Memorandum of Understanding
The Attorney General of Ontario
(hereinafter called the "Minister")
The Executive Chair of Social Justice Tribunals Ontario
(hereinafter called the "Executive Chair")
||The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to set out the accountability relationship between the Minister, and the Executive Chair on behalf of Social Justice Tribunals Ontario (SJTO). Further, it sets out the expectations for information exchange and working relationships that support the accountability and governance requirements within a framework that recognizes the independence of SJTO and its constituent tribunals.
Specifically, this MOU establishes:
- The accountability and governance framework between the Ministry and SJTO;
- The roles and responsibilities of the Minister; the Executive Chair, SJTO; the Deputy Minister; and the Executive Lead, SJTO;
- The expectations for the operational, administrative, financial, auditing and reporting arrangements between SJTO and the Ministry of the Attorney General.
||SJTO is responsible for adjudicative decisions, resolution of disputes and case management within its statutory mandate, and for the statutory mandates of its Constituent Tribunals, and for its ongoing administration. The Minister is accountable to the Legislature for its effective operation. This MOU sets out mechanisms to ensure that the Minister and SJTO each have the information they need to fulfill their responsibilities and that SJTO fulfills its assigned mandate in an efficient, effective and responsible manner.
||A signed copy of the MOU is to be provided to Treasury Board Secretariat.
||The MOU should be read together with the legislation governing SJTO and its Constituent Tribunals. The MOU does not supersede the provisions of any legislation governing SJTO, nor is it intended to interfere with the independence of SJTO or of its appointees in rendering adjudicative decisions or in resolving disputes, consistent with the legislation, common law and principles of natural justice. The MOU does not affect, modify, limit or interfere with any of the responsibilities of the Minister or SJTO or its appointees established by law. In the event of a conflict between the MOU and any act or regulation, the act or regulation prevails.
In this MOU:
- Accountability and Governance Documents: mean the documents, frameworks, and reports required under the ATAGAA;
- AAD: means the Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet Agencies and Appointments Directive;
- Annual Report: means a description of SJTO's activities during the fiscal year, including financial reports and statements;
- Appointee: means the Executive Chair, Associate Chair, Vice-Chair, or Member appointed to one or more of SJTO constituent tribunals by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, but does not mean an individual appointed as staff;
- Associate Chairs: means the Associate Chairs appointed within SJTO;
- ATAGAA: means the Adjudicative Tribunals Accountability, Governance and Appointments Act, 2009, S.O. 2009, c. 13, sch. 5;
- Business Plan: means an outline of the objectives and results which the SJTO and its Constituent Tribunals expect to achieve in the coming three years in order to comply with their legislative mandates;
- Deputy Minister: means the Deputy Attorney General or his or her designate;
- Directives: means the Directive and operating policies/procedures issued by central agencies such as the Corporate Policy Branch of the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Office of the Provincial Controller of the Ministry of Finance, Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet and the Ministry of the Attorney General;
- Executive Chair: means the Executive Chair of SJTO;
- Executive Lead: means the Executive Lead of SJTO;
- Management Principles: means accepted business and financial standards and procedures, and accepted standards of ethical behaviour, accountability, excellence in management, and quality service, and includes an adherence to the policies, procedures, guidelines and directives of the Ministry and all relevant central government agencies (TB, MBC, Ministry of Finance, TBS);
- MBC: means Management Board of Cabinet;
- MI: means the Ministry of Infrastructure;
- Minister: means the Attorney General of Ontario;
- Ministry: means the Ministry of the Attorney General;
- MOF: means the Ministry of Finance;
- MOU: means this memorandum of understanding, including its schedules and any written amendments;
- PSOA: means the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c.35, Schedule A, as amended from time to time;
- PRRT: means Program Review, Renewal and Transformation, a government-wide exercise led by Treasury Board, which examines the interrelationship of government activities on a functional basis rather than by ministries;
- Schedules: means the schedules attached to the MOU;
- SJTO: means Social Justice Tribunals Ontario, the cluster of tribunals designated under ATAGAA, now composed of the Child and Family Services Review Board, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, the Custody Review Board, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Landlord and Tenant Board, the Ontario Special Education (English) Tribunal, the Ontario Special Education (French) Tribunal and the Social Benefits Tribunal, and when used in this MOU, includes each of these constituent tribunals;
- TB: means Treasury Board;
- Tribunals and Constituent Tribunals: mean the adjudicative tribunals from time to time designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council as part of SJTO under the ATAGAA.
