City Council has sole authority to accept, reject or amend the advice or recommendations

2.3.9 Council member(s) act as liaison member(s) (non-voting)


2.4 Ad Hoc Committees or Task Forces


2.4.1 have a set mandate and set time limit

2.4.2 conduct research, report on findings, and make recommendations but do not have final decision-making power

2.4.3 City Council has sole authority to accept, reject or amend the advice or recommendations

2.4.4 may or may not have Council member(s)


2.5 Local Boards, Commissions and Authorities


2.5.1 created by and operated under provincial legislation, legal agreement or by-law

2.5.2 decision-making power

2.5.3 may have Council member(s)

2.5.4 may or may not report to City Council for certain matters (i.e. budget)

2.5.5 Examples include the Ottawa Police Services Board, Ottawa-Nepean Campsite Authority and Pineview Municipal Golf Course Board of Management


2.6 Departmental Consultative Groups


2.6.1 Created by a City Department to solicit specific input and feedback on Departmental programs, policies and projects

2.6.2 Have both a long-term and short-term status, depending on the mandate of the Committee

2.6.3 Composed of citizens, representatives of specific organizations from whom input is sought

2.6.4 Report directly to the Department

2.6.5 Do not have Council members (with few exceptions, e.g. the Urban Dangers of Pesticides Working Group provides advice to the Health Branch of People Services, and has a Council representative)





3.1 All members of Advisory Committees must be residents of the City of Ottawa and must maintain this qualification during their term of office.


3.2 All members must be at least 18 years of age, with the exception of members of the Ottawa Youth Cabinet, whose members must be between 15-25 years of age.


3.3 Full time permanent employees of the City of Ottawa are not eligible for positions as Citizen members on any Committee.  Those members who may have already been appointed by Council shall serve out their respective terms of office and be ineligible for re-appointment.




4.1 The term of office is three years and shall be established on a rotational basis.  Members are eligible to serve a maximum of two consecutive terms on the same Committee (a maximum of 6 years). 


4.2 A person appointed to fill a partially completed term is appointed to the end of that term of office.  Such member, if appointed for an interim term not exceeding one year, may be eligible for reappointment for two three-year terms.


4.3 Applicants are required to sit out one year after serving two consecutive terms, before being eligible for reappointment on the same Committee, although may apply to serve on another Committee during that time.


4.4 Those members who wish to be reappointed to an additional term must reapply and go through the approved selection process.


4.5 Citizen Members may serve on only one board, committee, advisory committee or authority at any one time.  A member may, however, be selected to represent their committee on another committee as a non-voting liaison.


4.6 Members continue to serve on a committee past the expiration of their term until they are replaced.


4.7 Term of office and Membership on some boards, commissions or quasi-judicial committees may differ as specifically outlined under statute or by-law.




5.1 The membership of Boards, Committees and Authorities shall, as much as possible, achieve a balance between a variety of technical expertise and other representation.


5.2 As much as possible, the membership should reflect the diversity and demographics of

The City of Ottawa in such areas as gender, official language, geographical representation, race and disability.




The principles of equity and accommodation for all candidates shall be adopted and implemented by enforcing application deadlines, selection criteria, and interviewing procedures using the same questions and same evaluation criteria for all candidates.


6.1 For Organizations with Dedicated Seats on Advisory Committees, Boards or Local Authorities:


6.1.1 The recruitment of representatives from local organizations will be through letters of request to these organizations and therefore their nominees will not require interviewing, but must comply with the residency requirement.  Organizations will be requested to provide resumes or curriculum vitae of nominees of at least two nominees, one of whom will be appointed by Council.  Nominees of organizations must declare interest in items related to their respective organization.


