Contact Person/Personne ressource :
M. Rick O’Connor, City Clerk and Solicitor/Greffier et Chef du contentieux
(613) 580-2424 x21215, Rick.OConnor@ottawa.ca
Contact Person/Personne ressource : Leslie Donnelly, Deputy City Clerk/Greffière adjointe
(613) 580-2424 x28857, Leslie.Donnelly@ottawa.ca
2. That, at its meeting of 8 December 2010, the 2010-2014 Council consider and approve the following recommendations related to the Council and Committee structure and procedures:
Part I – Standing Committees
1) The establishment of a Transit Commission composed of eight (8) Members of Council and three (3) citizen members to oversee transit operation as outlined in this report; and the establishment of an Interim Transit Commission composed of the Members of Council appointed to the Commission until such time as the citizen members are appointed.
2) The following structure for Standing Committees for the 2010-2014 term of Council as outlined in this report, effective immediately:
a. Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee;
b. Community and Protective Services Committee;
c. Environment Committee;
d. Finance and Economic Development Committee and its associated Sub-Committees:
i. IT Sub-Committee;
ii. Member Services Sub-Committee;
iii. Audit Sub-Committee;
iv. Governance Renewal Sub-Committee;
e. Planning Committee;
f. Transportation Committee.
3) The amendments to the Debenture Committee’s Terms of Reference as outlined in this report.
4) The Council, Committee and Commission Calendar as outlined in this report.
5) The establishment of a License and Property Standards Committee composed of five (5) qualified citizen members to hear cases with respect to licensing and property standard appeals as outlined in this report; and the establishment of an Interim License Committee with the current mandate until such time as the License and Property Standards Committee membership is finalized.
6) The Nominating Committee process as outlined in this report.
8) The 2011 Budget process as outlined in this report.
9) The changes to report protocols for Appointments to Agencies, Boards, Committees and Commissions, Commemorative Namings and City of Ottawa Architectural Conservation Awards and the City of Ottawa Heritage Plaques as described in this report, such that they are no longer automatically in camera reports .
10) The practice of recommending a staff member to a Council position when no Member of Council is available and formal notification to the City Clerk and Solicitor of all appointments of Members of Council to agencies, boards, committees and commissions, both internal and external.
11) The establishment of two Deputy Mayor positions to be filled by two Members of Council, and that the appointments be recommended to Council by the Mayor.
Part II – Accountability Framework
1) That Council approve the monthly posting of Elected Officials’ office budget expenditures on Ottawa.ca, effective Q1 2011.
2) That the Governance Renewal Sub-Committee, led by the Mayor and supported by staff and a third party, be tasked with assessing the overall governance structure and processes for the City of Ottawa, identifying issues and making recommendations to Council, including:
a. Development of an Accountability Framework (Code of Conduct for Members of Council, Lobbyist Registry, etc); and
b. Improvements to citizen engagement.
3) That the Annual Report from the Meetings Investigator included as Document 2 be received and that the current Meetings Investigator’s contract be extended for the 2010-2014 Term of Council.
Part III – Local Boards
1) Receive the updated listing of Local Boards as outlined in the report and direct staff to report on the compliance of its local boards with respect to required policies as part of its Mid-Term Governance Review.
2) Approve the request from the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (“OCHC”) that “its Board membership be increased to twelve (12) members” and the “appointment of Peggy Feltmate to the OCHC Board of Directors as a Community Board member”.
3) The Ottawa Public Library Board Selection and Appointment Guidelines as outlined in the report.
4) That the following measures be taken to proceed with the next steps for the implementation of the Board of Health, specifically that:
a. The by-law to establish the size of the Board of Health in the form attached as Document 6 be enacted;
b. The selection process for members of the Board of Health be approved as outlined in Document 7; and
c. The per diem rate of $200.00 plus mileage and eligible expenses be approved for citizen representatives on the Board of Health and that the City Clerk and Solicitor be instructed to forward the approved per diem rate to the Minister of Health and Long Term Care for approval.
Part IV – Citizen Engagement
1) That a joint facilitated priority setting session be held between Standing Committees and their associated Advisory Committees.
2) That the Chair and Vice-Chair of each Standing Committee meet quarterly with the Chair and Vice Chair of their associated Advisory Committees.
3) That additional reserve members be appointed for each committee during the Advisory Committee recruitment process.
4) That reserve members be eligible for reimbursement of expenses under the Participation Expense Policy.
5) Mileage for members using a personal vehicle to attend official meetings be tied to the rate provided to City of Ottawa staff.
6) The enactment of the revised Advisory Committee Procedure By-Law (Appendix A – Code of Conduct) as outlined in the report and the associated By-law (Document 10).
7) That staff be directed to conduct an in-depth review of public engagement and report back through the Governance Renewal Sub-Committee, with a target date of the end of Q2 2011.
8) That Council approve the Petition Policy as outlined in the report.
Part V – Governance – Other Matters
1) The amendments to the Procedure By-law outlined in the report related to the following:
(a) Councillor Items at Standing Committee
(b) In camera process
(c) Emergency Measures
(d) Nominating Committee
2) The amendments to the Delegation of Authority By-law as outlined in the report.
3) That the Procedure By-law and the Delegation of Authority By-law and any other related By-laws, as amended by this report, be included in the by-law listing of a subsequent Council meeting.
1. Qu’à la réunion du 24 novembre 2010 du Conseil de 2006 à 2010 lui soit présenté pour dépôt officiel le rapport de « l’examen sur la gouvernance pour la période de 2010 à 2014 ».
2. Que le Conseil municipal de 2010 à 2014, à sa réunion du 8 décembre 2010, étudie et approuve les recommandations suivantes relatives à la structure et aux procédures du Conseil et des comités :
PARTIE 1 – Comités permanents
1) La création d’une commission du transport en commun composé de huit membres du Conseil et de trois citoyens qui supervisera les activités de transport en commun, tel que présenté dans le rapport; et l’établissement d’une commission du transport en commun intermédiaire composée de membres du Conseil nommés à la Commission jusqu’à la nomination de membres de la collectivité.
2) La structure suivante entre en vigueur immédiatement et est établie pour les comités permanents pour le mandat du Conseil de 2010 à 2014, tel que décrit dans le présent rapport :
a. Comité de l’agriculture et des affaires rurales
b. Comité des services communautaires et de protection
c. Comité de l’environnement
d. Comité des finances et du développement économique et ses sous-comités associés
i. Sous-comités de la TI
ii. Sous-comité des services aux membres
iii. Sous-comité de la vérification
iv. Sous-comité du renouvellement de la gouvernance
e. Comité de l’urbanisme
f. Comité des transports
3) Les modifications au mandat du Comité sur les débentures tel que présenté dans le présent rapport.
4) Le calendrier des réunions du Conseil, des comités et de la commission tel que présenté dans le rapport.
5) La création d’un comité sur les permis et les normes de bien-fonds composé de cinq citoyens qualifiés qui entendront les appels concernant les permis et les normes de bien-fonds tel que présenté dans le présent rapport; et établissement d’un Comité sur les permis intermédiaire jusqu’à ce que le comité sur les permis et les normes de bien-fonds soit établi avec tous les membres.
6) Le processus de sélection du Comité des candidatures tel que présenté dans le présent rapport.
7) La nomination du maire ou du conseiller d'un quartier à tous les conseils locaux liés à un quartier ou à un poste tel que présenté dans le document 1.
8) Le processus d’établissement du budget tel que présenté dans le présent rapport.
9) Les modifications aux exigences en matière de rapports pour les nominations de conseillers à des organismes, à des conseils, à des comités et à des commissions, l’attribution des noms commémoratifs, les remises du Prix de la Conservation de l’architecture d’Ottawa et l’installation de plaques de désignation historique de la Ville d’Ottawa, tels qu’ils sont décrits dans le présent rapport, de sorte qu’ils ne font plus automatiquement partie des rapports à huis clos.
10) La possibilité de recommander un membre du personnel pour un poste au Conseil lorsqu’il n’y a pas de membre du Conseil disponible et la nécessité d’aviser le greffier municipal et chef du contentieux de toutes les nominations des conseillers municipaux aux conseils d’organismes, de comité et de commissions, tant internes qu’externes.
11) L’établissement de deux postes de maire suppléant qui seront pourvus par deux membres du conseil municipal, de plus, que les nominations soient recommandées au Conseil par le maire.
PartIE II – CADRE DE RESPONSABILISATION
1) Que le Conseil approuve l’affichage mensuel des dépenses budgétaires du bureau des représentants élus sur le site Ottawa.ca, en vigueur au 1er trimestre de 2011.
2) Que le sous-comité sur le renouvellement de la gouvernance, dirigé par le maire, avec l’aide du personnel et d’une tierce partie, soit chargé de l’évaluation de la structure générale et des processus de gouvernance pour la Ville d’Ottawa, de cerner les problèmes et de formuler des recommandations au Conseil, notamment :
a. Élaboration d’un cadre de responsabilisation (Code de conduite des membres du Conseil, registre des lobbyistes, etc.);
b. Meilleure participation des citoyens.
3) Que le rapport annuel de l’enquêteur chargé d’examiner les réunions municipales inclus aux présentes (document 2) soit déposé et que le contrat actuel de l’enquêteur chargé d’examiner les réunions municipales soit prolongé pour le mandat de 2010 à 2014 du Conseil.
Partie III – Conseils locaux
1) Obtenir la liste à jour des conseils locaux comme il est stipulé dans le rapport et demander au personnel de faire rapport sur la conformité des conseils locaux relativement aux politiques exigées dans le cadre de l’examen sur la gouvernance de mi-mandat.
2) Approuver la demande de la Société de logement communautaire d’Ottawa qui demande « que le nombre de ses membres augmente à 12 membres » ainsi que la « nomination de Peggy Feltmate au conseil d’administration de la Société en tant que membre du conseil de la collectivité ».
3) Les lignes directrices pour la sélection et la nomination des membres du Conseil de la Bibliothèque publique d’Ottawa.
4) Que les mesures suivantes soient prises pour passer aux prochaines étapes de mise sur pied du Conseil de santé; plus particulièrement, que :
a. le règlement visant à établir la taille du Conseil de santé selon le document 6 soit adopté;
b. le processus de sélection des membres du Conseil de santé soit approuvé conformément au document 7;
c. le tarif journalier de 200 $, auquel s’ajoutent le kilométrage et les frais admissibles, soit approuvé pour les membres citoyens siégeant au Conseil de santé et que le greffier municipal et chef du contentieux soit chargé de communiquer le tarif journalier approuvé au ministre de la Santé et des Soins de longue durée pour approbation.
Partie IV – PARTICIPATION de la population
1) Qu’une séance dirigée/animée conjointe pour fixer les priorités soit tenue réunissant les comités permanents et leurs comités consultatifs respectifs.
2) Que les présidents et vice-présidents des comités permanents rencontrent sur une base trimestrielle les présidents et vice-présidents de leurs comités consultatifs respectifs.
4) Que les membres de réserve soient admissibles au remboursement de leurs dépenses en vertu de la Politique de dépenses afférentes à la participation aux réunions.
5) Que le taux par kilométrage consenti aux membres utilisant leur véhicule personnel pour assister à des réunions officielles soit harmonisé au taux consenti aux employés de la Ville d’Ottawa.
6) Promulgation du Règlement de procédure modifié relatif aux comités consultatifs (Annexe A – Code de conduite) comme décrit dans le rapport et le règlement afférent (document 10).
7) Que le personnel soit mandaté pour entreprendre un examen en profondeur de la structure d’engagement de la population et remette un rapport à la fin du 2e trimestre de 2011.
8) Que le Conseil approuve la Politique sur les pétitions telle que présentée dans le rapport.
Partie V – Gouvernance – Divers
1) Les modifications au Règlement sur les procédures, telles que présentées dans le rapport, relatives aux points suivants :
(a) Points présentés par un conseiller au comité permanent
(b) Processus à huis clos
(c) Mesures d’urgence
(d) Comité des candidatures
2) Modifications au Règlement sur la délégation de pouvoir, telles que présentées dans le rapport.
3) Que le Règlement sur les procédures, le Règlement sur la délégation de pouvoir et les autres règlements connexes, tels que modifiés dans le présent rapport, fassent partie de la liste des règlements à l’ordre du jour de la prochaine réunion du Conseil.
The City of Ottawa’s governance structure, like those of other Ontario cities, facilitates the legislative process. It consists of several different but related deliberative bodies, namely City Council, Standing Committees, Advisory Committees and arms-length Agencies, Boards and Commissions (“ABCs”), and the regulatory tools that govern those Committees, such as the Procedure By-law, the Delegation of Authority By-law and the Public Notice By-law. The governance structure is designed to enable formal, direct community input into decision-making through citizen Advisory Committees and Standing Committee presentations to elected representatives. It also facilitates the legislative and governmental work of the elected officials through Standing Committee and City Council meetings.
Since amalgamation, the City of Ottawa has undertaken governance reviews twice over each term of Council. The first review takes place at the beginning of a term of Council. Traditionally, this is when major changes are made to the governance structure. The Mid-Term Governance review traditionally ‘tweaks’ the governance structure to address any issues that have arisen in the interim.
This is the Governance Review for the beginning of the 2010-2014 term of Council. The report is traditionally developed through consensus and is tabled with the outgoing Council and considered by the incoming Council as its first order of business.
The Governance Review, as in each previous review, was guided by the principles that any change must ensure that:
The Governance Review report contains a series of inter-connected recommendations and proposals for an improved governance structure that are intended to build upon Council’s existing governance structure and provide for the associated procedures and policies required for Council, its Standing Committees and Advisory Committees.
Traditionally, these recommendations have been developed through interviews conducted by the City Clerk and Solicitor with all members of the outgoing and incoming Councils. For the 2010-2014 Governance Review, the City Clerk and Solicitor and the Deputy City Clerk worked closely with the Mayor of the 2010-2014 Council in the development of the recommendations in this report. One of the fundamental responsibilities of the Head of Council under Section 225(c and c.1) of the Municipal Act, 2001 is to “provide leadership to the council; [and]…to provide information and recommendations to the council with respect to the role of council described in clauses 224 (d) and (d.1)”. Section 224 (d) and (d.1) relate specifically to ensuring “that the administrative policies, practices and procedures …are in place to implement the decisions of council; [and] to ensure the accountability and transparency of the operations of the municipality….”.
While all Members of the 2006-2010 Council were interviewed for this Governance Report, with the significant turnover in the composition of the 2010-2014 Council, it was not possible to interview all the Councillors-elect in time for the preparation of this report, or to develop consensus recommendations from the incoming Council. In addition to the recommendations made under the guidance of the incoming Mayor, there are some staff recommendations that are based on ideas presented by the Meetings Investigator, by members of Advisory Committees, and by best practices in other municipalities.
Leading up to this Governance Report, governance renewal was a major election platform for many in 2010-2014 Council. Specific themes included:
o Increased accountability and transparency for local government
o More focus on fiscal restraint and ensuring financial and management accountability structures are rigorous and transparent
o More focus on economic development and community development
o Better mechanisms for enhancing local decision-making for local matters and for increasing Council’s ability to focus on city-wide issues of significant interest
o Improve the ability for citizens to participate in decision-making
The Governance Report will recommend an overall Governance Renewal process with the awareness that some pieces of that review will take time but there are significant changes that can take place within the first quarter of 2011.
In addition, there are a number of ‘housekeeping’ amendments (changes where existing processes need to be ‘cleaned up’, or where new direction or updates are suggested) being recommended, as is normal practice.
Highlights of the recommendations are provided below:
Create a Transit Commission: The Transit Commission would be an arms-length body, composed of both elected officials and citizen representatives with a level of final decision-making authority over operational matters for OC Transpo (including the O-Train) and Para Transpo. These responsibilities include such matters as: determining routes, setting operational standards, determining on-street amenities, transit marketing and communications, customer service, park and rides. City Council would retain the authority over budget approval and the establishment of the collective bargaining mandate. The administrative structure would not change, meaning Transit Service employees, including the General Manager of Transit Services, would continue to be employees of the City and subject to all of the City’s policies (i.e. the Bilingualism Policy, the Purchasing Policy, etc).
Create a Finance and Economic Development Committee through merging the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee and the Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee. This Committee will be chaired by the Mayor, who intends to place greater emphasis on financial and administrative oversight, economic development and labour relations. It is further recommended that an Audit Sub-Committee be created to work with the Auditor General on a regular basis to ensure effective communication between the Auditor General’s office and Council.
Other changes to the Committee structure include the establishment of separate Planning and Environment Committees. It was felt by the majority of Members of Council that the workload of the Planning and Environment Committee was too large. It was also felt that the Environment mandate required more focus, especially with the emergence of water and wastewater and solid waste over the course of the past term of Council. Due to legislated timelines, staff recommend that the Planning Committee continue to meet twice a month and that the new Environment Committee meet on a monthly basis.
In addition to the steps Council has already taken to demonstrate its commitment to accountability and transparency, there was general consensus that more needs to be done to strengthen and enhance this commitment. The Mayor of the 2010-2014 Council has indicated his intention to pursue and lead the development of an Accountability Framework for Members of Council. Some potential accountability measures are outlined in the report including the Code of Conduct for Members of Council and the potential for a Lobbyist Registry. The report does include one recommendation for immediate action being the monthly posting of Council office budget expenditures on Ottawa.ca.
