Lost and Found Procedure

Purpose statement

To provide guidelines for the general management of lost and found items for the Corporation of the Town of Oakville (the town) to ensure a consistent, standard practice at town facilities, on town property and in town vehicles.

Scope

This procedure applies to any item left at a town facility, on town property, or in a town vehicle (town property).

Procedure

The town will accept items left on town property as a courtesy to users of town programs, services and facilities. However, the town is not responsible for personal items left on town property and will not keep a record of individuals looking for lost items.

Any items that are illegal or pose an immediate risk such as weapons and drugs will not be accepted. The Halton Regional Police will be notified immediately, and staff will make every reasonable effort to secure the item before the police arrive.

When an item is turned in

It is at staff’s discretion to determine how items are managed based on the condition when it is received. Staff will not receive compensation for having found, retrieved or returned a lost article.

Staff will make reasonable efforts to identify and locate the owner of valuable items, which could include a cursory search through wallets and bags or accessing unlocked electronic devices. Staff will contact the owner as soon as practicable upon determining the rightful owner. If the owner’s information cannot be determined from this search, staff will handle valuables as noted in this section.

The following are guidelines:

  1. Perishable items

Food, medication, loose paper (with no identifying information), and any item deemed unhygienic will be disposed of immediately and in accordance with the Government of Canada’s safe disposal of prescription drugs.

  1. General clothing and miscellaneous items

Items include clothing, accessories, or sports equipment with an obvious value under $100 such as shirts/sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, costume jewelry, water bottles, books, bathing suits, towels and sunglasses.

Town facilities will have a lost and found bin for these items, where possible, that is accessible to the community to look through during business hours of the location. Bins will be emptied and donated or destroyed every month, as needed. Items will not be tracked.

  1. Valuables
    1. Items with an obvious value over $100 will be stored in a secure location for ninety (90) days. If not claimed, staff will deliver items to a police station in Halton Region with information on the date of when items were turned in. Valuables could include:
  • Electronic devices/equipment (phone, tablet, laptop)
  • Wallets, bags, backpacks, purses
  • Jewelry, clothing, prescription sun/eyeglasses, accessories
  • Presto cards
  • Sports equipment, bikes, headphones
  1. Money of any value will be stored in a secure location for ninety (90) days. If unclaimed, money will be returned to the customer who turned it in. If staff turned it in, money will be donated to town programs and services.

Valuables will be tagged with a description of the item, the date it was turned in and what location it was turned in to. For money, the customer’s name and contact will also be noted. Valuables will be tracked on the town’s intranet.

  1. Bank cards or government issued identification
  • Bank cards (credit, debit) - will be shred after thirty (30) days
  • Government issued identification - will be sent to the appropriate government agency after thirty (30) days
  • Passports - will be sent to Passport Canada immediately

Bank cards or government issued identification will be tagged with the date it was turned in.
These items will not be tracked.

To claim an item

Items can be claimed during business hours of the location. For valuables, a rightful owner will be responsible for describing the item and providing as much information as possible before it is returned to them including but not limited to colour, material, size, brand, model number. It is at staff’s discretion to ask for identification.
 

Responsibilities

Staff are responsible for:

  • Complying with this procedure

Individuals turning in or looking for lost items are responsible for:

  • Complying with this procedure

Procedure details

Procedure Number: G-COM-001-007
Parent Policy: G-COM-001
Section: Governance
Sub-Section: Communications
Author: Strategy, Policy and Communications
Authority: CAO
Effective Date: 
Review by Date: 2024


 

References

Employee Code of Conduct
Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act