3. Legislative Authority and Mandate
||SJTO is a cluster of tribunals designated under O. Reg. 126/10 pursuant to section 15 of the ATAGAA. SJTO's Constituent Tribunals hold hearings and other proceedings in order to resolve matters referred to them. While SJTO reports to the Attorney General for administrative purposes, SJTO and its Constituent Tribunals are independent in all matters affecting adjudication and the resolution of disputes that come before them, in the assessment and management of adjudicators, and in their relationships, dealings and communications with tribunal users and persons affected by their services.
Pursuant to its mandate:
SJTO is a group of eight adjudicative tribunals with a mandate to resolve applications and appeals under nine statutes, in relation to child and family services oversight, compensation for victims of crime, youth justice, human rights, residential tenancies, social assistance and disability supports and special education placement of children. Within that mandate, the specific mandates of SJTO's Constituent Tribunals are:
- the Child and Family Services Review Board is to adjudicate applications related to children, youth and family services, including education, in the best interests of the child;
- the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board is to assess financial compensation for victims, and family members of deceased victims, of violent crimes committed in Ontario;
- the Custody Review Board is to review applications regarding the placement, transfer and level of custody for youth who are being held in detention or custody;
- the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario is to resolve applications of discrimination brought under the Human Rights Code by assisting the parties to resolve applications through mediation, or to decide those applications where the parties are unable to resolve them through settlement;
- the Landlord and Tenant Board is to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants and to give information to landlords and tenants about their rights and obligations;
- the Ontario Special Education (English and French) Tribunals are to resolve applications for appeal hearings respecting the identification and placement of exceptional pupils; and
- the Social Benefits Tribunal is to hear appeals regarding social assistance benefits and the refusal to grant a benefit, the suspension or cancellation of a benefit, the reduction of a benefit or the amount of a benefit.
||The legislative authority for the Child and Family Services Review Board is found in the Child and Family Services Act, the Education Act and the Intercountry Adoption Act. The legislative authority for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board is found in the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act. The legislative authority for the Custody Review Board is found in the Child and Family Services Act and the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The legislative authority for the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario is found in the Human Rights Code. The legislative authority for the Landlord and Tenant Board is found in the Residential Tenancies Act. The legislative authority for the Ontario Special Education (English and French) Tribunals are found in the Education Act. The legislative authority for the Social Benefits Tribunal is found in the Ontario Works Act and the Ontario Disability Support Program Act.
The Tribunals also exercise powers and authority granted under other statutes, including, but not limited to:
- Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31,
- Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 35, Schedule A,
- Statutory Powers Procedure Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.22 all as amended.
||Pursuant to O.Reg. 146/10 of the PSOA, the Child and Family Services Review Board, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, the Custody Review Board, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Landlord and Tenant Board, the Ontario Special Education (English) Tribunal, the Ontario Special Education (French) Tribunal, and the Social Benefits Tribunal are each identified as a "commission public body" for purposes of the PSOA.
4. Status and Classification
||SJTO is not a Crown Agency within the meaning of the Crown Agency Act.
||Each of SJTO's Constituent Tribunals is designated as an adjudicative tribunal under O. Reg. 126/10 of the ATAGAA.
5. Guiding Principles
The parties agree that they will adhere to the following principles in their relationship:
- The Minister recognises that SJTO exercises powers and performs duties in accordance with its legal mandates. SJTO and its Constituent Tribunals are independent of the Minister and of government in all matters affecting adjudication and the resolution of disputes that come before them, in the assessment and management of adjudicators, and in their relationships, dealings and communications with tribunal users and persons affected by their services.
- The Minister acknowledges that SJTO plays an important and meaningful role in the delivery, interpretation and application of government programs and policies, and should be consulted, as appropriate, on the development or proposed amendments to those policies and programs where they may affect the mandate of SJTO.
- The Executive Chair, Associate Chairs, Vice-Chairs, Members and the Executive Lead acknowledge that accountability is a fundamental principle to be observed in the management, administration and operation of SJTO.
- SJTO will conduct itself according to Management Principles of the government of Ontario and the Accountability and Governance Documents developed under ATAGAA. These principles include a commitment to ethical behaviour and embracing diversity and inclusion.