There is also the recommendation to proceed with a Governance Renewal process in light of the fact that the City is now 10-years post-amalgamation. The Governance Renewal process would examine how our current governance model is working ten years after amalgamation and make suggestions about how best to enhance truly local decision-making while allowing Council to focus on the important, city-wide challenges and opportunities it will face in the coming years. This review would be conducted by a Sub-Committee of the proposed Finance and Economic Development Committee, led by the Mayor with the support of staff and experts in the field.
As part of the Governance Renewal process, it is felt that an overall review of citizen engagement would ensure that the City is using all the engagement tools at its disposal to most effectively involve residents in the decision-making process. This review would include a review of the Advisory Committee structure given that approaches to citizen engagement are evolving, due both to advances in technology (i.e. social media) as well as changes in governance, and the potential for greater use of task forces, summits and roundtables.
With respect to other Committees of Council, staff is recommending the establishment of a License and Property Standards Committee. In order to take advantage of potential efficiencies and qualified citizen members, it is proposed that a joint quasi-judicial committee be struck to hear cases with respect to both licensing and property standards appeals. Moreover, staff recommend the formal adoption of the Nominating Committee process that has been used for the past three terms of Council, despite what is outlined in the Procedure By-law, and that the appointment process take place in two parts: the first for Standing Committees and Sub-Committees, major local boards and various selection panels, and the second for all the remaining appointments to local agencies, boards, committees and commissions.
A number of improvements to Committee and Council processes are proposed including: Standing Committee Learning Sessions to ensure that all Committee members have the same tools and knowledge to make effective decisions and so members of the public understand the basis upon which Committees are making decisions. An option is presented to direct staff to develop a set of guidelines or best-practices for Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs, in consultation with current Committee Chairs/Vice-Chairs. Staff is also looking to extend current practices to bring forward more reports as open reports for public release and to formally track all Council appointments to assist in making appointments in the event of a vacancy. Finally, the establishment of two Deputy Mayor positions is recommended to assist with such things as representation at events, chairing of Council meetings, and signing of legal documents, and to provide consistency and transparency for the four-year term of Council.
With respect to local boards, Legal Services conducted a review of the City’s local boards to identify those entities that have specific responsibilities under the Municipal Act, 2001. Moreover, the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation has forwarded, for Council’s consideration, a recommendation to add a Community Board member to the Board of Directors and has a specific recommendation for that appointment. The Ottawa Public Library (“OPL”) also provided their Composition Report and recommendations on the selection and appointment guidelines for the 2011-2014 OPL Board. Finally, as Council has already begun the process of creating an independent Board of Health, the Governance Report includes some recommendations related to the final steps for the establishment of the Board.
Amendments to Advisory Committee policies and processes are also recommended. These amendments include: a recommendation to hold a priority setting session between Standing Committees and their associated Advisory Committees; quarterly meetings between Standing Committee Chairs and the respective Advisory Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs; efforts to strengthen Advisory Committee participation through reserve members; linking the Advisory Committee mileage rate to the City staff mileage rate; and, clarification regarding political activity and enforcement of the Advisory Committee Code of Conduct. With respect to citizen engagement, staff are also recommending the establishment of a petition policy as a tool of citizen engagement and to ensure that public input in this form is formally recognized and considered by decision-makers.
Finally, the Governance Report includes the traditional review of the Procedure By-law and the Delegation of Authority By-law. Recommendations to revise the Procedure By-law are based on observations from elected officials and challenges encountered by the City Clerk and Solicitor’s staff with respect to meeting and report matters. Changes to the Delegation of Authority By-law reflect changes in authority and transfer of responsibility as a result of realignment within a portfolio.
As is traditional, the 2010-2014 Governance Report will be tabled at the final meeting of the outgoing Council, and be the first item of business at the first regular meeting of the 2010-2014 City Council.
La structure de gouvernance de la Ville d’Ottawa, comme celles d’autres villes d’Ontario, facilite le processus législatif. Elle est en effet composée de plusieurs organes de délibération différents, quoique liés, soit le Conseil municipal, les comités permanents et consultatifs et les agences, offices, commissions et conseils indépendants, ainsi que d’outils de réglementation qui régissent le Conseil et ses comités, dont le Règlement de procédure, le Règlement municipal sur la délégation de pouvoir et le Règlement sur l’affichage public. La structure de gouvernance est conçue pour permettre une rétroaction directe et officielle de la collectivité dans le processus décisionnel au moyen de présentations des citoyens qui siègent aux comités consultatifs et aux comités permanents devant les élus. Elle favorise aussi le travail législatif et gouvernemental des élus aux réunions des comités permanents et du Conseil municipal.
Depuis la fusion, la Ville d’Ottawa a entrepris deux examens sur la gouvernance par mandat du Conseil. Le premier a lieu au début d’un nouveau mandat; c’est habituellement à ce moment qu’on apporte des changements majeurs à la structure de gouvernance. L’examen de mi-mandat sur la gouvernance sert habituellement à apporter de légères modifications à la structure de gouvernance afin de remédier aux problèmes survenus en cours de mandat.
Voici le rapport d’examen sur la gouvernance pour le début du mandat de 2010 à 2014 du Conseil. Le rapport est habituellement préparé en fonction d’un consensus et déposé lorsqu’un Conseil municipal termine son mandat; il est alors présenté à l’examen du nouveau Conseil comme première affaire à l’ordre du jour.
Cet examen sur la gouvernance, comme tous les examens précédents, a été réalisé en suivant le principe selon lequel tout changement doit veiller à ce :
Le rapport de l’examen sur la gouvernance comprend une série de propositions et de recommandations interreliées visant à améliorer la structure de gouvernance actuelle du Conseil et à proposer les procédures et les politiques associées nécessaires au Conseil, à ses comités permanents et à ses comités consultatifs.
Depuis toujours, ces recommandations sont formulées dans le cadre des entretiens qu’effectue le greffier municipal et chef du contentieux avec tous les membres des conseils sortant et entrant. Pour l’examen sur la gouvernance de 2010 à 2014, le greffier municipal et chef du contentieux ainsi que le greffier adjoint ont travaillé en étroite collaboration avec le maire du Conseil de 2010 à 2014 pour formuler les recommandations du présent rapport. L’une des responsabilités fondamentales du chef du Conseil en vertu des alinéas 225 c) et c.1) de l’article 225 de la Loi de 2001 sur les municipalités est de « faire preuve de leadership dans ses rapports avec le conseil [et]… de fournir des renseignements et faire des recommandations au conseil à l’égard du rôle de celui-ci visé aux alinéas 224 d) et d.1) ». Les alinéas 224 d) et d.1) précisent que le Conseil doit « faire en sorte que des politiques, des pratiques et des procédures administratives … soient en place pour mettre en œuvre ses décisions; [et] veiller à la responsabilisation et à la transparence des opérations de la municipalité... ».
Bien que tous les membres du Conseil de 2006 à 2010 aient été rencontrés pour le présent examen sur la gouvernance, en raison des importants changements dans la composition du Conseil de 2010 à 2014, il n’a pas été possible de rencontrer tous les conseillers élus à temps pour la préparation du présent rapport, ni d’élaborer de recommandations consensuelles provenant du conseil entrant. En plus des recommandations formulées sous la direction du nouveau maire, certaines recommandations sont formulées par les membres du personnel et fondées sur les idées présentées par l’enquêteur chargé d’examiner les réunions municipales, les membres des comités consultatifs et sont inspirées des pratiques exemplaires d’autres municipalités.
Le renouvellement de la gouvernance a été pour plusieurs membres du Conseil de 2010 à 2014, un élément important de leur programme électoral, qui a mené à la préparation du présent rapport. Les thèmes principaux portaient notamment sur :
o Une responsabilisation et une transparence accrues pour le gouvernement local.
o La nécessité d’imposer davantage de restrictions fiscales et de veiller à ce que les structures financières et de responsabilisation de la direction soient rigoureuses et transparentes.
o La nécessité de concentrer les activités sur le développement économique et communautaire.
o La mise en place de meilleurs mécanismes pour améliorer la prise de décisions à l’échelle locale pour des affaires locales et pour accroître la capacité du Conseil à se concentrer sur des questions importantes à l’échelle de la Ville.
o L’amélioration de la capacité des citoyens à participer aux prises de décisions.
Le rapport de gouvernance recommandera un processus global de renouvellement de la gouvernance tout en étant conscient que la mise en œuvre de certains éléments de cet examen prendra du temps; cependant, des changements importants pourront être mis en œuvre au premier trimestre de 2011.
De plus, un certain nombre de recommandations concernant des modifications d’« ordre administratif » (modifications où les processus existants ont besoin d’un « nettoyage » ou encore là où de nouvelles orientations ou mises à jour sont suggérées). Cela est pratique courante.
Points saillants des recommandations :
Créer une commission du transport en commun : La commission du transport en commun sera un organisme indépendant, composé de représentants élus et de citoyens détenant des pouvoirs décisionnels sur les affaires concernant les activités d’OC Transpo (y compris le O-Train) et de Para Transpo. Ces responsabilités incluent divers sujets comme : établir les itinéraires, les normes opérationnelles, les commodités sur rue et les stratégies de marketing et de communication en matière de transport en commun; le service à la clientèle et les parcs-o-bus. Le Conseil conserverait les pouvoirs d’approbation du budget et d’établissement du mandat de négociations collectives. La structure administrative ne changerait pas, ce qui signifie que les employés des Services de transport en commun, y compris le directeur général demeurent des employés de la Ville et sont assujettis à toutes les politiques de la Ville (c.-à-d. politique sur le bilinguisme, sur les achats, etc.).
Créer un comité des finances et de développement économique en fusionnant le Comité de vérification, du budget et des finances avec le Comité des services organisationnels et du développement économique. Ce comité sera présidé par le maire, qui a l’intention d’accorder une plus grande importance à la supervision financière et administrative, au développement économique et aux relations de travail. Il est par ailleurs recommandé de créer un sous-comité de la vérification qui collaborera avec le vérificateur général afin que la communication entre le bureau du vérificateur général et le Conseil soit efficace et constante.
D’autres modifications à la structure des comités prévoient l’établissement de comités distincts de l’urbanisme et de l’environnement. La majorité des membres du Conseil ont mentionné que la charge de travail du Comité de l’urbanisme et de l’environnement était trop imposante. Ils ont aussi mentionné que le mandat du comité de l’environnement doit être plus centré, particulièrement avec les problèmes liés à l’eau, aux eaux usées et aux déchets solides survenus au cours du dernier mandat. En raison des délais prévus par la loi, le personnel recommande que le Comité de l’urbanisme continue de se réunir deux fois par mois et que le nouveau Comité de l’environnement se réunisse une fois par mois.
Diverses mesures ont déjà été entreprises par le Conseil pour démontrer son engagement envers la responsabilisation et la transparence, mais on est généralement d’accord sur le fait qu’il faut en faire davantage pour renforcer et améliorer cet engagement. Le maire du Conseil municipal de 2010 à 2014 a annoncé son intention de diriger l’établissement du cadre de responsabilisation pour les membres du Conseil. Certaines des mesures de responsabilisation potentielles sont présentées dans le rapport y compris le Code de conduite des membres du Conseil et la possibilité de créer un registre des lobbyistes. Le rapport inclut une recommandation de mesure immédiate pour l’affichage mensuel des dépenses administratives du Conseil sur le site Ottawa.ca.
Une autre recommandation préconise la mise en place d’un processus de renouvellement de la gouvernance compte tenu du fait que la fusion des municipalités a maintenant dix ans. Le processus de renouvellement de la gouvernance permettra d’examiner le fonctionnement de notre modèle de gouvernance actuel dix ans après la fusion et de faire des suggestions concernant les meilleurs moyens d’améliorer la procédure de prise de décisions à l’échelle locale tout en permettant au Conseil de se concentrer sur les défis à relever et les occasions à saisir au cours des prochaines années pour les questions touchant l’ensemble de la Ville. Cet examen sera effectué par un sous-comité du Comité des finances et du développement économique proposé, dirigé par le maire avec l’aide du personnel et d’experts en la matière.
Dans le cadre du processus de renouvellement de la gouvernance, on croit qu’un examen global de la participation des citoyens permettrait de vérifier que la Ville utilise tous les outils de participation à sa disposition afin de faire participer le plus efficacement possible les citoyens au processus de prise de décisions. Cet examen inclura une analyse de la structure des comités consultatifs compte tenu du fait que les approches pour solliciter la participation des citoyens évoluent, en raison notamment des progrès dans la technologie (p. ex., médias sociaux) ainsi que des changements dans la gouvernance, et de la possibilité d’une plus grande utilisation des consultations sous forme de groupes de travail, des sommets et de tables rondes.
En ce qui a trait aux comités du Conseil, le personnel recommande l’établissement d’un comité sur les permis et les normes foncières. Afin de profiter des efficiences potentielles et de la présence de membres citoyens qualifiés, il est proposé de former un comité quasi judiciaire pour instruire les plaintes en matière de permis et de normes foncières. Par ailleurs, le personnel recommande l’adoption officielle du processus de sélection du Comité des candidatures qui a été utilisé au cours des trois derniers mandats du Conseil, malgré ce qui est présenté dans le Règlement de procédure, et que le processus de nomination se déroule en deux étapes : la première concernant les comités permanents et les sous-comités, les principaux conseils locaux et les divers groupes de sélection, et la deuxième concernant les autres nominations aux agences, conseil, comités et commissions locaux.
Un certain nombre d’améliorations sont proposées pour les processus concernant les comités et le Conseil notamment : séances d’apprentissage à l’intention des comités permanents afin que tous les membres des comités aient les mêmes outils et connaissances pour prendre des décisions efficaces et que les membres du public comprennent le fondement de la prise de décisions des comités. Une option présentée est de demander au personnel d’élaborer un ensemble de directives ou des meilleures pratiques à l’intention des présidents et vice-présidents des comités, en consultation avec les présidents et vice-présidents actuels. Le personnel cherche également à élargir les pratiques actuelles afin que davantage de rapports soient considérés comme des rapports publics et pour effectuer le suivi officiel de toutes les nominations au Conseil pour aider à préparer les candidatures si un poste est à pourvoir. Finalement, on recommande la création de deux postes de maire suppléant qui aideront dans diverses occasions comme la représentation dans divers événements, la présidence des réunions du Conseil, la signature de documents officiels et afin d’assurer l’uniformité et la transparence pendant les quatre années du mandat du Conseil.
En ce qui a trait aux conseils locaux, les services juridiques ont procédé à l’examen des conseils locaux de la Ville pour déterminer les entités qui ont des responsabilités précises en vertu de la Loi de 2001 sur les municipalités. De plus, la Société de logement communautaire d’Ottawa a présenté au Conseil, pour étude, une recommandation portant sur l’ajout d’un membre à son conseil d’administration et a formulé une recommandation précise pour cette nomination. La Bibliothèque publique d’Ottawa (BPO) a également fourni un rapport de composition et ses recommandations sur les directives concernant la sélection et la nomination des membres du conseil de BPO pour le mandat 2011 à 2014. Finalement, comme le Conseil a déjà lancé le processus de création d’un Conseil de santé indépendant, le rapport de gouvernance comprend certaines recommandations portant sur les étapes finales pour l’établissement dudit conseil.
On recommande également d’apporter des modifications aux politiques et processus concernant les comités consultatifs. Ces modifications sont notamment : recommandation de tenir une séance d’établissement des priorités avec les comités permanents et leurs comités consultatifs respectifs; réunions trimestrielles des présidents des comités permanents avec les présidents et vice-présidents de leurs comités consultatifs respectifs; déploiement d’efforts pour renforcer la participation aux comités consultatifs en ayant recours aux membres de réserve; concordance des taux par kilomètre consentis aux membres des comités consultatifs avec les taux par kilomètre consentis au personnel de la Ville d’Ottawa; et explications nécessaires concernant l’activité politique et l’application du Code de conduite des comités consultatifs En ce qui concerne la participation des citoyens, les membres du personnel recommandent également l’élaboration d’une politique sur les pétitions comme outil pour motiver la participation du public et pour veiller à ce que l’opinion publique exprimée sous cette forme soit officiellement reconnue et prise en compte par les décideurs.
Finalement, le rapport sur la gouvernance comporte l’examen habituel du Règlement de procédures et du Règlement sur la délégation de pouvoir. Les recommandations formulées sur la nécessité de réviser le Règlement de procédure sont fondées sur les observations des élus et les problèmes éprouvés par le personnel du Bureau du greffier municipal et chef du contentieux relativement à des enjeux soulevés pendant les réunions ou dans les rapports. Les modifications apportées au Règlement sur la délégation de pouvoir tiennent compte des changements d’autorité et du transfert de responsabilités suivant la refonte du portefeuille.
Comme le veut la tradition, le rapport sur la gouvernance de 2010 à 2014 sera déposé à la réunion finale du Conseil sortant et sera le premier point à l'ordre du jour de la première réunion régulière du Conseil municipal de 2010 à 2014.
The City of Ottawa’s governance structure, like those of other Ontario cities, facilitates the legislative process. The structure is made up of several different but related deliberative bodies, namely City Council, Standing Committees, Advisory Committees and arms-length Agencies, Boards and Commissions (“ABCs”), as well as the regulatory tools that govern those Committees, such as the Procedure By-law, the Delegation of Authority By-law and the Public Notice By-law. The governance structure is designed to enable formal, direct community input into decision-making through citizen Advisory Committees and Standing Committee presentations to elected representatives. It also facilitates the legislative and governmental work of the elected officials through Standing Committee and City Council meetings.
