Steeves will bring back Secretariat to promote transparency
Buffer between policy makers and administration prevents undue political influence
A resurrected secretariat at the Executive Policy Committee will promote openness and transparency at City Hall, mayoral candidate Gord Steeves said today.
“I believe it is important to reintroduce a layer between the politicians and the administration to prevent undue political influence at City Hall,” Steeves said. “We need more openness and less political interference on policy development.”
Whether it is called the EPC Secretariat or operates by some other name, the new body should have the powers to review all reports before the committee sees them. Since the EPC Secretariat was disbanded, political influence could be directed at administration before reports were presented to the EPC.
By reintroducing this secretariat, safeguards on whether process was properly followed can be implemented. Any contact with elected officials when reports are being drafted and developed, whether that contact was required or not, would be reported in the interests of openness and transparency. The same safeguard would apply if interested parties outside of the city government were contacted in any way during the preparation of reports for EPC.
Steeves said the new secretariat would move towards an Open Meeting law concept used frequently in the United States. The status of “walk-on” reports and In Camera meetings would also be reviewed in the interests of promoting openness.