chief administrative officer (CAO)

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Norfolk County

October 29, 201929 October 2019

The Ombudsman determined that council for Norfolk County did not contravene the Municipal Act, 2001 when it went in camera on March 26 and April 2, to discuss the hiring of an interim Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). The meetings relied partly on the exceptions for personal matters about an identifiable individual. The Ombudsman found that the exception for personal matters of an identifiable individual. This exception generally does not apply to information that pertains to an individual in their professional capacity, however, it does apply if such information reveals something personal or relates to scrutiny of an individual’s conduct. Accordingly, the Ombudsman found that the discussions about the hiring of a candidate for the interim CAO position, and the performance of identifiable staff members fit within the exception for personal matters for an identifiable individual.

Township of Russell

May 03, 201703 May 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Russell to discuss the naming rights for a new sports facility. The meeting was closed under the personal matters exception. While the municipality believed that the information discussed related to personality conflicts involving members of the community, the discussion mainly pertained to fundraising, naming rights and advertising for the sports facility. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not include personal information and noted that a municipal council cannot automatically shield itself from open discussion on a full report merely because the report contains relatively minor references to bona fide personal matters. Accordingly, the discussion did not fit within the closed meeting exception.

City of Timmins

January 23, 201723 January 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Timmins, which relied on the personal matters exception to discuss the upcoming retirement of the chief administrative officer (CAO). Council discussed the CAO’s salary and the recruitment process to hire a new CAO. There were no candidates identified or discussed during the meeting. The Ombudsman found that general consideration of a hiring process is not personal information and does not fit within the personal matters exception unless the discussion is incidental or brief. Therefore, council’s discussion about the recruitment process did not fit within the personal matters exception.

Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands

September 08, 201608 September 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands to discuss the assignment of the Chief Administrative Officer’s (CAO) duties. The meeting was closed under the personal matters exception. The discussion focused on the specific skills and work experience of identified employees who were being considered for the interim CAO role. There was a brief mention of the CAO hiring process which was incidental to the main discussion. The Ombudsman found that the meeting fit within the personal matters exception because council discussed the qualification of identifiable individuals. The Ombudsman found that general consideration of the CAO hiring process would not have fit within this exception, however any such discussions were brief and incidental to the main discussion.

City of Elliot Lake

April 24, 201524 April 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed closed meetings held by council for the City of Elliot Lake, which relied on the personal matters exception to discuss the recruitment of a new chief administrative officer (CAO). The discussions involved changes to the current CAO’s contract and extending the service of the current CAO. The Ombudsman found that the information discussed by council during the meetings related to specific terms of an identified employee’s contract, including salary. Accordingly, the discussion fit within the personal matters exception.

City of Elliot Lake

April 24, 201524 April 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Elliot Lake, which relied on the personal matters exception to discuss the recruitment of a new chief administrative officer (CAO). During the closed meeting, council discussed an identifiable individual who had submitted an application for the CAO position. The discussion involved the contents of the application, and included expressing opinions about the individual’s qualifications. The discussion also involved third-party information that was included in the application. The Ombudsman found that the discussion involved personal information about the applicant and third-party information. Accordingly, the discussion fit within the personal matters exception.

City of Elliot Lake

April 24, 201524 April 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed closed meetings held by council for the City of Elliot Lake to discuss the recruitment of a new chief administrative officer (CAO). The discussions involved changes to the current CAO’s contract and extending the service of the current CAO. The Ombudsman found that the information discussed by council during the meetings related to specific terms of an identified employee’s contract, including salary. Accordingly, the discussion fit within the exception for labour relations or employee negotiations.

Town of Amherstburg

December 15, 201415 December 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Amherstburg, which relied o the closed meeting exception to discuss the selection process for a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). Council discussed the qualifications of an identifiable candidate and expressed opinions about the individual. Council also discussed the conduct of a member of the public who had emailed council expressing opinions about a candidate for the CAO position. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the personal matters exception.

Town of Amherstburg

December 15, 201415 December 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Town of Amherstburg that relied on the exception for solicitor-client privilege to discuss the selection process for a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). Council discussed the qualifications of an identifiable individual who applied for the position and expressed opinions about the individual. Throughout the discussion, the municipality’s solicitor provided advice. The Ombudsman found that the parts of the discussion related to the solicitor’s advice fit within the exception for solicitor-client privilege.