Since amalgamation, the City of Ottawa has undertaken governance reviews twice over each term of Council. The Governance Review takes place at the beginning of a term of Council. Traditionally, this is when major changes are made to the governance structure. The Mid-Term Governance Review traditionally ‘tweaks’ the governance structure to address any issues that have arisen in the interim. Recommendations in both governance reports are developed based on consensus established through one-on-one consultations with Members of Council, Chairs and Vice-Chairs of Advisory Committees, the Executive Management Committee and members of the Senior Management Committee.
As previously noted, the Governance Review examines the City’s governance structure and the corresponding policies and procedures and recommends changes under the guidance of the following principles:
The City’s authority is determined by its enabling legislation being principally the Municipal Act, 2001 (the “Act”) and the City of Ottawa Act, 1999. The Municipal Act, 2001 was amended by Bill 130, where many of the changes to the Act came into effect by January 2008. The overall intent of the changes in Bill 130 was to provide municipalities with the flexibility and autonomy to respond to local matters and fulfill responsibilities within their jurisdiction. The Bill provided municipalities with greater powers and autonomy though balanced with increased accountability and transparency measures. The changes to the Act have heavily influenced the evolution of the City’s governance structure and practices since its enactment. Specifically, City Council has implemented the following governance changes as a result of changes to the Municipal Act, 2001:
The Governance Review report contains a series of inter-connected recommendations and proposals for an improved governance structure and provide for the associated procedures and policies required for Council, its Standing Committees and Advisory Committees.
Traditionally, these recommendations have been developed through interviews conducted by the City Clerk and Solicitor with all Members of the outgoing and incoming Councils. For the 2010-2014 Governance Review, the City Clerk and Solicitor and the Deputy City Clerk worked closely with the Mayor of the 2010-2014 Council in the development of the recommendations in this report. One of the fundamental responsibilities of the Head of Council under Section 225(c and c.1) of the Municipal Act, 2001 is to “provide leadership to the council; [and]…to provide information and recommendations to the council with respect to the role of council described in clauses 224 (d) and (d.1)”. Section 224 (d) and (d.1) relate specifically to ensuring “that the administrative policies, practices and procedures …are in place to implement the decisions of council; [and] to ensure the accountability and transparency of the operations of the municipality….”.
In addition, there are a number of ‘housekeeping’ amendments (changes where existing processes need to be ‘cleaned up’, or where new direction or updates are suggested) being recommended, as is normal practice.
It should be noted that those minor matters of an administrative nature (correction of departmental name and managerial staff titles, etc.) will not be expressly identified within this report, but are listed in the appendices. All other significant concerns, as well as proposed amendments, are summarized in the body of the report. Detailed explanations, where required, appear in the appendices as well.
As part of the preparation for the report, the City Clerk and Solicitor and the Deputy City Clerk consulted with elected representatives, Chairs and Vice-Chairs of Advisory Committees, the Executive Committee and members of the Senior Management Committee, as well as staff in the City Clerk’s Branch, Legal Services and the City Manager’s Office who work most closely with the legislative process.
As indicated above, the substantive recommendations within this report result from consultations with elected representatives, City staff and the City’s Advisory Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs. There were a number of issues raised that staff did not include in the recommendations.
For ease of reference, the report has been separated into five parts:
Part I – Standing Committees
A) Committee Structure
B) Other Committees of Council
C) Nominating Committee
D) Process Changes and Improvements
Part II – Accountability Framework
A) Accountability Framework
B) Meetings Investigator
Part III – Local Boards
A) Local Board Review
B) Other Local Boards and Related Matters
Part IV – Citizen Engagement
A) Advisory Committees
B) Overall Review of Citizen Engagement
C) Petition Policy
Part V – Governance – Other Matters
B) Delegation of Authority By-law
Part I – Standing Committees
A. Committee Structure
Across the province and the country, transit systems vary in scale, type and geographic location and as a result, transit governance models vary from system to system. During interviews with the City Clerk and Solicitor and the Deputy City Clerk, a number of Members of Council expressed interest in looking at the establishment of a Transit Commission rather than continue with a Transit Committee. Further discussions with the Mayor of the 2010-2014 Council refined the concept, with the final recommendation being that a Transit Commission be created, modeled after both the former Ottawa-Carleton Transit Commission and the future Board of Health, with City Council retaining the authority over budget approval, the establishment of the collective bargaining mandate and the ratification of all collective agreements. The Transit Commission would be an arms-length body, composed of both elected officials and citizen representatives with a level of final decision-making authority over transit operations.
Specifically, the Transit Commission would be responsible for operational matters for OC Transpo (including the O-Train) and Para Transpo. These responsibilities include such matters as: determining routes, setting operational standards, determining on-street amenities, transit marketing and communications, customer service, park and rides, etc. The Commission would also be responsible for transit-related strategies, policies and programs brought forward by Transit Services (i.e. marketing strategy). It would receive the Transit Services Annual Report as well as the quarterly performance reports and be responsible for the approval of required reports to the Federal government.
The establishment of the Transit Commission would be a change in the governance structure related to transit matters, and would not change the administrative structure of the Transit Services Department. The current City structures for administration and the delivery of service will be maintained. The benefit of an arms-length organization is the ability to focus on transit issues and bring in additional expertise in the form of citizen members.
The Transit Commission would not be responsible for the governance of the Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel (“DOTT”). Governance for the Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel project will be addressed as part of a report to be presented to Council in Q1 of 2011. Until that time, any DOTT-related reports will be brought directly to City Council for consideration.
Under the Municipal Act, 2001, City Council may delegate many of its duties and powers, but under Section 23.3, the municipality cannot delegate its “power to adopt or amend the budget of the municipality” nor can it delegate powers with respect to municipal taxation. However, there are some opportunities to provide a more focused review of the budget related to Transit or to provide more flexibility in the allocation of the budget.
Similar to the budget process for other arms-length boards like the Public Library Board and the future Public Health Board, it is anticipated that the Transit Commission would put forward both an operating and capital budget for Council approval, open to a line-by-line review. It is also recommended that City Council approve fares.
The Transit Commission will be responsible for ongoing financial oversight and as such will be responsible for approval of all matters falling within the established budget and will make recommendations to Council if there are additional budget impacts. The Transit Commission will receive the quarterly status report on operating and capital on the Transit budget.
Contract negotiations for OC Transpo are currently undertaken through the City’s Labour Relations Unit. At this time, the Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee and City Council possess the mandate for decisions respecting labour relations and contract negotiations. Under the model of an arms-length commission, the responsibility for setting the collective bargaining mandate and the ratification of all collective agreements will remain with City Council. As with the former regional Transit Commission, this Transit Commission will act as bargaining agent for Transit Services union within the Council-approved mandate.
The General Manager of Transit Services and Transit Service employees will remain City employees, thus providing the least disruption during the transition to a new model and mitigating the costs of establishing a new and separate entity. As City staff, Transit Services staff will continue to be subject to all of the City’s policies (i.e. Bilingualism Policy, Code of Conduct, Responsible Computer Policy, the Purchasing By-law, etc.)
The Transit Commission, like Standing Committees of Council, will report directly to City Council. Further, in accordance with the principles of delegation set out for Standing Committees, the Transit Commission will report on a regular basis on the exercise of delegated authority.
Similar to other arms-length committees or boards, it is initially expected that the Transit Commission would submit an annual report to Council. The Commission could be required to submit more frequent updates and report on specific matters should it be the wish of Council.
Further, strategic plans for transit are integral to the success of transit operations. City Council has already established a number of strategic plans that impact the future of transit in Ottawa (Transportation Master Plan, City Strategic Plan, etc.) In establishing an independent transit commission, the intent would be to separate the day-to-day operations from the policy-making role of Council. However, strategic planning, as evident in other independent transit commissions, is a joint responsibility between the transit commission and the municipality, often with the final decision lying with the municipal council. It is expected that responsibility for developing strategic plans strictly related to transit matters (i.e. Transit Plan, 10-year Transit Tactical Plan) would lie with the Commission with Council approval. However, the Transit Commission would have a role in advising City Council on City policies and plans with a public transit component (i.e. Transportation Master Plan).
There was general consensus from Members of Council that a Transit Commission should emulate the Board of Health model and consist of a combination of elected representatives and citizen members, with Members of Council maintaining majority membership. It is recommended that the membership of the Transit Commission be comprised of eight (8) Members of Council and three (3) citizen members. As is the case with all Committees of Council, the Mayor would be an ex-officio voting member of the Transit Commission. Further, the Chair and Vice-Chair shall be appointed by the membership of the Transit Commission from among the members of the Commission who are also Members of Council.
Transit governance discussions have always involved the discussion of ‘say for pay’, where only those Councillors representing areas of the City that pay the transit levy have the ability to vote on transit matters. As such, it is recommended that members of the Transit Commission who are Members of Council must represent wards that pay the transit levy.
With respect to citizen members, there was general consensus from Members of Council that, similar to the Board of Health model, citizen members be experts in the field of public transit or have specific knowledge or expertise that would benefit the Commission. Specifically, it is recommended that the appointment of citizen members aim to fulfill the following specific criteria:
In order to facilitate the establishment of the Transit Commission and to reduce the transition period, it is recommended that an appointment process commence immediately following Council’s endorsement of the Transit Commission, with advertisements in mid-January and with the intention of making citizen appointments in March 2011. Members of Council would be appointed to the Transit Commission as part of the Nominating Committee process outlined later in this report. A selection panel for the appointment of the citizen members would also be established as part of this process.
Similar to citizen members on other committees and local boards of the City, the citizen members would be reimbursed for expenses incurred as a result of being a member of the Transit Commission (i.e. mileage/bus fare, parking).
With respect to meeting details, it is recommended that the Transit Commission hold its meetings at City Hall, similar to other Committees of Council, in order to ensure reliable access to translation equipment and to provide optimal access for public delegations.
In order to provide some consistency during the transition period, it is further recommended that the Transit Commission meet once monthly, on the third Wednesday of the month at 9:30 a.m., similar to the current Transit Committee. The meeting schedule of the Transit Commission shall be reviewed at Mid-Term once the transition has been completed.
Finally, it is recommended that the Members of Council appointed to the Transit Commission as part of the Nominating Committee process be authorized to sit as an interim Transit Commission until the appointment of the citizen members.
Recommendation Part I – #1
The establishment of a Transit Commission composed of eight (8) Members of Council and three (3) citizen members to oversee transit operation as outlined in this report; and the establishment of an Interim Transit Commission composed of the Members of Council appointed to the Commission until such time as the citizen members are appointed.
Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee
There was a general consensus that changes implemented as part of the Mid-Term Governance Review, including the move to one meeting a month and changes to the open mike procedures, have been largely successful.
No changes are being recommended for this Standing Committee.
Merger of Audit, Budget and Finance Committee and Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee to create Finance and Economic Development Committee
The Audit, Budget and Finance Committee was established as part of the Mid-Term Governance Review with the intent that the Committee would focus on high-level fiscal and management policy issues. The Committee was given the mandate for financial reporting, policy and planning mandates, Audit and the development of the annual budget. Formerly, those responsibilities rested with the Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee. There was general consensus that this separation has not been as effective as anticipated, and that the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee is not working as it was intended.
From an administrative perspective, even though scheduled only monthly, the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee has not generally had the volume of items to sustain agendas. The Committee has met only six times in 2010, with four meetings cancelled due to a lack of action items and one meeting for lack of quorum. There was an average of five items per agenda.
It is also recognized that there was some value in having the same Committee responsible for high-level fiscal and management policy issues as well as the overall direction of City administration and administrative and management practices. That synergy was lost with the division of the Committees with two different Chairs.
It was further believed that, with the shift of the Audit and Finance mandate to the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee, the Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee would have more capacity to focus on certain issues of strategic interest to Council, such as economic development and labour relations. That increased strategic focus has not yet materialized.
Therefore staff, in consultation with the Mayor of the 2010-2014 Council, is recommending that a Finance and Economic Development Committee be established by merging the mandates of the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee and the Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee.
Composition and Meeting Schedule
It is recommended that the Membership of the Finance and Economic Development Committee be comprised of all the Standing Committee Chairs, including the Transit Commission Chair, and four members-at-large and be chaired by the Mayor. It is believed that the benefit of this will be better integration of Standing Committees into the overall management of the budget, not just at budget time but year-round. It is anticipated that having Committee Chairs sitting on this committee will help ensure that Standing Committees are making budget and expenditure recommendations with an eye to the city-wide budget picture. Having Finance and Economic Development Committee members chairing Standing Committees could also help bring out discussion of how operational decisions affect city-wide policy issues (i.e. labour relations, strategic communications, and information technology) and vice-versa.
It is recommended that the Finance and Economic Development Committee meet once monthly, on the first Tuesday of the month at 9:30 a.m.
On January 27, 2010, City Council created a Debenture Committee with the delegated authority to enact debenture by laws to authorize the issuance of debentures where the project debt authority has been approved by Council and the Treasurer has proceeded with one or more debt issues in accordance with the Delegation of Authority By-law 2009-231 as amended. This Committee improves the City’s access to financial markets and increases the potential for savings in its debt service costs as the Committee meets on short notice rather going through the normal Council meeting process to enact the required debenture by-laws.
The Committee is currently comprised of the Mayor and the Vice-Chair of the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee, the City Treasurer and the City Manager, as these are deemed to be most familiar with the City’s financial matters.
Accordingly, should Council create the Finance and Economic Development Committee, staff recommend the elected membership of the Debenture Committee be amended to be the Mayor and the Vice-Chair of the Finance and Economic Development Committee.
Sub-Committees of the Finance and Economic Development Committee
Information Technology Sub-Committee
The Information and Technology (IT) Sub-Committee was established as part of the Mid-Term Governance Review to provide oversight and guidance on large-scale investments in information technology and to make recommendations to City Council on those investments. There is general consensus that the establishment of this Sub-Committee has been a positive development, and no changes are recommended at this time. The meetings times and dates will be confirmed at the first meeting of the Finance and Economic Development Committee.
Member Services Sub-Committee
The Member Services Sub-Committee has an ongoing mandate that is related to and responsible for the review, consideration and approval of administrative issues with respect to elected representatives and their staff, Councillors’ office and salary budgets, and the overall operation of their offices. It meets on an as needed basis. No changes are recommended for this Sub-Committee.
There was general consensus that the Audit function needed more prominence. It is recommended that a separate Audit Sub-Committee be established. Similar to the former Council Audit Working Group, part of the Audit Sub-Committee’s duties would include working with staff to mediate disputes regarding audit recommendations. The Sub-Committee would also be responsible for working with the Auditor General on a regular basis to ensure effective communication between the Auditor General’s office and Council.
Staff recommends that the responsibilities of the Audit Sub-Committee include:
§ Recommending the appointment of City’s external auditor;
§ Recommending the appointment of an external auditor to conduct an annual financial audit of the Office of the Auditor General (“OAG”);
§ Consider annual audit report and management letter from the City’s external auditor and the OAG’s external auditor;
§ Consider the Auditor General’s annual workplan;
§ Conduct an annual review of the Auditor General’s accomplishments;
§ Address any issues related to follow-up audits; and
§ Conduct a performance appraisal for the Auditor General.
In addition, several members of Council expressed a desire to ensure maximum effectiveness with regard to the Auditor General’s role in improving City services. While Ottawa’s Auditor General provides for an external financial auditor, a review of the City of Toronto’s Auditor General’s By-law and framework incorporates an external quality assurance review as part of their accountability standard (described in the Auditor General’s Policy and Procedures Manual, and outlined more completely in Appendix E of that Manual). In an April 2, 2009 report to the City of Toronto’s Audit Committee, Auditor General Jeff Griffiths describes their process below:
Government Auditing Standards state: “Audit organizations performing audits and attestation engagements in accordance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (“GAGAS”) must have an external peer review performed by reviewers independent of the audit organization being reviewed at least once every 3 years.”
Compliance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards is an important component of audit quality and is important in maintaining credibility with City Council, management and the taxpaying public.
Compliance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards, including the external quality assurance review, is known to benefit both internal and external auditors in many ways including the following:
· Strengthens audit quality, consistency, uniformity and reliability
· Withstands legal scrutiny
· Contributes to professional development
· Enhances professional credibility
· Strengthens public/management relations.
The City of Toronto uses the Peer Review model for Quality Assessment designed by the Association of Local Government Auditors.
A review of the other areas demonstrates that most auditors incorporate some form of Quality Assessment Review as a means to ensure that their work is meeting relevant auditing standards. Although a number of different methods are used, the same underlying principles seem to apply.
The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) also provides a set of standards for Auditors General. The IIA holds that “an external Quality Assessment (QA) evaluates conformance with the Internal Auditing, international Standards for Assurance Review —the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards), the Code of Ethics, the internal audit and audit committee charters, the organization’s risk and control assessment, and the use of successful practices. An internal audit activity must obtain an external assessment at least every five years by an independent reviewer or review team to be in conformance with the Standards.”
Canada’s Auditor General initiated a Peer Review Quality Assessment from the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) in 2003. This body has since developed a Quality Assurance Review handbook to guide Peer Reviews. The International Audit and Accounting Standards Board is moving away from Peer Reviews towards independent external reviews, and has developed a standard for the selection and quality control for firms that perform Quality Assurance Reviews.
