The Public Order and Morality Emergency Committee on the Use of Emergency Laws has ended. A mandated hearing was examining whether invoking the law would be justified to end the so-called Freedom Convoy protests in Ottawa in February 2022. A serious question was raised about the protection of the public interest.
Where was the Ottawa Police Service Commission when the city was occupied for weeks? What were the terms of Peter Srolley’s resignation as Ottawa Police Chief? did it?
The Commission’s hearings were astonishing in revealing how the public interest was ignored throughout the crisis, highlighting serious governance problems.
The board failed to fulfill its role
Flaws and gaps in governance often lead to continued organizational dysfunction, with increasing costs and reputational damage as the dysfunction persists.
That should not be. We can’t rely on commissions of inquiry to fix the past, and we can’t rely on government oversight to fix the problem. That is the job of the board of directors with oversight and responsibility.
According to S&P Global research, “Understanding governance risks and opportunities in decision-making is critical, as poor corporate governance practices are at the heart of the largest corporate scandals.”
Corporate governance assumes oversight of all officers by oversight bodies or regulatory enforcement bodies. No executive, whether CEO, director, or president, is free to act without responsibility. The board should be accountable to those who elected it and consider the interests of all stakeholders.
In the case of the lingering trucker protests at the Capitol, the Ottawa Police Service Commission was responsible for overseeing the actions of the Ottawa Police Department and its chief, Peter Slowly.
Must act honestly and honestly
Each member of the Ottawa Police Service Board has a fiduciary responsibility to act with integrity and integrity while maintaining a high standard of care with oversight and accountability. This begs the question: Was the Ottawa Police Service Commission completely unwilling to get involved?
The board cannot, and should not, be involved in operational decisions, but should monitor the performance of the police force as a whole. We have to do more than hire and fire police chiefs.
What oversight did the Ottawa Police Service Commission do during the trucker protest crisis to avoid it in the first place and put the public interest first?
There is considerable confusion about the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of boards. Its mission statement now states that board members “must represent the interests of the community and be accountable to the Department of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the Ontario Civil Police Commission in Toronto.” I’m here.
This suggests that it may be the City of Ottawa, perhaps the City Council, rather than the Ottawa Police Service Commission, that is accountable to Ottawa taxpayers. It is not clear from the Board’s selection process whether it is a state or public agency with reporting responsibilities to the people of Ottawa.
However, the mission statement clearly states that “the chief of police is responsible for managing the police force and overseeing its operations in accordance with the objectives, priorities and policies established by the National Police Agency.”
However, there was no transparency on the terms of Sloly’s resignation or the hiring of a new police chief.
With the exception of members of the Ottawa Police Service Commission, it is unclear who participated in these dismissal and hiring decisions. Hmm.
Sloly had been on the job for less than two years on a five-year contract with the City of Ottawa. It is unclear whether he was paid until the end of his five-year term and whether his use of taxpayer dollars was reasonable.
The lack of information may be due to confidentiality or legal reasons, but in a high-profile case like this, those circumstances should have been made public.
Information was similarly lacking on the resignation of former deputy police chief Uday Jaswal in February 2022.
Principles of Good Governance Needed
The Ottawa Police Service Commission cannot and should not operate covertly in the public interest. Embarrassment is no excuse for lack of disclosure.
Listed companies are required to disclose executive compensation. Regulators and public bodies should not have lower standards of disclosure and accountability than other organizations. Quite the opposite.
Adherence to governance standards should always be the best possible, especially in the public sector, but too often the opposite is true.
Good governance principles, including accountability and transparency, must apply to all organizations, both public and private, including the Ottawa Police Service Commission and other bodies that oversee organizations of critical importance to public welfare. must be