Human Resources Legislative Update
Ontario Introduces New BPS Accountability, Transparency Legislation (Bill 179)
Date: March 24, 2014
On March 24, 2014, the Ontario government introduced Bill 179, the Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014, proposed legislation intended to enhance oversight and increase transparency in the broader public sector (“BPS”).
Proposed measures in the Bill identified in the government’s press release would, among other matters:
- authorize the government to control compensation of senior executives in the BPS, “including hard caps, and enforcement measures to ensure compliance”;
- amend applicable privacy legislation to implement new records retention rules, prohibit “the wilful destruction of records with the intent to deny access to records,” and implement a fine of $5,000 for such wilful destruction;
- expand the role of the Ontario Ombudsman to include municipalities, school boards and publicly-assisted universities;
- amend the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Act, 2007 to “give the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth ombudsman-like powers to investigate matters relating to children and youth who are involved with a children’s aid society”;
- appoint a “Patient Ombudsman” tasked with responding to patient complaints against public hospitals, long-term care homes, and community care access centres; and
- expand the “scope of the Integrity Commissioner’s review of executive expenses to all 197 classified agencies and four hydro organizations on a rotating or selective basis.”
We are in the process of reviewing Bill 179, and an FTR Now will be available on our website.