The Auditor General concurs that a movement towards a quality assurance peer review model is a timely evolution with respect to the Office of the Auditor General. He is recommending that an external Quality Assurance Review be conducted for the Office of the Auditor General every 5 years, or halfway through the mandate, and that the Audit Sub-Committee initiate the engagement of that review in 2011 with the first audit cycle to be reviewed in 2012.
Community and Protective Services Committee
The Community and Protective Services Committee (CPSC) was created in 2006, combining the mandates of the former Health and Social Services Committee and the Emergency and Protective Services Committee. After one term in operation, there is a general consensus that CPSC is functioning well, although several Councillors observed that the parks, recreation and culture mandate could benefit from greater Committee focus. Staff believes that the removal of the public health mandate could provide greater opportunity for that increased focus without the need for the creation of a separate Standing Committee or Sub-Committee.
Specifically, City Council currently acts as the local Board of Health, through the Community and Protective Services Committee. Under the new governance structure that has been directed by provincial legislation, a new Board of Health is expected to be in place by April 2011, and is designed to improve stewardship of public health programs while ensuring a continued ability to anticipate and respond to local community health needs. The Board is also responsible for advising City Council on other issues in its jurisdiction that have a public health dimension. Therefore, the Public Health aspect of CPSC’s mandate will no longer exist upon the implementation of the Board of Health.
Other suggestions included the possibility of creating a separate Parks and Recreation Standing Committee, a Parks and Recreation Sub-Committee, or a separate Parks and Recreation Board (similar to that in the former City of Nepean) that includes citizen members. There was also some mention of dividing Emergency and Protective Services into a separate Committee, as existed in the previous term. As these were not consensus items, there are no recommendations in this regard, and motions would be required to effect any change.
Due to the shift of the health mandate to the Board of Health, combined with a review of the meeting statistics, it is recommended that the Community and Protective Services Committee meet monthly rather than bi-weekly. It is recommended that this meeting be held on the third Thursday of each month.
Division of the current Planning and Environment Committee into the Planning Committee and the Environment Committee
As part of interviews with the City Clerk and Solicitor and the Deputy City Clerk, the majority of Members of Council agreed that the workload of the Planning and Environment Committee (PEC) was too large. It is by far the busiest Committee of Council with a total of almost seventy seven meeting hours for 2010 (this includes the November meeting that took place over the course of three days.)
It is expected that the Environment side of the former PEC mandate will generate an even larger number of reports requiring detailed consideration going forward. The increasing emphasis on sustainability and environmental initiatives by Council will in part continue to drive this increase in addition to the emergence of water and wastewater infrastructure issues, solid waste issues and the expected workload associated with the implementation of the Ottawa River Action Plan.
There were also suggestions by many Members of Council that the Environment mandate did not get as much focus as it could have had agendas not been crowded with so many items that had public delegations wishing to speak, and that the Environment mandate would work as a separate Standing Committee. The Mayor of the 2010-2014 Council concurs with that observation.
The current PEC’s Terms of Reference state it is responsible for ensuring the enforcement of the City of Ottawa’s Official Plan (excluding the rural areas) through the investigation of physical, social, economic and environmental conditions in the development and implementation of the Official Plan, and by making recommendations on issues relating to Building Services; Planning and Infrastructure Approvals; and Planning, Environment and Infrastructure Policy where applicable.
A logical division of the responsibilities of PEC results in the splitting the current PEC mandate into two committees: a more focused Planning Committee and a new Environment Committee.
The refocused Planning Committee would maintain responsibility for planning and approvals such as Zoning, Official Plan Amendments, Site Plans and for the overall guidance and direction on growth and planning.
The new Environment Committee would take a leadership role with respect to community sustainability and take on responsibility for the overall guidance and direction in the areas and issues relating to utilities (i.e. water, wastewater and solid waste) and piped services, environmental protection, including water supply, solid waste management and disposal and water pollution control as well as capital asset management, along with energy conservation strategies and policies related to promoting good environmental air and water quality.
The current Terms of Reference for the Planning and Environment Committee would be divided to reflect this new division of responsibilities.
The Environment Committee general responsibilities would include being responsible for:
· Providing overall guidance and direction in areas of water supply, solid waste management (waste/organics/recycling) and disposal and water pollution control, including for tactical plans (capital and operating rates);
· Providing overall guidance and direction in areas of environmental, economic and social sustainability, including those related to Choosing our Future (a joint initiative being undertaken by the City of Ottawa, the City of Gatineau and the National Capital Commission (NCC) to help the National Capital Region prepare for the challenges of the 21st century and integrate concepts of sustainability, resiliency and livability into all aspects of regional planning and design);
· Making recommendations to Council on environmental policy issues (i.e. waste management, water quality, climate change, landfill, open spaces, natural urban features, trees, etc.);
· The Community Environmental Grants Program;
· Responding to federal and provincial environmental initiatives affecting Municipal Operations and Surface Water Quality;
· Monitoring the activities and the implementation of the Environmental Services Branch programs and projects;
· Reviewing and revising, if necessary, staff comments and recommendations on environmental initiatives as proposed by the federal and provincial governments;
· Exercising other specific responsibilities set forth by relevant statutes and City Council
· Ensuring co-ordination and consultation with committees and departments where responsibilities overlap on issues of environmental protection and on issues relevant to the mandate of more than one committee;
· Reviewing, revising if necessary and recommending approval of operational programs for the maintenance of the existing and proposed water, wastewater, sewer and solid waste infrastructure in accordance with the policies of the City of Ottawa;
· Recommending to Council the preparation of the environmental study reports, the Environmental Assessment Board Hearing and the implementation of the Master Plan recommendations with respect to the Waste Management Master Plan;
· Providing comments on Certificates of Approval for waste facilities circulated by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment;
· Energy conservation strategies and renewable energy policies;
· Policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality;
· The Urban Forest and related issues;
· Long term planning (capital programs) within the Committee’s mandate; and
· The review and recommendation to Council of the Rate-supported Budget.
With the above responsibilities shifted to the Environment Committee, the Planning Committee would retain the balance of the former PEC’s terms of reference. Its responsibilities would then focus on those items emanating almost solely from the Planning and Growth Management Department.
Given legislated timeframes related to planning matters, it is recommended that the Planning Committee continue to meet twice a month. As the new Environment Committee will effectively be taking on a portion of the current Standing Committee’s mandate, it is recommended that the new Committee meet once monthly.
There was a general consensus that changes implemented as part of the Mid-Term Governance Review, including the move to one meeting a month and removing the requirement for the membership to be identical to the Transit Committee, have been largely successful. With the recommended changes to mandates that would result from the creation of the Transit Commission as proposed, it is recommended that the Transit Committee’s responsibility for Environmental Assessment (EA) works associated with the planning and design of transit infrastructure be incorporated into the mandate of the Transportation Committee, which already has carriage of Environmental Assessments for the remainder of the transportation network. This would mean that one Committee would have the expertise with respect to how the Transportation Network currently operates— roads, traffic, parking, cycling and pedestrian pathways – and bring that expertise to planning and designing the network in full.
No other changes are being recommended for this Standing Committee.
Recommendation Part I – #2
The following structure for Standing Committees for the 2010-2014 term of Council as outlined in this report, effective immediately:
a. Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee;
b. Community and Protective Services Committee;
c. Environment Committee;
d. Finance and Economic Development Committee and its associated Sub-Committees:
i. IT Sub-Committee;
ii. Member Services Sub-Committee;
iii. Audit Sub-Committee;
iv. Governance Renewal Sub-Committee;
e. Planning Committee;
f. Transportation Committee.
The amendments to the Debenture Committee’s Terms of Reference as outlined in this report.
Council, Committee and Commission Calendar
Time of Meeting
Day and Frequency of Meetings
Meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month
Finance and Economic Development
Meets on the first Tuesday of the month
Meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month
Agriculture and Rural Affairs
Meets on the second Thursday of the month
Community and Protective Services
Meets on the third Thursday of the month
Meets on the third Tuesday of the month
Meets on the first Wednesday of the month
Meets on the third Wednesday of the month
Recommendation Part I – #4
The Council, Committee and Commission Calendar as outlined in this report.
B. Other Committees of Council
Three quasi-judicial bodies are established by Council: the Committee of Revision, the Court of Revision and the License Committee. Although these are currently composed entirely of Councillors and are supported by Clerk’s staff, they do not operate as Standing Committees and each has an entirely different purpose and set of rules governing its operations.
Quasi-judicial bodies hear evidence and render impartial decisions. When members of quasi-judicial bodies are called upon formally to hear facts and make a decision, they are performing a function that is similar to what judges do in court. The duty most commonly arises in relation to licensing matters (License Committee) or in the form of statutory appeal boards such as the Committee of Revision and the Court of Revision.
The Municipal Act, 2001 authorizes City Council to delegate the role of quasi-judicial members to be fulfilled by citizen members appointed by Council. Section 23.2 related to the delegation of Council’s powers and duties provides that Council may delegate its quasi-judicial powers to a body of citizen members.
Creating a License and Property Standards Committee
The City’s License Committee reviews cases relating to license suspensions, revocations, refusals and renewals brought forward by the Chief License Inspector and makes final and binding decisions respecting license suspensions and revocations as well as the imposition of conditions as a requirement for obtaining, continuing to hold or renewing a license. Presently, the License Committee is composed of six (6) Members of Council, a minimum of three (3) of which are also members of the Community and Protective Services Committee. Panels of three members form the Committee for each hearing.
The issue of whether or not License Committee should be comprised of elected officials or citizen appointees has been addressed in previous Governance Reviews. As part of the 2003 – 2006 Governance Review, City Council delegated the License Committee’s authority to act as the Animal Control Tribunal to the Chief, By-law and Regulatory Services. In this role, the Chief or his/her delegate is responsible for hearing appeals and rendering decisions on the muzzling/leashing orders. City Council also petitioned the Province for the authority to appoint citizen members to the Licence Committee and the Municipal Act, 2001 was amended accordingly to permit this.
This process is working well, but there continues to be some concern expressed by Members of Council with respect to the perceived appropriateness of elected officials ruling on by-laws that they created.
The City of Toronto and the City of Mississauga have License Tribunals composed of citizen members, which avoids the concerns expressed above. These municipalities seek individuals who have applicable experience or knowledge to serve on their respective License Tribunals, similar to the approach the City of Ottawa uses for its Committee of Adjustment and for the Elections Compliance Audit Committee.
The City currently has a Property Standards Committee that conducts similar hearings for the purposes of considering appeals by property owners or occupants served with an Order under the Building Code Act and who are not satisfied with the terms and conditions of the order. The Property Standards Committee is composed of three (3) citizen members, appointed by Council.
There is strong support among Members of Council to move towards a License Committee comprised of citizen members. As the Property Standards Committee is currently composed of citizen members and conducts similar hearings, staff are recommending that these mandates be merged, and that a License and Property Standards Committee of five (5) citizen members be established to hear cases with respect to both licensing and property standards appeals.
The Committee would be modeled after the Committee of Adjustment as a committee of qualified citizen members with specific rules of procedure tailored to the specific operation of the Committee. Meetings of the Committee would be scheduled for a specific date, time and place to ensure that quasi-judicial hearings are conducted as expeditiously as possible and that legislative timeframes are adhered to. It is anticipated that one meeting a month will be held for the purposes of hearing license appeals and a second will be held specifically to hear property standard appeals. These procedural mechanisms ensure the accountability and transparency of the Committee by ensuring that the public understands when, where and how the Committee will conduct its hearings.
If approved, staff would conduct a recruitment process for citizen members with the aim of appointing members with applicable experience or background in areas such as law or land-use planning or experience on quasi-judicial committees. Bilingual capacity among the citizen members is also an important consideration and the recommendation is that at least two of the five members shall be bilingual. It is further recommended that a per diem be provided for members at a rate of $50 per hearing with a minimum of $100 per month (as a comparison, the City of Toronto pays $350/per meeting, and $50 per written decision). The cost of the per diem would be absorbed by By-law and Regulatory Services within its current budget.
Members would be required to successfully complete quasi-judicial training within six months of being appointed (i.e. SOAR (Society of Ontario Arbitrators and Regulators) training; Canadian Institute “Running a Fair Hearing” Conference) to remain members, and this training would be funded by By-law and Regulatory Services within its current budget.
As recruitment will take some time, it is recommended that an Interim License Committee be established using the current membership and mandate, and that this be in force until the membership of the License and Property Standards Committee is approved by Council, expected by Q2 of 2011.
Recommendation Part I – #5
The establishment of a License and Property Standards Committee composed of five (5) qualified citizen members to hear cases with respect to licensing and property standard appeals as outlined in the report; and the establishment of an Interim License Committee with the current mandate until such time as the License and Property Standards Committee membership is finalized.
Committee of Revision
Municipalities in Ontario are enabled by Provincial legislation to undertake works as a Local Improvement and assess the cost to the properties that derive benefit from the works. Under the legislation, a municipality initially pays the cost of an improvement work and then recovers the required funding from the benefiting properties via the tax assessment roll mechanism. The charge to property owners is based on final actual costs. Provincial legislation requires that passage of a by-law to impose the final charges to owners cannot proceed without the owners being provided notice of the intent to create the special charge, its value and a venue through a Committee of Revision to request consideration of review of the amount of their share of the cost.
The Committee of Revision does not approve projects or budgets. Rather, the Committee of Revision’s purpose is to hear concerns related to Local Improvement special charges as they relate to regulations, policy, practice and/or the approach used by staff. The Local Improvement Regulation permits the Committee to be composed of three to five members.
To date, Council has approved that the Committee be composed of three Members of Council, one member from each of the Transportation, Planning and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees, as local improvements will generally fall within the mandate of these three Standing Committees.
It is anticipated that the Committee of Revision would be required to meet two to three times each year. No changes are being recommended for this Committee, and staff intends to include the appointment of the members of the Committee of Revision for this Term of Council as part of the recommended second phase of the Nominating Committee in January.
Court of Revision
The Court of Revision is a statutorily mandated appeal body established under the Drainage Act to hear drainage assessments from landowners. Currently comprised of Councillors from the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, there is no consensus to make any changes to this quasi-judicial body.
C. Nominating Committee
There was overall agreement that the Nominating Committee process can be overwhelming, given the over 60 different bodies requiring Council appointees. In addition, the Nominating Committee process as outlined in the Procedure By-law has never quite been followed and it is recommended that the Procedure By-law be amended to reflect the process Council has actually followed in 2001, 2003, 2006 and now, it is anticipated, in 2010 in order to provide Members of Council and the public with a clear understanding of how the process unfolds.
Specifically, the process has been as follows:
It is recommended that this be the process for the 2010-2014 Nominating Committee, and that the Procedure By-law be amended to reflect the practice of Council.
As well, and as indicated above, Nominating Committee has addressed all of Council’s appointments to Standing Committees and external Agencies, Boards and Commissions at one meeting. Traditionally, certain local board appointments are always given to a Ward Councillor given the geographic location or focus of the particular board. For instance, specific Business Improvement Area appointments are always assigned to the local Ward Councillor. Moreover, a number of local boards have a seat that is specifically reserved for the Mayor (i.e. Hydro Ottawa Holding, Inc., Central Canada Exhibition Association, etc).
It is recommended that this practice be formalized, such that appointments of the Mayor and Ward Councillors to the applicable boards be removed from the Nominating Committee process, and accommodated through a recommendation as part of the Governance Review. The list of the ward/position-specific appointments is attached as Document 1.
To address the concerns raised and challenges posed to Members with respect to the sheer volume of Committees, external Agencies, Boards and Commissions and making selections for their work over the full four-year term, staff are recommending that the Nominating Committee process be broken down into two meetings. It is proposed that the first Nominating Committee meeting take place in December 2010, for the purpose of appointing membership to Standing Committees, Sub-Committees, major boards (Police Services Board/Library Board/Hydro/ Ottawa Community Housing Corporation and the Board of Health) and the Selection Panels for the major boards. A secondary appointment process and Nominating Committee meeting would take place early in 2011 for the other bodies requiring Council appointees.
A final suggestion was made with respect to the merit of having reserve Standing Committee members being interested Councillors who, in the event of a vacancy, could fill the spot of a Committee Member at any point during the term of Council. Presently, when a vacancy occurs, the Clerk’s Office canvasses all Members of Council for their interest, and a brief election, if necessary, is conducted at Council (generally vacancies have been filled by motion). As this was not a consensus item, there is no recommendation in this regard and a motion would be required to adopt this practice.
Recommendation Part I - #6
The Nominating Committee process as outlined in this report.
Recommendation Part I - #7
D. Process Changes and Improvements
2011 Budget Process
Previous Council Direction
Each year Council approves a budget timetable and process report, in preparation for the subsequent year’s budget. On October 6, 2010, the 2006-2010 City Council approved a 2011 process that mirrored, to a large extent, the 2010 process. That process included consideration by Standing Committees of the budgets for their areas of responsibility and public delegations at Standing Committee, consolidation of the budget by the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee and consideration of the proposed draft budget by Council. However, the significant changes recommended to the governance structure in this report necessitated a review of the budget process proposed in October.
Recommended 2011 Budget Process
Following discussions with the Mayor of the 2010-2014 Council, and as a result of the recommended changes to the Standing Committee structure, staff recommend the following process for the 2011 Budget:
· A consolidated budget will be developed by staff and tabled with full Council reflecting all operating and capital pressures along with a set of staff supported efficiencies and alterations.
