The Government of Ontario announced on March 6, 2014 that it will be introducing legislation to strengthen accountability and increase transparency of the Broader Public Sector, including hospitals, Long-Term Care Homes and Community Care Access Centres. Some of these measures had previously been raised by the Government in the late fall of 2013.
Although the legislation has not yet been introduced, according to the Government some of the key points will include:
• authorization for the Government to implement compensation frameworks, including maximum compensation levels, for senior executives in the Broader Public Sector (“BPS”);
• allowing the Ontario Integrity Commissioner to review executive expenses in selected organizations;
• requiring the publishing of the business plans and other documents by BPS organizations;
• establishing a Patient Ombudsman to assist patients in resolving complaints against public hospitals, Long-Term Care Homes, and Community Care Access Centres; and
• amending the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (and Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) to require all organizations under the act to securely preserve their records and to prohibit the wilful destruction of records.
There will also apparently be non-legislative measures, presumably by regulation, that will require appointees of the Government and senior executives in certain classified agencies to post expense information online.
The legislation will address other matters such as giving the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth new powers to investigate matters relating to children and youth in the child protection system.
We will continue to monitor the introduction and progress of this legislation and will provide updates.