Delegation of Powers and Duties at Town Hall

The latest effort to improve work productivity at Collingwood’s town hall saw the Corporate & Community Services Standing Committee review a staff report (STAFF REPORT #C2018-02) on Monday March 5th that deals with clarifying and delegating powers and duties of staff.

“Delegation of authority for minor, administrative or operational contractual obligations, in adherence to any Council approved policy, shall only be granted to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Clerk, Treasurer, Director of Public Works, Engineering & Environmental Services, Director of Parks, Recreation & Culture, Director of Planning & Building Services and Fire Chief. If at any time, a staff member with Delegated Authority is not comfortable with the exercise of the authority that matter shall be reviewed at the discretion of the CAO. The CAO shall then determine if the matter shall be referred to Council.”

The purpose of this report is for Council to consider the approval of a Delegation of Powers and Duties Policy pursuant to Section 270 of the Municipal Act.

The policy provides clarification with respect to Council’s delegation of administrative powers and duties to the Chief Administrative Officer and Department Heads, when appropriate, for the efficient and effective management of the Corporation.

THAT Council receive Staff Report C2018-02 and approve the Delegation of Powers and Duties By-law, as attached hereto.

Under Section 270 of the Municipal Act, Council is required to adopt a by-law establishing a policy for delegation of powers and duties if such duties have been delegated by Council. The adoption of the proposed policy would meet this requirement as well as assist in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the administration and operations of the municipality.

By adopting this policy, it will provide the CAO and Department Heads with the authority to bind the municipality in any minor, administrative or operational contractual obligation, if the appropriate Council approved policies had been adhered to if applicable. (ie. budget, procurement, procedural, etc…) Staff are concerned that a number of regularly retained services, tenant leases, orders, agreements, applications require a corporate signature and without delegated authority such actions are not duly authorized. Staff want to ensure that they have the appropriate authority to execute these minor, regular administrative contractual obligations.

The staff report states that the Delegation of Power and Duties By-law policy sets out to keep Council free to focus on its legislative duties, while entrusting staff to follow through with administrative functions already under their responsibility and/or within the overall Council approved framework.

“The effect of enacting and implementing this by-law policy will allow staff to operate more efficiently and protect the delegated authority to undertake various necessary actions. Staff can manage their departmental projects at the administrative level in a timelier manner with the comfort of having the appropriate delegations in place.”

The general provisions, roles and responsibilities identified in the proposed by-law policy include:

 Unless a power, duty or function of Council has been expressly delegated by by-law or resolution, all of the powers, duties and functions of Council remain with Council.
 All delegation powers and duties may be revoked at any time by Council.
 The delegation of power under this policy shall be limited to administrative power only, not legislative power.
 Delegated authority through this by-law does not diminish, restrict or reduce any authority delegated to any officer or employee by any other by-law, statue, regulation or as otherwise provided by by-law.
 Where delegated authority involves the expenditure of funds and/or commitment of resources, the delegated authority must be exercised within the Council approved budget for that matter.
 Delegates shall ensure the consistent and equitable application of Council policies and guidelines and will act at times in good faith and good judgement.
 Delegates with delegated authority shall exercise their authority responsibly and shall be accountable and responsible for their actions.
 If a Delegate has a conflict of interest related to a delegated authority than the Delegate must not exercise their authority and must forthwith report the conflict of interest to the CAO or Council.

The Staff Report will hit the full council table for further discussion on March 12th.

Live Streaming of All Town Meetings

In an effort to improve transparency and to deal with the possible impact on the Town from recent cut-backs at the local Rogers Television studio, Council recently passed a motion by Deputy Mayor Brian Saunderson to move forward with plans to live stream all council meetings on the Town of Collingwood web site.

Councillor Tim Fryer suggested moving all meetings from other locations (the library meeting room for example) to the council chambers to allow for live streaming.

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