· Department Heads will work with the Standing Committees to provide rationale for their budget submissions and to provide advice on possible budget changes.
· Each Standing Committee will consider the proposed budget and hear public delegations before deliberating on and approving any revisions.
· Councillors will hold a series of multi-ward meetings with full staff support to address questions, provide for efficient use of staff time, and maximise a city-wide view of issues. A series of multi-ward meetings featuring three to four Members of Council will be held with all relevant senior staff in attendance and prepared to both respond to and develop options based on public feedback. Individual ward meetings would be conducted at the Councillor’s discretion but without staff attending.
· Rate supported budget (water and sewer rates) will be reviewed by the proposed Environment Committee and a recommended budget will be forwarded directly to Council.
· Council Members appointed to the Board of Health would undertake consideration of elements of the budget in consultation with the full Board of Health and carry back any recommended changes to budget to the Finance and Economic Development Committee.
· The Ottawa Police Services Board, the Ottawa Public Library Board, the Committee of Adjustment and the Crime Prevention Ottawa will prepare their own budgets for submission to their respective Boards. These budgets would then be tabled with Council at the same time as various Standing Committees of Council table recommended draft budget amendments.
The recommended timetable for the budget process is as follows:
Receive a City Budget overview report at Council
Table the budget reports for each Standing Committee at Council.
Special meeting in January
Tabling of Police and Library Services with their boards
First meeting in January
Committee and board meetings to listen to public delegations, review budgets, and recommend a budget to Council
Last two weeks of January and first two weeks of February
Five multi-ward bilingual budget consultation meetings organized by staff (centre, east, west, south, rural)
Council deliberations and adoption of the budgets from each of the Standing Committees and Boards as Committee of the Whole
Second week of March
The 2011 Rate Supported Budget would proceed as follows:
Recommendation Part I – #8
The 2011 Budget Process as outlined in this report.
Standing Committee Learning Sessions
As the working Committees of Council, Standing Committees regularly deal with complex policy issues within their mandate. Therefore, it is recommended that Standing Committees hold information sessions early in the term of Council on relevant matters within their mandates.
Planning Committee would host a session covering the fundamentals and intensification that underlies the City Official Plan as adopted. Finance and Economic Development Committee would likewise undertake a briefing of the status of collective agreements.
The nature and schedule of these briefings would be determined in collaboration with elected Chairs of Standing Committees as one of the first items of business on a Committee agenda early in the new year. The relevant staff would provide a short briefing, and Committee members would have the opportunity to ask questions of staff and come to a collective understanding of the issue in the absence of a pending decision. As part of the public committee agenda, these briefings would be open to the public, as well as media who regularly cover the Committee’s operations.
Chairs and Vice-Chairs
Several suggestions have been made with respect to the selection and role of Standing Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs. There was consensus that the responsibility of selecting Chair and Vice-Chair should remain with the Standing Committee. There was also general agreement that that mid-term confirmation of Chairs and Vice-Chairs should continue.
An enhanced role of the Standing Committee Chair was widely supported in consultations. There was broad consensus around better defining the roles of Chairs and Vice-Chairs to ensure that Chairs and Vice-Chairs were working consistently and appropriately in their capacity.
Suggested roles include:
• Notice to Ward Councillor that issue regarding ward is on upcoming agenda;
• Include Vice-Chair in agenda review; and
• Vice-Chair to regularly chair some parts of meeting.
If Council wishes to pursue this suggestion, it is recommended that staff be directed to develop, in consultation with current and former Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs, a set of guidelines outlining the proper role of Standing Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs.
As previously stated, Ottawa City Council is a leader in terms of open meeting procedures and practices and has implemented additional enhancements as a result of recommendations from the Meetings Investigator. Along these lines, a practice has been instituted whereby, where possible, staff reports are written for public release, with legal opinions or other confidential information being provided as a separate addendum. In order to further achieve more openness, staff has been investigating how to produce public reports that relate to personal matters about identifiable individuals and still comply with the requirements of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).
Staff has identified three types of reports that have traditionally been submitted to Committee and Council as confidential reports that could be released as public reports. Specifically, reports regarding appointments (to local boards or advisory committees), commemorative naming applications and Ottawa architectural conservation awards and heritage design plaques. The rationale for confidentiality is that all three types of reports relate to an identifiable individual and thus contain personal information. The recommendations of all three types of reports are reported out subsequent to Council approval.
Appointments to Board and Committees
On an annual basis, and at various points during the Term of Council, appointments are made to various local boards and advisory committees. Reports regarding appointments include the names of the recommended appointees and the recommended term of office. No other personal information is circulated in these reports to Committee and Council.
Commemorative Naming is a process by which municipal streets, parks and facilities are named after an individual who has demonstrated excellence, courage or exceptional service. The commemorative naming process involves the submission of an application as well as information regarding the individual to be commemorated to demonstrate that the nomination is meritorious. A commemoration can apply to an individual who is living or is deceased. Commemorative Naming reports include a recommendation to commemoratively name a municipal street, park or facility after an individual. The reports contain much of the information about the individual that is made public during the public consultation period (i.e. the commemorative naming public notice). No public consultation feedback, in favour or in opposition of the commemoration, is included in the report.
Ottawa Architectural Conservation Awards and Heritage Designation Plaques
This annual report includes nominations for the City of Ottawa Architectural Conservation Awards and the City of Ottawa Heritage Plaques. These reports generally do not contain much personal information, though may mention the name of the individual architect or firm being nominated for recognition. No other personal information is circulated in these reports to Committee and Council.
The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) addresses both access to information and protection of privacy. Part II of the legislation specifically prescribes rules for how the municipalities may collect, use and disclose an individual’s personal information.
With respect to the collection of personal information, Section 29 specifies that the municipality may only collect personal information directly from the individual to whom the information relates (as is the case for board and committee appointments) unless, as per clause (e) “the information is collected for the purpose of determining suitability for an honour or award to recognize outstanding achievement or distinguished service (as is the cases with commemorative naming applications and nominations for the various awards).
With respect to the subsequent use and disclosure of this personal information, Section 32 of the Act outlines the circumstances under which the municipality may disclose personal information in its custody. Specifically, clauses (b) and (c) most directly relate to the personal information included in the above-noted reports and states as follows:
(b) if the person to whom the information relates has identified that information in particular and consented to its disclosure; and
(c) for the purpose for which it was obtained or compiled or for a consistent purpose.
It should be further noted that MFIPPA specifies what “consistent purpose” means in the context of the legislation. Section 33 specifically indicates that to use or disclose personal information for a consistent purpose is “only if the individual might reasonably have expected such a use or disclosure”.
Council has indicated its desire to conduct more business in open session. Staff recommends building on the practice that has already been established to present staff reports that are written for public release, with legal opinions or other confidential information being provided as a separate addendum. The next step would be changing processes and procedures to present additional reports as public reports.
In order to effect this change in process, staff will take additional steps to ensure that notice is provided to individuals whose personal information may be disclosed in one of the above-noted reports and that, where possible, consent is also sought from the individual in question in advance of disclosure through a report to Committee and/or Council. This ensures that the individual in question is fully aware of the impeding disclosure and further ensures compliance with MFIPPA.
A disclaimer will be added to all applications generated by the City for appointments to boards and advisory committees and commemorative naming applications to advise individuals of the public nature of the reports that will be generated. For heritage awards where the application is produced by the Ontario Heritage Trust, staff will endeavour to obtain consent from the individual prior to submitting a report through Committee and Council. Finally, a consent of disclosure form shall be established to obtain the direct consent of the individual in question. If, for whatever reason, consent cannot be obtained from the individual in question, staff will review the situation on a case by case basis to determine whether disclosure of information is possible and, if necessary, the report will be amended to comply with privacy requirements.
Recommendation Part I – #9
The changes to report protocols for Appointments to Agencies, Boards, Committees and Commissions, Commemorative Namings and City of Ottawa Architectural Conservation Awards and the City of Ottawa Heritage Plaques as described in this report, such that they are no longer automatically in camera reports .
Appointment of staff members to Council positions when no Member of Council is available
In addition to City Council and Standing Committees, elected officials also represent City Council on over 60 other entities. This list continues to grow each term, with the Community Lands Development Corporation and the Manotick Mills Corporation added during the 2006-2010 term of Council.
Members of Council spend an increasing amount of time in Standing Committee and Council meetings considering large-scale policy matters. Given the increasing workload for elected officials, it can be a challenge to fill vacancies on such bodies when they occur within a term. When no Member of Council is available, consideration could be given to using citizen appointments or staff appointments to some local boards and committees (i.e. City of Ottawa Superannuation Fund).
Further, appointments are often made to various agencies, boards, committees or commissions throughout the term of Council without express notice to the City Clerk’s Office. When a vacancy occurs, the Clerk’s Office is expected to fill the vacancy and it can be challenging to determine how the appointment was first made and how it might be filled without prior knowledge of the appointment.
Staff are recommending that the City Clerk’s Office continue to address vacancies in the same manner and that the City Clerk and Solicitor is formally notified of all appointments to agencies, boards, committees and commissions (both internal and external as well as time limited) outside of City Council’s Nominating Committee in order to maintain a registry of all Council appointments.
Recommendation Part I – #10
The practice of recommending a staff member to a Council position when no Member of Council is available and formal notification to the City Clerk and Solicitor of all appointments of Members of Council to agencies, boards, committees and commissions, both internal and external.
Since amalgamation Ottawa has had a deputy mayor rotation, with each Councillor serving as deputy mayor for a specific time period. The term of Council is divided between the Members of Council, with the order determined by lot drawn by the City Clerk. Despite having the Deputy Mayor rotation, there have been numerous occasions where subsequent back-up Deputy Mayors have had to be appointed in order to ensure that a Member of Council is present to act in the absence of the Mayor. This process can often lead to some confusion as to who is acting as Deputy Mayor.
Other Ontario municipalities have taken different approaches to the Deputy Mayor role. Some have a single deputy mayor, others multiple deputies selected by various procedures. In Toronto, for example, Council has delegated to the Mayor the right to appoint a Deputy Mayor, who serves at the Mayor's discretion.
An opportunity has been identified to change the Deputy Mayor position to enable consistency and transparency for the four year term of Council.
In consultation with the Mayor of the 2010-2014 Council, it is recommended that two Members of Council be appointed to serve as Deputy Mayors for the duration of the term of Council. Both Deputy Mayors would be authorized to act in the Mayor’s place when he is absent from the municipality, or absent through illness. The Deputy Mayors would each have the authority to preside over Council in the absence of the Mayor.
The appointment of two Members of Council to the role of Deputy Mayor, rather than a rotation, provides some consistency over the term of Council for such things as representation at events, chairing of Council meetings, and signing of legal documents. Having two deputies rather than just one gives the flexibility of having an additional backup to perform official duties, and prevents the duties from becoming too onerous for a single Councillor to perform on top of their regular duties as a Ward Councillor.
It is further recommended that the Mayor recommend to Council the appointment of two Members of Council as his Deputy Mayors.
It is recommended that the responsibilities and scheduling of each Deputy Mayor (i.e. who will serve when, what Council meetings they will preside over or events they will attend) be left to the discretion of the Mayor and Deputy Mayors themselves. This approach will allow maximum flexibility to take into account the interests, capacities and schedules of the two deputies, and ensure somebody is always available to act in official capacity on behalf of the City of Ottawa.
As the Mayor is the only Member of Council elected city-wide, and in keeping with Section 226 of the Municipal Act, 2001, which states that, “A municipality may, with the consent of the head of council (emphasis added), appoint a member of council to act in the place of the head of council…”, it is recommended that the Mayor nominate the individuals who would serve as Deputy Mayors to Council.
Recommendation Part I – #11
The establishment of two Deputy Mayor positions to be filled by two Members of Council, and that the appointments be recommended to Council by the Mayor.
Part II – Accountability Framework
Over the past term, City Council has demonstrated its commitment to accountability and transparency through the implementation of various integrity officers and policies including:
A. Accountability Framework
There is a consensus that more needs to be done to strengthen and enhance the City’s commitment to accountability and transparency framework in order to ensure the citizens of Ottawa have greater comfort with the integrity of Council’s decision making process.
Accountability measures that have been suggested and/ or directed by Council include:
The Mayor of the 2010-2014 Council has indicated his intention to pursue and lead the development of an Accountability Framework for Members of Council as soon as possible.
One simple and easily implementable mechanism of accountability and transparency is the regular disclosure of office expenses for Members of Council. This matter was raised by a number of Members of Council and the Mayor of the 2010-2014 Council as part of interviews with the City Clerk and Solicitor and the Deputy City Clerk. Presently, the City Clerk’s Office releases an annual report of each Member of Council’s final office budget figures, indicated as a total amount.
Councillor expenses are subject to requests for information made pursuant to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). The release of the annual report of each Member of Council’s final office budget figures has been an effort to reinforce the dual principles of an open and accountable municipal government. It has been suggested that this disclosure should be more frequent and provide a further breakdown of expenses to enhance the transparency of the administration of each Member of Council’s office budgets.
It is recommended that expense reports be prepared on a monthly basis for each Member of Council, broken down into a series of categories for ease of reference. Routine disclosure of Councillor expenses will allow the City to provide this information to the public in a pro-active and co-ordinated manner.
That Council approve the monthly posting of Elected Officials’ office budget expenditures on Ottawa.ca, effective Q1 2011
Other Accountability Measures Requiring Further Review
Code of Conduct for Members of Council/ Integrity Commissioner or Advisor
As directed by Council, staff has undertaken research on best practices with respect to a Code of Conduct for Members of Council. A Code of Conduct for Members of Council is a discretionary accountability and transparency tool that City Council has considered implementing. Although the City of Ottawa does not have a specific Code of Conduct for Members of Council, elected officials are governed by federal and provincial legislation as well as a number of City policies that are generally reflected in a Code of Conduct. These include:
· the Criminal Code of Canada;
· the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act;
· the Municipal Elections Act, 1996;
· the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
· the Municipal Act, 2001;
· the Provincial Offences Act Conflict of Interest Policy;
· the Election-Related Resources Policy;
· the Hiring Policy for elected officials; and
· Section 38 of the Procedure By-law, which governs various aspects of the conduct of elected officials during Council and Committee meetings including general decorum and confidential information.
Since the enactment of amendments to the Municipal Act, 2001 which included the authority to establish a Code of Conduct for Members of Council, many Ontario municipalities have created such a Code. The effectiveness and experiences with Codes of Conduct and Integrity Commissioners has varied across the Province.
Staff’s research of this evolving matter has been ongoing. Codes have been compiled from numerous municipalities provincially, nationally and internationally. Consideration has also been given to the varying methods of enforcement. No single best practice has emerged. A common theme in most Codes of Conduct is that a variety of federal and provincial legislation governs the behavior of elected representatives. As such, municipal Codes of Conduct must be given a broad, liberal interpretation in accordance with applicable legislation. It is recommended that Council adopt a Code of Conduct that would include a set of general principles, as well as specific provisions related to certain areas requiring a higher level of detail (i.e. Gifts and Benefits, Confidential Information, etc.)
While staff has been able to compile much research on various Codes and methods of enforcement, it is felt that the input of elected representatives is necessary to ensure that the Code properly reflects the representative role of an elected official.
The Mayor of the 2010-2014 has indicated that he will be leading the establishment of an Accountability Framework for Elected Officials, and that working with an Integrity Commissioner or other independent body and staff to develop a Code of Conduct is an important part of that Framework.
It is recommended that the Code of Conduct include specific sections on Gifts, Confidential Information, Conduct Respecting Staff, Improper Use of Influence, and rules for the establishment of a Gift Registry.
As referenced later in this report, staff, in consultation with the Mayor of the 2010-2014 Council, is recommending the establishment of a Governance Renewal Sub-Committee, a project-specific sub-committee of the Finance and Economic Development Committee. Staff recommends that, if established, the Sub-Committee be tasked with bringing the Code through the final stages prior to consideration by Committee and City Council.
Another accountability and transparency tool that City Council is authorized to employ is a Lobbyist Registry. A Lobbyist Registry is a formal tracking of lobbyists and their meetings with public officials that would be made available for public inspection. Under Section 223.9 of the Municipal Act, 2001, City Council is authorized to establish a registry including significant flexibility to tailor the specifics of the registry to best suit the needs and goals of City Council. A number of Members of Council and the Mayor of the 2010-2014 Council have indicated the need for a Lobbyist Registry.
Staff and the Mayor of the 2010-2014 Council are of the belief that, by working with an Integrity Commissioner or other independent body and staff, it is possible to establish a low-cost registry through the City Clerk’s Office within a short period of time. Staff feels that the input of elected representatives is necessary to ensure a reasonable and workable definition of who is a lobbyist and to help determine appropriate accountability mechanisms.
Therefore it is recommended that, if established, the Governance Renewal Sub-Committee be tasked with reviewing staff’s recommendations with respect to a Lobbyist Registry and making a recommendation to City Council.
Governance Renewal Sub-Committee and Governance Renewal Process
It has been ten years since amalgamation and the Transition Board Governance Model. In 2001, Ottawa City Council created the current governing structure based on the recommendations of the Transition Board.
While there have been refinements to the governance structure over the years as a result of successive governance reviews, its fundamental assumptions and the basic governance model have remained.