6.2 General Public:


6.2.1 The recruitment and selection process for citizen members, other than representatives of organizations, will include advertisements for interested applicants placed by the Corporate Services Department in the daily and/or weekly community newspapers in accordance with the City's advertising policy as well as on the City’s website.  Advertisements will also be distributed throughout Client Service Centres, libraries and City facilities.  In addition, for specific committees, an effort will be made to tailor the recruitment process specifically, but not exclusively, to the particular groups that are potential members. For example: ads will be placed in area high schools for the Ottawa Youth Cabinet Committee and through the Disabled Persons Resource Center for the Accessibility Advisory Committee.


6.2.2 The advertisements will include the following information:

a.     Function of Board, Committee or Authority

b.     Frequency and time of meetings and where possible any other expectations for participation of members

c.     City policies that guide the selection process or the operation of the Committee

d.     Include that candidates may apply to several committees but can be appointed to serve on only one advisory committee, committee, board or authority at a time.

e.     Anticipated time commitment


6.3 Applications


6.3.1 All applications must include a statement of work, life and educational experience and/or a resume.

6.3.2 All applications will be sent to the Corporate Services Department to be processed

6.3.3 All applications will be acknowledged by the Corporate Services Department

6.3.4 An initial screening will be conducted, and only those meeting the residency qualification will be brought forward to the next stage

6.3.5 All applications must be received by the published deadline in order to be considered


6.4 Selection


6.4.1 The Standing Committee responsible for the individual Advisory Committee will appoint two of its members to sit on a Selection Panel to review applications and make recommendations to Council.

6.4.2 The Selection Panels will also include the Chair and/or Vice-Chair of the Advisory Committee, providing that their respective terms extend past the recruitment process.  If the Chair and/or Vice-Chair is unable to sit as a member of the Selection Panel the Committee may chose a Committee member to sit in their place.

6.4.3 The Committee Coordinator for the Committee will provide advice and assistance to the Selection Panel.

6.4.4 Each Selection Panel shall meet to determine selection criteria based on the specific expertise needed by the Committee, Board or Authority and the need to reflect the community as detailed under composition, prepare questions to be asked of each candidate should interviews be conducted and review applications based on these criteria to determine which applicants will be interviewed. Interviews shall be conducted at the discretion of the Selection Panel. 

6.4.5. The Selection Panel shall recommend appointments as well as a reserve list of people who will be appointed should a vacancy occur before the end of a term [a minimum of 2 reserve members if the Board, Committee or Authority is composed of more than 7 citizen members].  The reserve list shall be maintained until the next advertisement for vacancies, or for one year.

6.4.6. The Secretariat Services Branch shall forward the Selection Panel recommendations to the relevant Standing Committee (or Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee if there is no assigned Standing Committee).

6.4.7 The Standing Committee may review the Selection Panel recommendations at a closed meeting and refer endorsement of appointments to City Council.

6.4.8 The Secretariat Services Branch shall advise all applicants of the status of their applications.

6.4.9 All newly appointed members of advisory committees will be invited to a briefing session by the Secretariat Services Branch.  Topics will include procedures, corporate policies and the committee structure.  Technical staff related to the committee’s mandate will provide additional information.

6.4.10 The selection process for the Ottawa Youth Cabinet differs from that described above, as the Selection Panel shall consist of the Ward Councillor for the ward in which the vacancy exists.




7.0.1 Any member of an Advisory Committee, who is absent from three (3) consecutive regularly scheduled meetings of the Committee, shall be contacted by the Advisory Committee Coordinator to confirm his/her commitment to the Committee.

7.0.2 Should the member miss another consecutive meeting, the next qualified reserve member of the Committee shall automatically be called up to the Committee to fill the vacancy.

7.0.3 If no subsequent reserve members remain to fill the position then the seat shall remain vacant until the next recruitment process.  Recruitment shall only be undertaken at another time than the annual process if the number of members on the Committee falls to one above quorum.




8.0.1 Committees may create subcommittees to work on specific areas of their mandate.  These subcommittees may be comprised of non-members of the Committee, but must have a minimum of one-third of their members as voting Committee members of the main Committee. 


8.0.2 Administrative support will not be provided to subcommittees.