Closed Meeting Investigations Procedure

Purpose statement

The Corporation of the Town of Oakville (town) provides good government in an accountable and transparent manner by providing for a Closed Meeting Investigator in accordance with Section 239.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001.

In accordance with By-law 2008-050, Local Authority Services Ltd. (LAS) has been appointed as the Town of Oakville’s Closed Meeting Investigator.

Scope

This procedure applies to Council and its local boards as defined under the Municipal Act, 2001.

For the purposes of Section 239.1 of the Municipal Act (Closed Meeting Investigations), local boards shall include any board, commission, committee, body or local authority established or exercising any power under any Act with respect to the affairs of purposes of the Town, excluding a school board, conservation authority, public library board or police services board.

Procedure

  1. All complaints shall be submitted to the Town Clerk on the form provided, accompanied by the relevant filing fee.
  2. Upon receipt, the Town Clerk shall forward the following documents to LAS or its delegate, as appropriate:
    1. The original request for an investigation;
    2. A certified copy of the municipal procedure by-law and, if applicable, the procedure by-law for the local board;
    3. A certified copy of the municipal notice by-law and, if applicable, the notice by-law for the local board;
    4. A certified copy of the agenda with all relevant attachments relating to the meeting;
    5. A certified copy of the notice given for the meeting;
    6. A certified copy of the minutes of the meeting;
    7. A contact list for all members of the Council, local board or committee for which the request is made and for all persons present at the meeting;
    8. Such other information or documentation that the Clerk of the municipality deems relevant; and
    9. Such other information or documentation that LAS or its delegate may from time to time deem relevant to the investigation.
  3. LAS or its delegate, as appropriate, will conduct an initial investigation which may result in withdrawal of the complaint, after an initial discussion with the person filing, a decision not to proceed (with reason), or a decision to proceed with the investigation.  Where the investigation does not proceed, the investigator will notify the parties and table a report with Council.  In such instances, the filing fee shall not be considered for refund.
  4. Where the investigation does proceed, an impartial investigator assigned by LAS shall perform the investigation.  Members of Council, the local board and/or staff shall make themselves available to provide information as deemed necessary in the course of the investigation.
  5. If circumstances warrant – i.e. where there is an adverse decision towards the municipality or local board, the municipality or local board shall be given formal hearing opportunity (pursuant to Section 18 of the Ombudsman Act).
  6. LAS or its delegate, as appropriate, will submit its final report to the Town Clerk who will ensure it is included on the agenda for the next regular scheduled Council meeting for consideration.
  7. Where the investigation addresses a local board, the final report shall be submitted to both Council and the local board for consideration.
  8. As part of its review of the Investigator’s report, Council shall determine whether the complaint was substantiated and whether the filing fee should be refunded to the applicant.

Definitions

Meeting: for the purpose of this procedure, and as defined in the Municipal Act, 2001, means any regular, special or other meeting of a council, of a local board or of a committee of either of them, where,

  1. a quorum of members is present, and
  2. members discuss or otherwise deal with any matter in a way that materially advances the business or decision-making of the council, local board or committee.

Responsibilities

The Town Clerk shall be responsible for ensuring the above procedures are followed. Council shall be responsible for addressing and implementing any corrective actions resulting from adverse decisions of the Closed Meeting Investigator and for determining whether filing fees are to be refunded to the requester.

Procedure details

Procedure Number: G-GEN-009-001
Parent Policy: G-GEN-009
Section: Governance
Sub-Section: General
Author: Clerk's Department
Authority: Council
Effective Date: 2008 Mar 25
Review by Date: 2024
Last Modified: 2019 Oct 22

References

Appendix A: Complaint Intake Form - Municipal Closed Meeting Investigation
Town of Oakville Procedure By-law
Committee of Adjustment Procedure By-law
Local Board Procedures
Municipal Act, 2001
Code of Conduct for Members of Council and Local Board Members