Consultations with Members of Council in the development of this report prompted many new and creative ideas for increasing citizen engagement and enhancing local representation. The recent municipal election campaign brought these key aspects of municipal governance further to the fore, as candidates, media and individual citizens added their voices to the discussion of how the City and Council can best represent the diverse needs of its residents.
The Mayor of the 2010-2014 Council has indicated his desire to lead Governance Renewal in the City. This includes the development of an Accountability Framework for Members of Council and improvements to citizen engagement (both discussed elsewhere in this report).
In addition, he would like to lead a dedicated review of the Transition Board Governance Model, with assistance from staff and a third party (such as the Centre on Local Governance), with the goal of a renewal of governance
Rather than seek to alter the structure around the edges, the group would step back and take a holistic view of City governance processes and structures and their interdependencies. The review would include, but not be limited to, an examination of what has been gained and lost through amalgamation as a result of local representation, lessons learned in other jurisdictions, the potential for borough councils to enhance local decision-making for strictly local matters and strengthening public participation in municipal government.
Staff is recommending the creation of a Governance Renewal Sub-Committee, led by the Mayor. With the support of staff and experts in the field, a working group of Councillors would assess the governing structure and processes for the City of Ottawa, identify issues and make recommendations to Council.
It is anticipated that the Sub-Committee would report back on its findings, likely as part of the Mid-Term Governance Review.
Recommendation Part II - #2
That the Governance Renewal Sub-Committee, led by the Mayor and supported by staff and a third party, be tasked with assessing the overall governance structure and processes for the City of Ottawa, identifying issues and making recommendations to Council, including:
a. Development of an Accountability Framework (Code of Conduct for Members of Council, Lobbyist Registry, etc); and
b. Improvements to citizen engagement.
B. Meetings Investigator
Under Section 239.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001, any person is able to “request that an investigation of whether a municipality or local board has complied with” either the statutory requirements for closed meetings or a procedure by-law. Section 239.2 of the Act authorizes a municipality to appoint an independent investigator to consider complaints with respect to non-compliance with open meeting requirements. In the event that a municipality chooses not to appoint their own investigator, the Provincial Ombudsman would be the authority who would undertake a closed meeting investigation for that municipality.
In November 2007, City Council appointed its own Meetings Investigator to allow the municipality to set the standard for a responsive, timely and thorough investigation and reporting process. The Investigator remains completely independent and arms-length from City staff and City Council (i.e. not a City staff person with an office and staff, not a consultant/contractor with other dealings with the City) and reports on his or her findings directly to City Council.
The Meetings Investigator is authorized to investigate complaints regarding the propriety of closed meetings held by City Council, a local board, or a committee of either. As part of his mandate, the Meetings Investigator acknowledges receipt of requests for an investigation, conducts the investigation and reports his findings and any recommendations to an open meeting of Council.
Since the appointment of the Meetings Investigator in January 2008, the City of Ottawa has received nineteen requests for investigation. The majority of the requests have resulted in a report to City Council, while five (5) have been deemed outside the jurisdiction of the Meetings Investigator. The Meetings Investigator has submitted six (6) reports to City Council regarding closed meeting investigations (i.e. some reports combine multiple requests to investigate) and has provided several recommendations intended to further enhance the City’s leading efforts in open meetings.
Ottawa City Council was already a leader in terms of open meeting procedures and practices and has since implemented additional enhancements as a result of recommendations from the Meetings Investigator. Specifically, Council has adopted an in camera minute standard to ensure that confidential minutes accurately and consistently reflect in camera proceedings. Standing Committee Chairs and the Mayor have adopted the practice of rising and reporting following in camera sessions to provide the public with a summary of what took place in camera. This practice has also been added to Council’s Procedure By-law. Most recently, Council has adopted the practice of indicating, under the Disposition section of a report, either the date the report will be made public or the opinion of the City Clerk and Solicitor regarding the legal impediments to the release of the report (in the event that a report is not to be released). This practice will be formalized in the Procedure By-law should City Council adopt the related recommendation in this report.
The Meetings Investigator has
submitted his 2009-2010 Annual Report which has been attached as Document 2. In
that report, he states, “A review of the procedure followed in other
municipalities, satisfies me that the City of
As indicated in the Mid-Term Governance report, it would appear that the position and the established process have been successful in fulfilling the requirements of the legislation and enhancing City Council’s closed meeting procedures (reflected in the Procedure By-law section of this report). As such, staff recommends that the current Meetings Investigator’s contract be extended for the 2010 – 2014 Term of Council.
Recommendation Part II – #3
That the Annual Report from the Meetings Investigator included as Document 2 be received and that the current Meetings Investigator’s contract be extended for the 2010-2014 Term of Council.
Part III – Local Boards
A. Local Board Review
A number of amendments to the Municipal Act, 2001 that came into effect on either January 1, 2007 or January 1, 2008, provided Ontario’s 444 municipalities with eleven areas of broad authority including:
3. Financial management of the municipality and its local boards.
The amendments to the Act also required that local boards have a procedure by-law, including public notice of meetings, as well as “adopt and maintain” policies with respect to the sale and other disposition of land, the hiring of employees and the procurement of goods and services. Most local boards are also subject to the open meeting requirements set out in Section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001. Accordingly, those local boards are also subject to the City’s Meeting Investigator who investigates complaints as to whether or not a local board has met its own procedure by-law regarding meetings that are closed to the public and those open meeting requirements set out in Section 239 of the Act.
In November 2007, City Council received a report regarding a review of Ottawa’s Agencies, Boards and Commissions (ABCs), in light of changes to the Municipal Act, 2001 under Bill 130. The Review had two objectives:
a) to establish the meaning of “local board” under the revised Municipal Act, 2001, to be achieved by providing the definition of “local board” under various statutes and then highlighting all the provisions in the Municipal Act, 2001 that pertain to it; and
b) to establish a test to be applied in order to determine which entities fall into the category of “local board”, to be accomplished by closely examining the relevant case law as well as other determining factors.
The report subsequently placed all potential entities to the test and determined if the body was a local board of the City of Ottawa. The Review was necessary as local boards of the municipality are required to fulfill a number of statutory obligations including the necessity to have a procedure by-law, including public notice of meetings, as well as “adopt and maintain” policies with respect to: sale and other disposition of land; hiring of employees; and procurement of goods and services. Many local boards of the City of Ottawa are also subject to the City’s Meetings Investigator and open meetings requirements of the Municipal Act, 2001. An updated listing of the various local boards of the City of Ottawa including an examination of each entity’s status as a local board of the municipality is attached at Document 3.
Following the adoption of the report, the City Clerk and Solicitor Department advised those entities identified as local boards of their responsibilities under the Act to establish a procedure by-law or the various policies as may be the case. As part of this subsequent review, the City Clerk and Solicitor Department has circulated correspondence to all local boards subject to the requirements for a procedure by-law and various policies, to confirm if such a by-law or policy is in place. Staff will work with those local boards that do not yet have a procedure by-law or the required policies to ensure that all local boards are in compliance with the Act. Staff will also report back with an update on compliance as part of the next Mid-Term Governance Review.
Recommendation Part III – #1
Receive the updated listing of Local Boards as outlined in the report and direct staff to report on the compliance of its local boards with respect to required policies as part of its Mid-Term Governance Review.
B. Other Local Boards and Related Matters
Ottawa Community Housing Corporation
At its October 14, 2010 meeting, the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation’s (OCHC) Board of Directors approved the following motion:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the OCHC Board approve that its Board membership be increased to twelve (12) members;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the OCHC Board recommend to the Shareholder the appointment of Peggy Feltmate to the OCHC Board of Directors as a Community Board member, in accordance with the OCHC’s By-law;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Clerk and Solicitor be requested to include this recommendation as part of the 2010-2014 Term of Council Governance Report.
Currently, the OCHC Board of Directors has a membership of eleven (11) members. As the OCHC By-law authorizes a Board with a membership up to fourteen (14) members, an increase in membership to twelve (12) members is permissible. As the Sole Shareholder of OCHC, City Council also has the responsibility of appointing Directors to the Board of Directors. The full motion from the OCHC Board of Directors meeting is attached at Document 4.
Recommendation Part III – #2
Approve the request from the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (“OCHC”) that “its Board membership be increased to twelve (12) members” and the “appointment of Peggy Feltmate to the OCHC Board of Directors as a Community Board member”.
Ottawa Public Library
As part of the 2008 Auditor General’s Report, the Ottawa Public Library (“OPL”) Governance Review made a number of recommendations related to the selection and appointment of members to the OPL Board. As part of the Mid-Term Governance Review in July 2009, City Council approved that the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board would sit on the Selection Panel to appoint new members.
The Auditor General also made recommendations to the Ottawa Public Library Board regarding governance of the Board. Specifically, it was recommended that the Ottawa Public Library Board determine the collective skill set for the Board to be used as a guideline in selecting new members. The Ottawa Public Library Board has submitted the following recommendations with respect to the selection and appointment guidelines for the 2011-2014 Ottawa Public Library Board:
That the following elements be used as a guide in selecting the composition of the next OPL Board (2011-2014) , to be appointed by City Council following the swearing in of the new council on December 1, 2010:
§ Maintain the current Board size of 14 trustees.
§ Encourage a minimum of three (3) current citizen trustee Board Members to remain on the Board when the Board is appointed.
§ Recognize the Board’s commitment to provide library services in both official languages.
§ Conduct an interview process to make reasonable efforts to ensure that applications for board members are sought and considered from a diversity of:
- Geographic areas of the municipality and its urban/rural make-up
- Language and cultural groups representing the demographic nature of the municipality
- Age distribution representing the demographic nature of the municipality including youth (under the age of 25)
- Applicants showing a clear interest in public libraries and in public service
- Applicants providing a mixture of professional and other skills related to the work of the library board or issues dealt with by the board
- Applicants from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds representing the demographic nature of the municipality
§ Make reasonable efforts to ensure that candidates selected have one or more of the following competencies/skills:
- Commitment to and strong interest in public libraries, commitment to group decision-making and listening to others
- Independence of judgement, facilitator/consensus building, public issue campaigning, public consultation/involvement, public relations experience, visionary, conceptual thinker, ability to see the big picture and put minor considerations in perspective, ability to effectively engage in dialogue, and possess computer literacy including use of email and internet.
- Background in policy development, technology, financial/business, government/public servant, library (professional or as a trustee) and community organizations, education, and real estate development and planning.
- Knowledge of municipal affairs, fundraising, understanding of the budget development process, and previous board experience.
The Ottawa Public Library Board’s Composition Report is included as Document 5.
Recommendation Part III - #3
Board of Health
History of the Creation of an independent Board of Health
When the City of Ottawa Act, 1999 was approved, it specified that the Board of Health for the City of Ottawa was City Council.
The idea of an independent Board of Health for the City of Ottawa arose from Council’s position that public health, as a key component of the health care system, should be funded by the Province of Ontario. In support of this position, as part of the 2008 Budget deliberations, Council directed staff to pursue an organizational structure, such as an independent Board of Health, that would facilitate the uploading of the financial responsibility for public health services. Currently, the costs of public health, including mandated programs, are generally cost-shared 75:25 with the Province (75% provincial share and 25% municipal share).
At the provincial level, the Capacity Review Committee was struck in 2005 to examine public health governance, funding and accountability. The Committee’s final report included three recommendations regarding governance: a consistent governance structure of autonomous, locally-based boards of health within a province-wide system; that, where local health units are currently integrated into the municipal structure, the boards of health and municipalities should jointly agree on their degree of future integration; and, that there be an equal balance between municipal appointees and local citizens representatives appointed by the board.
In May 2008, the Community and Protective Services Committee received the Medical Officer of Health’s first report on a Board of Health model for the City of Ottawa. The report analyzed the three public health governance models: autonomous; regional/single tier; and municipal.
The primary challenge to be met in the process of developing a new governance model was to achieve a better balance of the three key accountabilities of the Medical Officer of Health, to the:
· Province to ensure the requirements of the Health Protection and Promotion Act are met;
· Board of Health for the effective delivery of Ottawa Public Health programs and services; and
· City for efficient fiscal management and adherence to corporate administrative policies and procedures.
The following principles were also considered in proposing a public health model for the City of Ottawa:
· Responsive to local needs;
· Focus on public health;
· Works well under current or uploaded fiscal arrangements; and
· No additional cost to the City of Ottawa.
The proposed model was a hybrid model which combines aspects of both the autonomous and municipal models. The proposed model lent itself to the upload of public health costs by delegating the setting of public health policy to an independent Board of Health with mixed membership from the community, while ensuring accountability by annually reporting to City Council, including overall budget approval. This hybrid model is employed by the City of Toronto, where the Board of Health consists of six Members of Council, six citizen members and an elected school board representative. The Community and Protective Services Committee directed staff to consult with the public on the proposed independent Board of Health Governance model and report back on the results.
In October 2008, following a consultation process that included a public opinion survey, focus group sessions and interviews with key stakeholders, a second report on an independent Board of Health was considered by City Council. The consultation results were unanimously supportive of a more autonomous Board of Health. City Council approved, in principle, a governance structure of an 11-member Board of Health with six Members of Council and five citizen members. Council also directed the City Clerk and Solicitor to proceed with an application to the Province for special legislation amending the City of Ottawa Act, 1999, to authorize the City to implement a governance model in keeping with the final model approved by Council.
In June 2009, City Council formally approved the proposed model for a separate Board of Health and directed staff to take the necessary steps to effect change.
In February 2010, Council approved a subsequent motion confirming its preference that all City employees who work for and provide services to the Board of Health will continue to be subject to the City’s Bilingualism Policy and requested that the Province include a provision reflecting this commitment to the City’s Bilingualism Policy in the revised legislation.
City staff conducted discussions with provincial representatives from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care regarding the best approach to implementing the legislative changes necessary to establish a new governance model for the Board of Health. Within this same time frame, Yasir Naqvi, MPP for Ottawa Centre introduced an Act to Amend the City of Ottawa Act, 1999. The amendment provided for a Board of Health that substantially allows for the structure approved by City Council and requires Council to establish that structure by by-law.
In March 2010, the Minister of Finance tabled Bill 16 entitled An Act to implement 2010 Budget measures and to enact or amend various Acts in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. This Bill included amendments to the City of Ottawa Act, 1999, to establish a semi-autonomous Board of Health. Bill 16 received Royal Assent on May 18, 2010. The passed legislation varied somewhat from the recommendations approved by Council in that Council would appoint all members of the Board of Health and be responsible for recommending (to the Provincial Minister of Health and Long Term Care, as per the HPPA) the appointment and dismissal of the Medical Officer of Health and the Associate Medical Officers of Health. The legislation will be proclaimed in force once the Province has received a formal request from the City.
Overview of the Legislative Changes
The changes to the City of Ottawa Act, 1999 with respect to the establishment of a Board of Health are as follows:
· Section 11.1 of the City of Ottawa Act, 1999 (the “Act”) is amended to specify that the City’s policy with respect to the use of the English and French languages will apply to the new Board of Health (“BOH”) and to the provision of services by the Board. This fulfills the Council motion passed in February 2010 that directed staff to ensure the City’s Bilingualism Policy would apply to the new BOH.
· Repeal of the existing Section 12 of the Act, which gave the City the powers, rights and duties of a board of health and substitutes the following provisions:
Ø The City will by by-law establish the Board’s size in accordance with Subsection 49(2) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (“HPPA”), which requires a board’s size to be not less than three and not more than thirteen municipal members;
Ø Council will appoint all members of the Board;
Ø The City will provide to the Board all public health employees that the City considers necessary to enable the Board to carry out its functions. These staff will remain employees of the City of Ottawa;
Ø The appointment, reappointment and dismissal of the Medical Officer of Health (“MOH”), the Associate Medical Officers of Health (“AMOH”), and the auditor will be the responsibility of the City; and
Ø In addition to any responsibilities that the Board has under the HPPA, the Board shall make recommendations to the City on any issues within the City’s jurisdiction that involve public health consideration upon request by the City and make an annual report to the City.
Responsibilities of the new Board of Health
Under the HPPA, boards of health are responsible and accountable for overseeing all facets of programs and services required of public health units, including budget oversight and the hiring, work priorities and performance management of health unit leadership, sound risk management as well as attention to liability issues. It is the responsibility of the Board to uphold provincial legislation governing the mandate of the Board of Health under the HPPA and other legislation.
Pursuant to Section 7 of the HPPA, the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS) and Protocols establish requirements for fundamental public health programs and services, which include population health and health risks assessment, surveillance, health promotion and policy development, disease and injury prevention as well as health protection.
In addition to expectations, responsibilities and accountabilities outlined in the HPPA, other legislation and the OPHS, boards of health can provide a policy framework within which its staff can define the health needs of the community and design programs and services to meet these needs.
With the enactment of the changes to the City of Ottawa Act, 1999, the Board of Health will be fully responsible to the Province for all of the responsibilities under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
The Board of Health will also be responsible for advising Council on other issues related to health matters in its jurisdictions upon request of the City Council. Such requests for advice would be made by means of a report or motion directed to the Board of Health.
With respect to the budget process, the City of Ottawa, as the funding municipality, retains full approval of the municipal portion of the Board of Health budget. After 2011, the Board of Health will bring forward its budget to Council. This process will be similar to that of the Ottawa Public Library Board budget, which is open to a line by line review, and unlike that of the Police Services Board whose budget cannot be approved on a line by line basis as outlined in the Police Services Act. The Board of Health will have ongoing responsibility for the maintenance of financial records and the preparation of annual financial statements. The Financial Services Unit will provide support as required to ensure this responsibility can be fulfilled while respecting the principle, outlined above, that the transition to the new Board of Health be associated with “no additional cost to the City of Ottawa”.
