Municipal Ombudsman

 
The Municipal Ombudsman is a discretionary position, acting independently and reporting to Council, to investigate any decision or recommendation made or act done or omitted in the course of the administration of the municipality.
 

As of January 1, 2016, if a municipality does not appoint a Municipal Ombudsman, then the Ontario Ombudsman becomes its default Municipal Ombudsman.  Brampton City Council has not yet made a decision regarding the Municipal Ombudsman.  Therefore the Ontario Ombudsman currently functions as the Municipal Ombudsman for Brampton.

 

Background:

The Municipal Act, 2001 defines the Municipal Ombudsman's responsibility to report to Council on an  investigation of "any decision or recommendation made or act done or omitted in the course of the administration of the municipality."

 

In 2014, the Province introduced and passed Bill 8, which amended several pieces of legislation effective January 1, 2016, including the Municipal Act, 2001, and Ombudsman Act, 1990 (the "Ombudsman Act'). The Ombudsman Act has been amended to expand the jurisdiction of the Ontario Ombudsman to include municipalities, municipal boards and their agencies. With the inclusion of the municipal sector under the jurisdiction of the Ontario Ombudsman, the Ontario Ombudsman by default becomes the ombudsman for a municipality that does not have a Municipal Ombudsman as of January 1, 2016. While a municipality will not be required to appoint its own Municipal Ombudsman under recent changes to the legislation, if a municipality does not appoint a Municipal Ombudsman, then the Ontario Ombudsman becomes the Municipal Ombudsman.

 

Brampton Council’s Request of the Ontario Ombudsman:

 

In May 2015, Council passed Resolution C140-2015, as follows:

Whereas the Interim Auditor General has submitted his report to council regarding the South West Quadrant investigation;
 
Whereas the report tabled by the Interim Auditor General did not provide any recommendations for Council on which to act upon;
 
Therefore be it resolved that the Mayor be directed to request the Province of Ontario to appoint the Ombudsman of Ontario to initiate an Inquiry as defined under the Public Inquiries Act into the affairs of the Corporation of the City of
Brampton, and in particular into potential misconduct in procurement, real estate; planning approvals and any other area.
 
In February 2016, Council passed Recommendation CS026-2015, as follows: 
 
         That the City communicate with the office of the Ombudsman to confirm that the main focus of the
         requested investigation is the SWQ project, as set out in Resolution C140-2015, and that the
         Ombudsman be requested to notify Council as to the date and time of the investigation.
 
On May 25, 2016, Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dubé announced an investigation into the City of Brampton’s procurement practices, focusing on the administration of its purchasing by-laws, policies and procedures regarding non-competitive procurements. 
 Read the media release from the Ontario Ombudsman.

 

In March 2017, the Ombudsman released his report titled "Procuring Progress" - Investigation into the
City of Brampton’s procurement practices, focusing on the administration of its purchasing by-laws, policies and procedures regarding non-competitive procurements
.  Please see the City's media release here.  The Ombudsman media release is here.  The Ombudsman report will be considered by Brampton City Council at its March 8, 2017 meeting.   A staff information report responding to the Ombudsman report will also be considered by Council at the same meeting.