Request for Information from Staff by Individual Members of Council Procedure

Purpose statement

This procedure defines a process by which individual Members of Council request information and assistance from staff, in order to effectively discharge their responsibilities.


This procedure applies to staff and Members of Council of the Town of Oakville.


  1. Members of Council should direct all requests for information or assistance to the appropriate department director. In the absence or unavailability of the department director the request shall be submitted to the appropriate commissioner who shall advise his/her director of the request.
  2. When a request affects more than one department, only one department director shall be contacted and that person shall contact all appropriate departments to co-ordinate a response.
  3. Where requests involve significant staff resources and impact the department, the following will apply:
  • Requests expected to exceed two (2) hours, but less than seven (7) hours will be reviewed by the department director, commissioner or CAO. Based upon a review of the matter by the CAO and or commissioner, the Member of Council may be requested to submit his/her request to Council under the “Request for Reports” section of the Council agenda;
  • All requests expected to exceed seven (7) hours of staff time in total must be authorized by Council, except in particular situations when the CAO, or in his/her absence, the commissioner in consultation with the Mayor is of the opinion that the matter requires immediate action.
  1. Where Council endorsement is required the individual Member of Council shall present his or her request to Council under the “Request for Reports” section of the Council agenda.
  2. Department directors will keep the requesting Member of Council informed about the progress of all requests for information or assistance.
  3. If agreement cannot be reached on the time frame for responding to a Councillors’ request, the matter will be referred to the Mayor and CAO for resolution.
  4. The department director will provide a written response to the Member in a timely manner subject to the following:
  • The response shall reflect the professional opinion of staff, having regard for all applicable legislation and policies and shall not reflect or address political opinion or sentiment;
  • All responses shall be copied to the appropriate commissioner;
  • Responses relating to a ward specific matter, as determined by the director, shall be forwarded to both ward Councillors representing that ward;
  • Responses relating to general matters shall be copied to all Members of Council for information.


Staff are responsible for assisting individual Members of Council, by providing them with necessary information and assistance in the discharge of their elected responsibilities.

Procedure details

Procedure Number: G-GEN-004-002
Parent Policy: G-GEN-004
Section: Governance
Sub-Section: General
Author: Clerk's Department
Authority: Council
Effective Date: 2006 Jul 11
Review by Date: 2021
Last Modified: 2016 Sep 19