It is anticipated that board meetings be held in the Champlain Room of City Hall on the third Monday of every month, if required, commencing at 5 p.m. to ensure there is no conflict with meetings of other City Boards and Standing Committees. The initial meeting of the new Board of Health, which is expected to be held in April 2011, will address matters such as appointment of a Chair and Vice-Chair, calling of meetings, enacting a procedural by-law, appointment of an auditor and various financial matters.
Staff is currently putting in place the basic organizational requirements necessary for the Board of Health to operate when the legislation is proclaimed in force. Consultation with representatives of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing with respect to proclamation of the amendments to the City of Ottawa Act, 1999 indicates that once the selection process for board members has been completed and all the necessary administrative requirements are in place, a motion from City Council requesting that the Ministry proceed with proclamation of the amendments to the City of Ottawa Act, 1999 to establish the Board of Health would be required. This request is expected to be made in February 2011 with proclamation taking place approximately one month from the time of the request. The recommendations contained in this report related to the Board of Health are steps necessary to assure the Province that the City is prepared to implement the new BOH structure.
Next Steps-Governance Recommendations
In order to move forward in the establishment of the new Board of Health, the following matters require the consideration of Council.
In June 2009, Council approved the establishment of an independent Board of Health comprised of eleven members, six of whom would be members of City Council and five of whom would be members of the public. Since the Act requires Council to establish the board size by by-law, staff is recommending the enactment of the by-law attached as Document 6. The by-law will come into effect at the time the amendments to the Act are proclaimed. A copy of the by-law once it is enacted will be provided to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing as part of the City’s request to proceed with proclamation of the legislation.
All members of the BOH must be appointed by City Council pursuant to the provisions of the Act. During the regular appointment process for membership on various Standing Committees and Boards, six Council Members will be selected to serve on the Board of Health upon its establishment. Similarly, Council must also appoint the public members of the Board of Health. Document 7 outlines the proposed guidelines for eligibility and the selection process for these members. It is recommended that Council endorse this process as it is similar to the criteria of the City of Toronto Board of Health as well as the City’s own selection process for membership on boards and committees such as the Committee of Adjustment and the Police Services Board.
Section 48 of the HPPA provides that each member of a board of health who is not a Member of City Council is entitled to remuneration on a daily basis. This restriction on remuneration does not apply to the Chair if he or she is a Member of Council. The Act states that the rate of remuneration to a member cannot exceed the highest rate of remuneration of a member of standing committee of the municipality but, where no remuneration is paid to such members, the rate is not to exceed the rate fixed by the Minister of Health. Board members are also entitled to reasonable and actual expenses.
Staff consulted with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and was advised that the board of health remuneration rates vary from $40.00 to $242.00 per day plus mileage and any travel expenses as appropriate. Staff also reviewed the per diem set for boards and committees in the City and is recommending a per diem rate of $200.00 plus mileage and eligible expenses. This figure is within the range provided by the Ministry and is consistent with rates for the City’s Committee of Adjustment. It is further recommended that this per diem rate and expenses apply only to citizen members even if the Chair is a Member of Council. This position is consistent with that of other local boards such as the Police Services Board which provides remuneration only to community members. Since the rates must be fixed by the Minister of Health and Long Term Care, the recommendation includes direction for the City Clerk and Solicitor to forward the Council approved rate to the Minister for his final approval.
There are a number of initiatives underway to ensure that Board members and staff are prepared for the transition to the new Board of Health:
In addition to the materials already created and the Board of Health orientation process under development, work is proceeding on a number of fronts to ensure a smooth transition to the new Board of Health early in 2011. Among these are the following:
· Ensuring staff support for the proper functioning of the Board of Health;
· Drafting of foundational by-laws and policies; and
· Inaugural meeting agenda.
Recommendation Part III – #4
That the following measures be taken to proceed with the next steps for the implementation of the Board of Health; specifically that:
Part IV – Citizen Engagement
Since amalgamation, Advisory Committees have been the City’s primary mechanism for public input on policy development. Citizen Advisory Committees were a staple of local government at the former City of Ottawa as well as a number of other former municipalities, and they were retained in the amalgamated City of Ottawa. These Committees are composed of dedicated, knowledgeable citizen volunteers who are willing and contribute to municipal policy development. Their mandate is to provide advice to City Council through Standing Committees on matters that fall within their respective jurisdictions, and they provide a forum for the public to be heard on emerging matters within their mandates
In addition to Advisory Committees, the City of Ottawa has also periodically used other forms of citizen engagement methods, usually for projects where specific timelines and tasks guided the work. Examples of this include the City of Ottawa Task Force on Property Assessment and Property Tax Issues (a mix of Council and citizen representatives, led by a Councillor); the Citizens’ Task Force on Council Remuneration (citizen volunteers); the Rural Summit Task Force (a mix of Council and citizen representatives, led by citizens); the Rural Summit (a two-day citizen workshop) and the Mayor’s Task Force on Transportation (citizens appointed by the Mayor reporting directly to his office).
The City also uses Departmental Working Groups, where citizens engage directly with City staff on policy development, providing input that is integrated into staff reports that come before Committee and Council. The existing departmental working groups vary in their formality, structure and relationship to staff, accommodating the varying needs of both the department and the working group. In some instances, the relationship is focused more on assisting the external organization and helping it to build capacity (i.e. Aboriginal Working Committee.) In other cases, an established external group seeking to influence municipal policy may participate in a concentrated project to change the way in which decisions are made at the City (i.e. the City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) and its involvement in the Gender Equality Lens). Other relationships are established by providing funding to the external organization and a direct link to City staff (i.e. the department’s relationship with Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa (CAYFO)).
The City of Ottawa has also begun to use the Internet for specific consultations (on the Official Plan, for example). In addition, the City is increasingly using this medium and social networking sites such as Twitter to inform and engage residents.
A. Advisory Committees
As Standing Committees are the working groups of Council, so too are Advisory Committees intended to be the working groups of Standing Committees. The overall mandate of every Advisory Committee is to provide advice to Committee and Council on matters within their jurisdiction. Advisory Committees are supported by coordinators from the Clerk’s Office, they operate under their own formal Procedure By-law, have their own Code of Conduct and are governed under a number of other policies (i.e. the Participation Expense Policy).
There are currently 15 Advisory Committees, of which two are required by statute. The City is required to have an advisory body under two specific pieces of legislation. However, neither piece of legislation requires that the advisory body take a specific form:
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 requires that the City have an accessibility advisory committee which shall advise council with respect to accessibility standards and site plans and drawings under Section 41 of the Planning Act. The only conditions provided in the Act are that the majority of the membership shall be persons with disabilities.
The Ontario Heritage Act requires that the City have a municipal heritage committee to advise and assist Council on matters relating to heritage matters. The only condition on the committee’s composition is that the committee must be comprised of no fewer than five members appointed by Council.
As part of this review, the City Clerk and Solicitor and the Deputy City Clerk met with the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Advisory Committees. Twelve of the fifteen advisory committees and one of the two boards were represented. Nine of the Advisory Committees have provided a submission in response to the consultation meeting and are attached at Document 8 for Council’s consideration.
Over successive terms of Council and numerous governance reviews, there has been an increasing frustration with the effectiveness of the Advisory Committees. This frustration has been expressed by both Members of Council and members of the Advisory Committees themselves. This frustration continues. As part of this review, both Advisory Committees and Council identified a number of governance challenges related to Advisory Committees and raised concerns about their effectiveness.
Although a variety of Advisory Committee recommendations have been implemented, those changes introduced in previous governance reviews have largely been refinements to a structure that has remained largely intact since before amalgamation.
In consultations with Members of Council, it was clear that Councillors strongly value the expertise and advice of the dedicated and knowledgeable Advisory Committee volunteer members, and consider their advice to be important. However, it is felt that the Advisory Committee governance model may not be the most effective model for all mandates.
Fundamentally, approaches to citizen engagement are evolving, due both to advances in technology (i.e. social media) as well as changes in governance. The environment in which Advisory Committees, Standing Committees and Council operates has changed over the last ten years, but the on-going effectiveness of the Advisory Committee-centric model of citizen engagement has not been examined.
Rather than continue to “tweak” Advisory Committees and their mandates on a one-off basis, it may be time to re-examine the entire structure as part of a comprehensive review of the City’s overall citizen engagement model.
For now, there are some process improvements recommended for Advisory Committees that could be implemented immediately.
Standing Committee/Advisory Committee Priority Setting
As Standing Committees move towards setting work plans for City staff based on City Council’s strategic priorities, it makes sense that the work plans of Advisory Committees reflect these same priorities.
Council has recognized the importance of linking the work plan of an Advisory Committee to the strategic priorities of the Standing Committee to which it reports. As it is the role of Advisory Committees to provide advice to Standing Committees and Council, focusing the advice on those priority areas established by Council would make the work of the Advisory Committees more productive.
In order to accomplish this, staff recommends that a facilitated session be held for each Standing Committee and its respective Advisory Committees to provide for an open dialogue between the two committees.
Recommendation Part IV – #1
That a joint facilitated priority setting session be held between Standing Committees and their associated Advisory Committees.
Over the past term, some Advisory Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs have begun meeting on a quarterly basis with the Chair of the Standing Committee to which it reports, with the aim of strengthening the strategic link between their Committee and the Standing Committee, and improve dialogue. Those who have undertaken this informal process have found it to be very valuable and interest has been expressed in extending this practice to all Advisory Committees.
A number of Advisory Committees have raised the matter of Councillor Liaisons. This position was removed as a result of concerns related to the appropriateness of a Member of Council sitting on a committee who was advising Council and the increasing workloads of Members of Council that led to a high absenteeism rate for Council Liaisons on all Advisory Committees. This situation has not changed so there is no recommendation from staff to reinstate the position. However, it is felt that the practice of quarterly meetings with their respective Standing Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs will provide Advisory Committees with the Council connection they seek.
Recommendation Part IV – #2
That the Chair and Vice-Chair of each Standing Committee meet quarterly with the Chair and Vice-Chair of their associated Advisory Committees.
Strengthening Participation – Reserve Members and Attendance
As with many voluntary organizations, Advisory Committees face challenges from time to time when it comes to attendance. Some Committees have expressed concern with the ability to meet quorum due to depletion of membership over the term. Suggestions have included appointment of additional reserve members and relaxing the attendance policy.
It is agreed that the appointment of additional reserve members would help ensure the smooth functioning of the Committee between recruitment periods. It has been suggested that reserves are of most value when they can be actively involved in the work of the Committee, even while remaining reserve members. In fact, some Committees already actively involve their reserve members, while others do not.
It is recommended that reserve members be actively involved in the work of the Advisory Committee, and that their involvement be recognized and supported. It is recommended that reserve members who participate in meetings be listed separately alongside full members in the minutes.
It is also recommended that reserve members be included in the Participation Expense Policy, and therefore be entitled to mileage and reimbursement of other participation-related expenses.
Recommendation Part IV - #3
That additional reserve members be appointed for each committee during the Advisory Committee recruitment process.
Recommendation Part IV - #4
That reserve members be eligible for reimbursement of expenses under the Participation Expense Policy
Currently, any member of an Advisory Committee, who is absent from three consecutive regularly scheduled meetings of the Committee (four for OBHAC) shall have their membership terminated, unless the absence is for medical reasons. Although there has been some suggestion of relaxing the attendance policy for Advisory Committee members, many Advisory Committees do not support this. This provision was established at the request of Advisory Committees to ensure that members who want to participate and are able to fully participate in the work have the opportunity to do so.
More specifically, the Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) has raised concerns that their Committee has particular challenges with respect to absenteeism, quorum and ensuring and facilitating the effective participation of their members. There may be a need to establish provisions for any Advisory Committee members requiring accommodation. Options could include a modified attendance policy, the ability for reserve members to act as proxies for full members, or opportunities for remote participation. It is recommended that the Clerk’s office work with the AAC to develop provisions that would better accommodate any, similarly situated, members.
Participation Expenses – Mileage Rates
Under the Participation Expense Policy, Advisory Committee members using a personal vehicle to attend official meetings will be eligible to claim reimbursement at a given rate. At the establishment of this policy, the mileage rate for Advisory Committee participants was intended to mirror that provided to City of Ottawa staff under the City’s Mileage and Parking Policy. However, while the mileage rates for City staff have increased to reflect cost increases, the rate paid to Advisory Committee participants has not.
For the sake of fairness, and to avoid the need to re-evaluate Advisory Committee mileage rates again in future years, it is recommended that the Advisory Committee rates be tied to that provided to City staff.
One Advisory Committee has suggested that members who use a bicycle to attend official meetings instead of a car also be eligible to claim mileage. The Participation Expense Policy is intended to reimburse Advisory Committee members for actual out-of-pocket expenses incurred by them in direct relation to their participation on the Advisory Committee. In the case of cars, this relates to gas and parking (but not a general allowance for maintenance) and for bus users, it relates to the cost of the fare. Such direct and immediate expenses cannot be quantified for a bicycle. Therefore, a provision is not currently being contemplated for City staff, nor is it being recommended for Advisory Committee members.
Recommendation Part IV - #5
Mileage for members using a personal vehicle to attend official meetings be tied to the rate provided to City of Ottawa staff.
Advisory Committee Code of Conduct – Political Activity
Recent events have indicated that clarification is required in the Advisory Committee Code of Conduct regarding an Advisory Committee member’s role with respect to political activity.
Advisory Committees do not have a mandate to engage in political election activity, specifically any activities aimed at promoting or opposing certain candidates or certain issues in elections at any level. Indeed, such involvement is inappropriate. Although the Advisory Committee Code of Conduct does not currently specify this, other legislation and City policy makes it quite clear.
The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 prohibits a municipality from making a contribution to a candidate. As such, the Election-Related Resources Policy was established to provide some direction to Members of Council and all City staff regarding the use of corporate resources with respect to election-related matters related to any election, whether federal, provincial or municipal. Advisory Committees have been established to support Council’s policy-making role and City staff and corporate resources are provided to support the work of Advisory Committees. This means that Advisory Committee work, meetings and meeting materials shall not be related to an election, including the promotion or opposition of particular candidates. Further, the use of email lists gathered by Advisory Committees in their official role cannot be used for election-related purposes.
If a Member of Council breaches the Election-Related Resources Policy, they are required to reimburse the City the cost of those resources. If staff breaches the Election-Related Resources Policy, there are internal disciplinary protocols. In advance of the recent municipal Election, the City Clerk’s Office made it explicitly clear to all Advisory Committees that engaging in political election activity as described above was both inappropriate and contrary to the Election-Related Resources Policy. Unfortunately, not all Advisory Committees chose to adhere to this direction, and there are no means for the City Clerk’s Office to take disciplinary action as a result of such breaches.
In order to clarify this prohibition, an additional section has been added to the Advisory Committee Code of Conduct. Specifically, Advisory Committee members are prohibited from engaging in political activity on behalf of an Advisory Committee or as a member of an Advisory Committee. Nothing prevents a Member from engaging in political activities as an individual (i.e. becoming a candidate).
It is also recommended that the enforcement provisions of the Code be strengthened. While the Code of Conduct has provided a useful guideline for Advisory Committee members, instances have arisen where enforcement of the Code’s provisions has proven challenging given the lack of an enforcement mechanism. In order to facilitate the enforcement of the Code, it is recommended that the City Clerk be delegated the authority to issue a formal, written warning, to suspend a Member for one meeting if necessary and, if the behaviour persists, to recommend to the relevant Standing Committee the removal of the Member from the Advisory Committee.
Recommendation Part IV – #6
The enactment of the revised Advisory Committee Procedure By-Law (Appendix A – Code of Conduct) as outlined in the report and the associated by-law (Document 10).
Overall Review of Advisory Committee Structure
During the consultations on this report, several opportunities for change have been identified with respect to the number, membership and mandate of the City’s Advisory Committees. Several Advisory Committees have identified the need to reduce the overall number of Advisory Committees and, in some cases, to reduce the number of members.
Suggested changes have included potentially merging committees to take advantage of synergies between their mandates (i.e. the Environmental Advisory Committee with Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee). It has also been noted that the Health and Social Services Advisory Committee’s mandate to advise City Council on policy, programs and service delivery in the area of provision and support health services will no longer be in order once the Board of Health is established in 2011. There is also a need to consider what is most appropriate for the remaining social services mandate of that Advisory Committee.
The timelines for this Governance Review, given the Election and the significant number of new elected officials, did not permit staff to work directly with Advisory Committees on a review of each mandate in time for this report. Rather than continue to adjust Advisory Committees and their mandates on a one-off basis, staff is recommending a comprehensive re-examination of the entire structure be included as part of a comprehensive review of the City’s overall citizen engagement model, which is outlined below.
B. Overall Review of Citizen Engagement
As described above, while the City of Ottawa has an extensive system of Advisory Committees as its primary mechanism for direct citizen input on policy development. Many other municipalities use Advisory Committees along with a combination of the following tools to maximize input from citizens at large and to ensure that volunteers’ time is focused on specific outcomes to encourage broader participation:
The Governance Review is primarily a review of the practices and procedures that govern Council in its legislative and representative role. The issue of public engagement is broader than this review, but ensuring that legislative processes will facilitate and increase citizen engagement as a whole is one of the goals of governance improvements. Improving all public engagement tools is a governance objective for the City as a whole.
