shared services

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City of Oshawa

July 19, 201619 July 2016

The Ombudsman reviewed a meeting held by council for the City of Oshawa with representatives from the Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation (OPUC) to receive information related to a potential merger of OPUC with Veridian Corporation, a shared services provider. The meeting was closed under the education or training exception. The majority of the presentation was intended to inform council about a particular course of action that would likely come before council for a future vote. The municipality believed that the non-disclosure agreement between OPUC and Veridian meant the discussion should be held in closed session. The Ombudsman found that the purpose of the education or training exception is not to protect disclosure of sensitive business information. The Ombudsman found that the information presented and the questions asked materially advanced council’s business and decision-making. Therefore, the discussion did not fit within the education or training exception.

City of Port Colborne

November 19, 201519 November 2015

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Port Colborne to discuss disposing of its shares in a shared services provider. The meeting was closed under the security of the property exception. Council cited the exception because the municipality’s bargaining position might have been affected if details of the discussion were made public. The security of the property exception is narrowly construed. The Ombudsman found that the fact that any discussion in open session may have decreased the value of the shares was insufficient to bring the matter within the security of the property exception.

City of Welland

November 18, 201418 November 2014

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the City of Welland that relied on the labour relations or employee negotiations exception to discuss a shared services proposal with the public library. Council discussed staffing changes, workload, and the roles of particular employees. The labour relations or employee negotiations exception refers to the collective relationship between an employer and its employees. The Ombudsman found that council’s discussion fit within the labour relations or employee negotiations exception.

Municipality of Central Huron

March 13, 201313 March 2013

The Ombudsman reviewed a closed meeting held by council for the Municipality of Central Huron that relied on the exception for solicitor-client privilege to discuss matters involving a shared services provider. The municipality’s solicitor was not present during the meeting. The Ombudsman found that council did not discuss a specific piece of legal advice during the meeting. Therefore, the discussion did not fit within the exception for solicitor-client privilege.