Raising The Bar On Accountability
McGuinty Government Establishes New Rules, Higher Standards In Broader Public Sector
New rules in Ontario will prevent organizations funded with taxpayer dollars from using public funds to hire external lobbyists for the purpose of asking for more funding.
The Broader Public Sector Accountability Act passed in the Legislature today, and once proclaimed into force, will bring new rules and higher accountability standards for hospitals, Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and other broader public sector organizations around the use of external lobbyists, consultants and expenses. Hospital and LHIN executives could see reductions in pay, should their respective organizations fail to comply with the requirements under the legislation.
The new rules will also apply to school boards, colleges, universities, hydro entities, community care access centres, Children's Aid Societies and other broader public sector organizations that receive more than $10 million in government funding.
In addition to ending the use of taxpayer dollars to hire external lobbyists, the new rules:
- Expand Freedom of Information legislation to cover hospitals.
- Require hospitals and LHINs to post expenses of senior executives online.
- Require hospitals and LHINs to report annually on their use of consultants.
Increasing transparency and accountability is a key component of the government's Open Ontario Plan.
- Ontario has reduced its reliance on consultants by 53 per cent. Consulting expenditures in 2001/02 were $656 million and have been reduced to $304 million in 2009/10.
- The Act also includes tough expense and procurement rules for large Broader Public Sector organizations, such as mandating competitive procurements.
- Hospitals will be subject to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act by January 2012.
“Ontarians expect their hard-earned tax dollars be invested responsibly. This legislation is the right thing to do and the accountability it brings is what Ontario families deserve.”