It is recommended that staff from Communications, Organizational Development and Performance and the City Clerk and Solicitor’s Office, with the support of other departments as needed, be directed to conduct an in-depth review of public engagement including opportunities to encourage broader participation through the use of a variety of public engagement tools, and that this review be brought to the Governance Renewal Sub-Committee for their consideration.
Recommendation Part IV – #7
That staff be directed to conduct an in-depth review of public engagement and report back through the Governance Renewal Sub-Committee, with a target date of the end of Q2 2011.
In addition to an overall review of public engagement, there was significant interest in the notion
of a Municipal School – a program aimed at broadening public knowledge of local government and encouraging public participation by empowering citizens with a better understanding of the legislative mechanics of the municipality. This concept builds on the Candidate Information Sessions held for the 2010 Municipal Election and the successful Planning Primer offered by the Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability Department. Staff is in the process of developing material for the program with the intent of offering the first session in 2011.
Topics that will likely be included in the program are:
o What is Local Government and how does it work?
o How to participate in the Committee and Council Process (mandates, authority, what to expect, rules of procedure, getting involved before committee)
o Budget 101 (tax vs. rate, assessment, capital vs. operating, budget process and opportunities for citizen involvement)
o Municipal Elections (in 2013).
The Municipal School would be offered in both official languages.
C. Petition Policy
The City of Ottawa recognizes petitions as an important tool for citizen engagement, but there is no mechanism in place that provides citizens with the assurance that their input will be formally recognized and considered by decision-makers. In turn, Council must be assured that this public input is accurate and verifiable.
Council and Standing Committees receive petitions on various matters from time to time. Although there are some basic parameters for petitions set out in the Procedure By-law as well as some informal processes of distribution through the Councillors’ and Mayor’s offices, these do not provide for formal presentation. Further, the City places no requirements on providing contact information for signatories or include mechanisms to verify the information included in the petition.
The need to develop a formal petition policy was discussed in the Mid-Term Governance Review report. On 24 June 2009 Council directed staff to develop a petition policy for the City of Ottawa, in line with the recommendations of that report. This included a formal process for submitting petitions, and petition templates for use by citizens.
A review of best practices shows that other Canadian cities have established various procedures for how a petition may be submitted to the municipality and taken up by Council or the municipal administration, with varying degrees of formality. Many cities have imposed requirements regarding the format and contents of petitions presented to them. Most municipalities reviewed require at least one person’s contact information for independent verification of the petition. Many municipal petition procedures call for submission of petitions to the Clerk and/or members of municipal Council. Municipalities have various procedures for disposing of the petition, with many providing for the listing of the petition on the Council agenda for information or action.
The draft Petition Policy for Council’s consideration found in Document 11 is adapted from one developed by the Township of South Stormont in 2004, with additional clauses adapted from the policies of larger municipalities. It has been designed to provide some stringency with respect to form and content while still being easy to use.
Specific elements include:
The draft Policy does not include a requirement for signatories to be Ottawa residents. That requirement does exist in some municipalities, and Council could make that further restriction. However, the challenge associated with verifying the residency status of each petitioner weighs against including it in the draft Policy at this time.
The draft Policy also establishes a procedure for formally submitting and receiving petitions. They would be filed with the City Clerk directly or submitted to any Member of Council, who would then submit it to the Clerk on behalf of the residents.
The Clerk would then arrange for the presentation of the petition to City Council. If the petition pertained to a matter on a Council agenda, the petition would be listed on the same agenda. Otherwise, it would be listed at the next regular meeting. A formal motion to receive petitions would be listed on the Council agenda for approval.
Petitions would not be formally received at Standing Committee. If a petition was introduced at Standing Committee, it would be filed with the City Clerk for presentation at the next regular Council agenda or, for those petitions which pertained to an item on a Standing Committee agenda, when that item rose to Council.
Petitions that do not comply with the policy will still be held on file with the Clerk and listed along with other correspondence on the relevant Standing Committee agenda where appropriate. However, they would not be formally accepted by Council.
It should be noted that petitions presented at Council would not be posted to the Internet as part of a Council agenda; rather, they will be held on file with the Clerk, and any member of the public could request to view them.
This draft Policy would not replace or invalidate other policies and guidelines already established by the City for petitions on specific matters, such as petitions for drainage works, other local improvements, or ward re-division. Such petitions are governed by other Acts, and have requirements over and above what is required by general policy.
If the Petition Policy is approved, templates will be available on Ottawa.ca to assist citizens and community groups in preparing a petition in keeping with the Policy. Upon approval, the requirements and templates will be circulated to community groups and Members’ offices to ensure the public is aware of the new requirements. A sample petition template is included in Document 11. The petition template is designed as a guideline for residents and the petition organizer to use in developing their own petitions. It is not intended as a mandatory form.
Electronic Petitions and Electronic Signatures
Online petitions are becoming increasingly popular method for gathering public input. They can be easier and less time consuming for both the initiator of the petition and signatories. In Ottawa and elsewhere, citizens have been making increasing use of various online petition platforms to gather support on various matters before Committee and Council, and submitting these petitions to the municipality.
However, the electronic format gives rise to several concerns. The validity and verifiability of people who electronically “sign” the petition can come into question. Without some form of identity verification, there is a concern that the petition can contain false names. As the internet has no borders, one could conceivably have signatories from people all over the world, rather than just Ottawa residents.
The issue of electronic petitions and electronic signatures has not been extensively addressed in other municipal petition policies in Canada. While domestic and international laws have provisions that address verifiability and legal validity of e-signatures, the tests are often quite onerous and therefore beyond the scope of this draft policy.
In the absence of an electronic platform with the appropriate technology for verifying electronic signatures, a more straightforward approach could be to require other verifiable and supplementary information in an electronic petition (address, phone number, e-mail address.) While this does not guarantee that the signatory “signed” the petition himself, it does allow for secondary verifications should the validity of the petition come into question.
If e-petitions are allowed, it is recommended that petitioners be required to provide their physical address, in addition to their name and e-mail address.
Should Council wish to be even more rigorous, there could also be the requirement for all petitioners to be residents of the City of Ottawa, with the exception of Planning matters, where other interested parties could sign.
The future of Electronic petitioning
Some municipalities worldwide are taking a more active approach to online petitions, going so far as to provide a place on their website for public petitions on various matters before Council. For example, the City of Bristol in the United Kingdom has its own “e-petitions” platform, where citizens can submit petitions on matters of local interest, for submission to the City Council alone or in conjunction with a paper petition.
Council may wish to explore the possibility of hosting a similar service on Ottawa.ca as part of a larger Citizen Engagement initiative. Should Council wish to pursue this option, it is recommended that the City Clerk and Solicitor’s Office be directed (as part of its Citizen Engagement review) to work with Information Technology Services to develop an online petition platform, in line with the Petition Policy.
Recommendation Part IV – #8
That Council approve the Petition Policy as outlined in the report.
Part V – Governance – Other Matters
A. Procedure By-law Issues
The City’s Procedure By-law is a governance tool for Council to regulate the way in which it carries out its decision making. Municipalities are required to have a procedure by-law under Section 238 of the Municipal Act, 2001. Input from Members of Council and experience over the last term point to opportunities to enhance Council’s decision making process by amending the Procedure By-law. With each Governance Review, suggestions for improvements are provided both through observations from elected officials and as a result of challenges encountered by the City Clerk and Solicitor’s staff with respect to meeting and report matters.
When the Mid-Term Governance Review was considered by Council in June 2009, several options were presented to Council at their request for potential changes to the Procedure By-law to simplify the process of reconsideration. As there was no consensus on the preferred option, Council directed staff to work with Members of Council and bring back a recommendation to Council with this report.
During the consultations for this review, the general consensus from Members of Council is that the reconsideration process should not be simplified. It was thought that the status quo provides a reasonable threshold for sober second thought only when necessary, so no recommendations are being made with respect to the general provisions for reconsideration in this review.
Some Councillors suggested a minor amendment to permit Members who were absent from an entire Council meeting on City Business to move the motion to reconsider an item as well as an individual who supported the majority. As this was not a consensus item, there is no recommendation in this regard and a motion would be required to adopt this practice and amend the Procedure By-law.
The Procedure By-law provides two tools to enable Members of Council to submit items for consideration by a Standing Committee. The first is to introduce a Notice of Motion at the Committee meeting for consideration at the subsequent meeting, and the second is to submit a Councillor’s report directly to the Committee Coordinator up to nine calendar days in advance of the meeting. As Councillors have been taking greater advantage of these tools over this term, Members of Council and the Clerk’s office have identified several areas requiring clarification.
Subsection 78 (5.1) - Councillor Items that Fail at Standing Committee
Council has endorsed the notion that Standing Committees are the true working groups of Council, responsible for an in-depth analysis of policy issues within their mandates. Therefore, in principle, decisions of the Standing Committee should determine the progress of a matter to Council.
Subsection 78 (5.1) of the Procedure By-law currently states that “Where an item fails at a Standing Committee, such item shall only be forwarded to Council where the Standing Committee so directs, subject to the right of Council to have the matter brought forward through a motion adopted by Council.” (By-law 2009-267)
The suggestion has been made that when a Councillor’s item fails at Standing Committee (or loses on a tie) such item shall not rise to Council unless the Standing Committee so directs. Should the Councillor in question wish the matter to rise to Council, the Councillor may move it as a Notice of Motion at the next regular Council meeting. Staff recommends that this change be reflected in amendments to the Procedure By-law.
Section 75 - Councillor Items from the Committee Chair
Section 75 of the Procedure By-law states that it shall not be permissible for the Chair to participate in debate or move a motion without first leaving the chair. There is a lack of clarity as to how Section 75 applies when a Councillor’s report is before Committee, and that Councillor is also the Chair. This lack of clarity is a concern to some Councillors and has resulted in inconsistent application across the various Committees. In some cases the Chair has ceded the chair to the vice-chair during the discussion of their item, in other cases they have not.
Therefore, consistent with the intent of the Procedure By-law, it is recommended that the By-law be amended to clarify that when the Chair has a Councillor’s item on the agenda, he or she must cede the chair during discussion, debate and voting of that item.
In Camera Process
City Council continues to demonstrate its leadership with respect to conducting business in open session. The City’s Meetings Investigator has provided Council with recommendations to further enhance City Council’s open meeting practices and procedures. City Council has endorsed many of these recommendations and has already instituted most as a practice. The changes to the Procedure By-law as part of this report is simply a formalization of those practices that are now in place.
(a) Section 13 (8) – The Meetings Investigator recommended that the disposition of every in camera report should indicate either the date that the report will be made public or a legal opinion indicating why the report cannot be made public. Further, the reporting out date or the legal opinion, as the case may be, is also to be listed in the minutes of the Standing Committee and Council. A new provision will be added to Section 13 of the Procedure By-law to reflect this requirement.
(b) Section 13 (6) – The Procedure By-law currently states that once the reporting out date has been reached, the report is then available for release to the public upon request. Staff recommends that the process be enhanced to proactively link the confidential report to the appropriate Council or Committee agenda once the reporting out date has passed. This provision will be amended accordingly.
There was also the suggestion that laptops or cell phones should not be in use during in camera sessions. As this was not a consensus item, staff has made no recommendation and a motion would be required to adopt this practice.
In June 2010, an earthquake took place in Ottawa while City Council was in session. When the Office of Emergency Management was requested to provide a briefing to Council when the meeting resumed, there was no procedural mechanism in place to allow this other than the Mayor allowing the briefing with Council’s concurrence and with waiver of the rules. This event highlighted the need to establish provisions within the Procedure By-law to deal with emergency situations.
In the event of an emergency, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) may be activated for a short time or a prolonged response period. The EOC, comprised of senior staff, gathers in order to coordinate their efforts to address the situation. There may be a need for senior staff to brief Council on an urgent basis with respect to the City’s emergency response.
Therefore it is recommended that the Procedure By-law be amended to state when EOC has been activated while Council is in session, senior staff is authorized to provide an immediate briefing to Council. This briefing would take precedence over other agenda items and would not require waiver of the Rules of Procedure.
Depending on the nature of the emergency and the items under discussion, and given that senior staff will likely be occupied with emergency duties, Council may wish to recess. Therefore, it is recommended that the Procedure By-law be amended to state that, in the event that an emergency has been declared and EOC has been activated while a Standing Committee or Council meeting is in session, the meeting is recessed at the call of the Chair/ Mayor.
In the past, the Nominating Committee process has not unfolded in the manner outlined in the Procedure By-law. This matter is outlined in a previous section. To remain consistent with the practice and to reflect the suggested enhancements to the process as outlined earlier in this report, it is recommended that the Procedure By-law be updated accordingly.
Recommendation Part V – #1
The amendments to the Procedure By-law outlined in the report related to the following:
(a) Councillor Items at Standing Committee
(b) In camera process
(c) Emergency Measures
(d) Nominating Committee
B. Delegation of Authority By-law
The Delegation of Authority By-law sets out delegations to various officers of the City and their corresponding accountability and transparency mechanisms. It outlines the specific monetary thresholds for delegated authority and the process for implementing delegated authority. The City Clerk and Solicitor Department regularly undertakes a review of the Delegation of Authority By-law (currently By-law No. 2009-231), in conjunction with the various departments and portfolios to incorporate changes in administrative and operational practices.
The proposed amendments reflect the input received from the latest review. For the most part, the amendments reflect changes in authority and transfers of responsibility as a result of realignment within a portfolio. For example, in Schedule “B”, City Operations Portfolio, there have been a number of changes in the Community and Social Services and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Departments. These changes largely relate to branch names and functions which have been consolidated and duplications removed but where the actual scope of the delegated authority has not been expanded. However, for future ease of reference, Schedule “B” will be repealed and replaced with a revised Schedule “B” that reflects these functional realignments.
Under Schedule “A”, City Manager, and specifically under the section dealing with the Real Estate Partnerships and Development Office (“REDPO”), staff recommend the Director of REDPO and the Manager of Realty Services be delegated the power to waive the administrative fees for the preparation of certain agreements in circumstances where the transaction is with another government agency, a charitable organization with a registered Canada Revenue Agency number, a not-for-profit group funded by the City or a not-for-profit group under contract to provide a City program. This waiver is often requested by these groups but currently there is no delegated authority at the staff level to do so.
The Finance Department is also recommending amendments to Schedule “A” to reflect current operational practices and changes to the Municipal Act, 2001. Changes are also proposed to certain reporting requirements to reflect the potential for changes to the Standing Committee structure. Those reporting requirements, within all sections of the By-law, that still reference a specific Standing Committee, throughout the entire By-law, shall be amended to read that the exercise of delegated authority shall be reported to the “appropriate Standing Committee”. This will mitigate future revisions to the By-law that must be made when Council changes its Standing Committee structure.
A new section is proposed to delegate authority to the Deputy Treasurer, Revenue and the Program Manager for Assessment to authorize payments under the tax rebate programs for eligible charities provided that the payment complies with Section 361 of the Municipal Act, 2001 which deals with rebates for charities and specific Council-approved rebate programs.
With respect to Schedule “C”, Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability, no major changes are proposed at this time. The Planning and Growth Management Department is proposing one amendment to permit the Managers of Development Review to approve the waiver of the requirements of the Use and Care of Roads By-law where there are technical reasons to support the waiver based on the development review process. This authority is consistent with the authority currently in place for the Private Approach By-law.
A draft By-law, incorporating the above-noted amendments and repealing the existing By-law, will be circulated and included in a by-law listing for the next appropriate meeting of Council. For increased clarity with respect to Council’s ongoing initiative to be more transparent and accountable in its decision-making, it is also recommended that the revised By-law’s format continue to align each delegation of authority with a corresponding accountability and transparency measure.
Recommendation Part V – #2
The amendments to the Delegation of Authority By-law as outlined in the report.
Recommendation Part V - #3
That the Procedure By-law and the Delegation of Authority By-law and any other related By-laws, as amended by this report, be included in the by-law listing of a subsequent Council meeting.
There are no specific rural implications associated with this report.
As part of the preparation for the report, the City Clerk and Solicitor and the Deputy City Clerk consulted with elected representatives, Chairs and Vice-Chairs of Advisory Committees, the Executive Committee and members of the Senior Management Committee, as well as staff in the City Clerk’s Branch, Legal Services and the City Manager’s Office who work most closely with the legislative process.
Feedback from nine of the Advisory Committees is attached at Document 8.
This is a city-wide report.
There are no legal or risk management implications associated with this report.
This report responds to Governance Objective 1 of the 2007-2010 City Strategic Plan.
The financial implications associated with this report will be absorbed within existing budgets.
Document 1 – Nominating Committee Outline
Document 2 – Meetings Investigator Annual Report
Document 3 – Local Board Review
Document 4 – Ottawa Community Housing Corporation Motion
Document 5 – Ottawa Public Library Board Composition Report
Document 6 – Board of Health By-law
Document 7 – Board of Health Appointment Process
Document 8 – Advisory Committee Feedback
Document 9 – Participation Expense Policy
Document 10 – Advisory Committee Code of Conduct
Document 11 – Petition Policy & Sample Petition Template
Upon approval of the report by City Council, staff in the applicable Departments, in particular the City Clerk and Solicitor Department, will implement changes to all related processes, procedures and By-laws which are required to carry out the report as approved.