hiring

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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.

Norfolk County

October 29, 201929 October 2019

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for Norfolk County on March 26, at which a potential candidate for the vacant interim CAO position attended. Some council members described the closed session as a “very informal interview” with the candidate. The Ombudsman found the discussion of personal information about the candidate, and the candidate’s suitability for the position fit within the exception for personal matters about an identifiable individual.

City of Hamilton

October 04, 201904 October 2019

The Ombudsman found that the City Manager Recruitment Steering Committee for the City of Hamilton did not violate the Municipal Act, 2001 on February 9 and 23, 2019, when it met in camera under the personal matters exception to conduct interviews for the city manager position and to discuss the suitability of individual candidates for the position.

City of St. Catharines

February 14, 201914 February 2019

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of St. Catharines to discuss a proposed staff position, government relations adviser. The meeting was closed under the negotiations exception. During the discussion, there were passing references to municipal projects involving the provincial government that could potentially become part of the new position’s portfolio of responsibilities. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the negotiations exception because it focused on determining the role and nature of a new staff position, including employment details, rather than specifically formulating a detailed course of action with respect to current or future negotiations involving municipal-provincial projects. In addition, the discussion did not involve any information that could undermine the city’s bargaining position in future negotiations.

City of St. Catharines

February 14, 201914 February 2019

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting that was held by council for the City of St. Catharines to discuss a proposed staff position, government relations adviser, under the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. Council’s discussion focused on the role and nature of the proposed staff position, including the position’s general responsibilities and duties, salary, and contract length. The Ombudsman found that the discussion did not fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception because the discussion did not pertain to the relationship between the municipality and its employees or reference specific individuals who might be hired.

City of London

March 01, 201701 March 2017

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by the Corporate Services Committee for the City of London to discuss the hiring policy for senior staff, relying on the solicitor-client privilege exception. The municipality informed the Ombudsman that municipal solicitors were present during the closed session and provided legal advice, and that nothing else was addressed. The Ombudsman noted that some municipalities choose to waive solicitor-client privilege and provide privileged information during an investigation. The Ombudsman found that the discussion fit within the solicitor-client privilege 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.

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 labour relations or employee negotiations exception to discuss the selection process for a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).Council discussed the résumé and qualifications of an identifiable individual who applied for the position, expressed opinions about the individual, and considered sending the candidate an offer of employment. The Ombudsman found that the labour relations or employee negotiations exception could apply to council’s discussion.

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.

Township of Baldwin

December 09, 201409 December 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Baldwin to discuss the qualification of candidates for a staff position. The meeting was closed under the labour relations or employee negotiations exception. Council discussed the applications and the possibility of extending an offer to a potential future employee. The Ombudsman found that the labour relations or employee negotiations exception refers to the collective relationship between an employer and its employees. Therefore, the discussion fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception.

Township of Baldwin

December 09, 201409 December 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Township of Baldwin to discuss candidates for the job of municipal works foreman. Council discussed the applications, résumés, work histories, and the possibility of extending an offer to one of the candidates. Individual councillors expressed opinions on which candidate would be best suited for the job and on the candidates’ qualifications. Although the municipality did not rely upon it, the Ombudsman found that council’s discussion fit within the personal matters exception.