Item - 2024.AU5.8

Tracking Status

  • This item was considered by the Audit Committee on July 5, 2024 and adopted without amendment. It will be considered by City Council on July 24, 2024.

AU5.8 - Investigation into Allegations of Reprisal for Reporting a Conflict of Interest

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Adopted
Wards:
All

Committee Recommendations

The Audit Committee recommends that:  

 

1. City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, in consultation with the Chief People Officer, to develop and implement a framework for Municipal Licensing and Standards staff when declaring conflicts of interest to ensure that there is a standardized process that includes:

 

a. conflict of interest declarations are completed in writing;

 

b. the appropriate people are notified of the conflict so that proper controls are in place to mitigate and manage the conflict appropriately; and

 

c. the documentation is stored in a central location.

 

2. City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to ensure staff members have an up-to-date and clear understanding of the Divisional conflict of interest policy and procedure requirements, as well as providing periodic refresher training.

Origin

(June 19, 2024) Report from the Auditor General

Summary

This report provides the results of an investigation into an allegation of reprisal from a City of Toronto employee in the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division. The employee claimed they were facing reprisal by management for disclosing a conflict of interest to the Fraud and Waste Hotline.

 

In accordance with the Toronto Public Service By-law, Chapter 192, the Auditor General's Office (AGO) has the responsibility to investigate reprisal, in consultation with the City Manager or designate. Reprisal investigations are complex, and therefore the Auditor General initiated an investigation into the allegations.

 

Under the City of Toronto Act, the Auditor General is also responsible for assisting City Council in holding itself and City administrators accountable for the quality of stewardship over public funds and for achievement of value for money in City operations. Ensuring that employees can come forward in a safe environment to report potential wrongdoing is a key internal control that helps to safeguard City assets and ensure value for money.

 

Based on the work performed, the Auditor General has concluded that the employee was not subjected to reprisal for reporting a conflict of interest to the Fraud and Waste Hotline. No further action is recommended with respect to the alleged reprisal.

 

With regards to the conflict of interest allegation, the Auditor General has concluded that the allegation is substantiated, including a violation of a related section in the Toronto Municipal Code. We have made two recommendations to strengthen the process for reporting and documenting conflicts of interest within the Division to supplement the overarching Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality provisions.

Background Information

(June 19, 2024) Report from the Auditor General on Investigation into Allegations of Reprisal for Reporting a Conflict of Interest
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2024/au/bgrd/backgroundfile-246923.pdf
Attachment 1 - Management’s Response to the Auditor General’s Report Entitled: “Investigation into Allegations of Reprisal for Reporting a Conflict of Interest”
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2024/au/bgrd/backgroundfile-246924.pdf

Motions

Motion to Adopt Item moved by Councillor Frances Nunziata (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council