Item - 2020.AU5.5

Tracking Status

  • City Council adopted this item on June 29, 2020 without amendments and without debate.
  • This item was considered by the Audit Committee on February 10, 2020 and adopted without amendment. It will be considered by City Council on June 29, 2020.

AU5.5 - Toronto Building Division: Conditional Permits - Follow-up Review

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Adopted
Wards:
All

City Council Decision

City Council on June 29 and 30, 2020, adopted the following:

 

1. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building to ensure that site visits including photos are conducted prior to issuing the first above-grade Conditional Permit for any development site.

 

2. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building to have every Conditional Permit reviewed by a central, trusted advisor to the Chief Building Official for consistency and compliance with the new policy, and ensure that sufficient, appropriate evidence of why the Conditional Permit is needed be included in the file. 

 

3. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building to ensure the requirement for consistent documentation related to Conditional Permit issuance is filed in the Integrated Business Management System.

 

4. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building, to work with other Divisions involved in the Conditional Permit process to ensure that supporting documentation is complete and filed in the Integrated Business Management System in a timely manner.

 

5. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building to conduct Conditional Permit training for all Divisional staff involved in the Conditional Permit process, at least once per year and in advance of development charge increases in order to reinforce expectations and highlight any areas of concern that are identified through the Chief Building Official's review.

 

6. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building to continue to reinforce Divisional expectations with all staff involved in the Conditional Permit process through performance planning objectives.

 

7. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building to continue, at least twice per year, to conduct reviews on Conditional Permits issued in order to identify areas of concern and further opportunities to strengthen the Division's Conditional Permit policy, where required.

 

8. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building to ensure that any concerns that are noted by the Division continue to be brought to the attention of the Auditor General.

Background Information (Committee)

(February 3, 2020) Report from the Auditor General - Toronto Building Division: Conditional Permits - Follow-up Review
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/au/bgrd/backgroundfile-145890.pdf
Attachment 1: Toronto Building Division: Conditional Permits - Follow-up Review
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/au/bgrd/backgroundfile-145891.pdf
(January 24, 2020) Placeholder Report from the Auditor General - Toronto Building Division: Conditional Permits - Follow-up Review
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/au/bgrd/backgroundfile-145669.pdf

AU5.5 - Toronto Building Division: Conditional Permits - Follow-up Review

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Adopted
Wards:
All

Committee Recommendations

The Audit Committee recommends that:

 

1. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building Division, to ensure that site visits including photos are conducted prior to issuing the first above-grade Conditional Permit for any development site.

 

2. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building Division, to have every Conditional Permit reviewed by a central, trusted advisor to the Chief Building Official for consistency and compliance with the new policy, and ensure that sufficient, appropriate evidence of why the Conditional Permit is needed be included in the file. 

 

3. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building Division, to ensure the requirement for consistent documentation related to Conditional Permit issuance is filed in the Integrated Business Management System (IBMS).

 

4. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building Division, to work with other Divisions involved in the Conditional Permit process to ensure that supporting documentation is complete and filed in the Integrated Business Management System (IBMS) in a timely manner.

 

5. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building Division, to conduct Conditional Permit training for all Divisional staff involved in the Conditional Permit process, at least once per year and in advance of development charge increases in order to reinforce expectations and highlight any areas of concern that are identified through the Chief Building Official's review.

 

6. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building Division, to continue to reinforce Divisional expectations with all staff involved in the Conditional Permit process through performance planning objectives.

 

7. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building Division, to continue, at least twice per year, to conduct reviews on Conditional Permits issued in order to identify areas of concern and further opportunities to strengthen the Division's Conditional Permit policy, where required.

 

8. City Council request the Chief Building Official, Toronto Building Division, to ensure that any concerns that are noted by the Division continue to be brought to the attention of the Auditor General.

Decision Advice and Other Information

The Audit Committee recessed its public session and met in closed session to consider confidential information on this Item as it relates to the security of property belonging to the City or one of its agencies and corporations.

Origin

(February 3, 2020) Report from the Auditor General

Summary

This report provides results of the Auditor General's follow-up review of conditional permits issued by Toronto Building Division.

 

In October 2017, the Auditor General issued a report titled "Toronto Building Division: Conditional Permits". The report identified several issues, including a lack of effective Conditional Permit (CP) policy and guidance that was leading to the inconsistent issuing of CPs. 

 

Since the 2017 report, there have been key changes in the senior leadership team in the Toronto Building Division, including the appointment of the current Chief Building Official (CBO) in April 2018. 

 

In October 2018, the CBO issued a draft CP policy and conducted a review of 2018 CP files across all four districts. The review highlighted continuing inconsistencies among districts and files when compared to the Auditor General's prior report findings and the draft CP policy. The Auditor General reviewed a total of 19 CP files, including the files identified by the CBO. Recommendations are made in this report to improve consistency in the CP process.   

 

During the course of our review, Toronto Building finalized the CP policy on May 15, 2019, with increased controls and documentation requirements. We have tested additional files after these changes have been made. We found that the consistency and quality of the process has improved. 

 

Implementing the eight recommendations contained in this report will help to ensure:

 

- an appropriate process for issuing and reviewing CPs is in place
- documentation is sufficient, appropriate and consistent
- divisional expectations are reinforced through training and performance objectives
- the CBO conducts ongoing reviews of the process.
 

Consistency helps to ensure fairness among all applicants and protects the City’s interests in collecting development charge revenue.

Background Information

(February 3, 2020) Report from the Auditor General - Toronto Building Division: Conditional Permits - Follow-up Review
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/au/bgrd/backgroundfile-145890.pdf
Attachment 1: Toronto Building Division: Conditional Permits - Follow-up Review
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/au/bgrd/backgroundfile-145891.pdf
(January 24, 2020) Placeholder Report from the Auditor General - Toronto Building Division: Conditional Permits - Follow-up Review
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/au/bgrd/backgroundfile-145669.pdf

Motions

1 - Motion to Meet in Closed Session moved by Councillor Stephen Holyday (Carried)

11:17 a.m. - That the Audit Committee recess its public session and meet in closed session to consider confidential information on this Item as it relates to the security of property belonging to the City or one of its agencies and corporations.

 

The Audit Committee recessed its public session and met in closed session.

 

The Audit Committee reconvened in public session at 12:29 p.m.  Councillor Holyday took the Chair and advised that the Committee had completed its closed session consideration of confidential information related to this Item.  He advised that no motions were made on Item AU5.5 during closed session. The Audit Committee would now proceed with the public debate on this Item.


Motion to Adopt Item (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council