- SJTO and the Ministry agree to avoid duplication of services wherever possible, subject to ensuring SJTO's independence.
- SJTO and the Ministry agree to a mutual commitment to shared public service goals and agree to co-operation and co-ordination in achieving those goals, provided that SJTO's mandate and adjudicative independence are fully respected.
- The Ministry agrees to support SJTO in achieving its goals of a diverse and inclusive organization and service provider.
6. Accountability Relationships
- The Minister is accountable to the Legislative Assembly for SJTO's fulfilment of its mandate, its compliance with ATAGAA and government administrative policies and, for these purposes, reports and responds to the Legislative Assembly on the affairs of SJTO.
- The Minister is accountable to the Cabinet for the performance of SJTO and its compliance with the ATAGAA and government's operational policies and broad policy directions.
- The Minister is responsible for representing SJTO in the Cabinet and its committees and the Legislative Assembly.
The Executive Chair
The Executive Chair is accountable to the Minister for the performance of SJTO in fulfilling its mandate and for carrying out the roles and responsibilities assigned to the Executive Chair by the Child and Family Services Act, Compensation for Victims of Crime Act, the Education Act, the Human Rights Code, the Intercountry Adoption Act, the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, the Ontario Works Act, the Residential Tenancies Act, the Statutory Powers Procedures Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the PSOA, the ATAGAA, this MOU, and applicable TB/MBC and MOF directives and delegation documents.
- The Deputy Minister is accountable to the Minister for the performance of the Ministry, in providing administrative support to SJTO and for carrying out the roles and responsibilities assigned to him or her by the Minister, the PSOA, applicable TB/MBC and MOF directives, and this MOU.
- The Deputy Minister will consult, annually, with the Executive Chair and the Executive Lead in the development of the Executive Lead's performance management plan and will seek the Executive Chair's advice on the annual performance evaluation of the Executive Lead.
- The Executive Lead is accountable to the Executive Chair to implement policies and operational decisions and reports regularly on SJTO's performance to the Executive Chair.
- The Executive Lead is accountable to the Deputy Minister for the management of SJTO's operations and the management and supervision of SJTO's staff, as delegated to her/him by the Deputy Minister under the Delegation of Authority for Human Resources, pursuant to sections 44(2) and (6) of the PSOA and the relevant collective agreements.
- SJTO's staff report to, and are accountable to, the Executive Lead for their performance.
7. Conflict of Interest
- The Executive Chair is the Ethics Executive for Appointees for the purposes of PSOA and is responsible for ensuring that they are informed of the conflict of interest rules, including the rules on political activities that govern specially restricted public servants.
- The Executive Lead is designated as the Ethics Executive for the purposes of the PSOA for all public servants of SJTO who are not Appointees. The Executive Lead is responsible for ensuring that SJTO's staff are informed of the conflict of interest rules, including the rules on political activities that govern public servants and for carrying out the responsibilities of Ethics Executive in accordance with the requirements of the PSOA.
8. Roles and Responsibilities
Role of the Minister
The Minister is responsible for:
- Recommending appointments and reappointments pursuant to the process for Tribunal appointments established by ATAGAA, after consultation with, and after receiving the recommendation of, the Executive Chair.
- Monitoring the activities of SJTO to ensure that its mandate is being fulfilled and that it is in compliance with the Accountability and Governance Documents, and Management Principles.
- Recommending to TB/MBC any provincial funding to be given to SJTO.
- Reviewing and approving in-year submissions to TB or MI in relation to expenditure increases, re-allocation of funding, report backs, and other issues, as required.
- Directing that a periodic review of SJTO be conducted as necessary and making subsequent recommendations to TB/MBC.
- Reviewing and approving SJTO's Accountability and Governance Documents, other than its ethics plan, and establishing periodic reviews of its functioning.
- Receiving SJTO's Annual Report and tabling it in the Legislative Assembly.
- Reporting and responding to the Legislative Assembly on the affairs of SJTO.
- Reporting and responding to the Cabinet on SJTO's performance and compliance with the Accountability and Governance Documents, government's operational policies and broad policy directions.
- Keeping the Executive Chair informed of the government's priorities and broad policy directions that may relate to SJTO.
- Ensuring that the Executive Chair is consulted on proposed substantive changes to the governing legislation and regulations and particularly any that affect SJTO's mandate or the mandates of its Constituent Tribunals, and the services that they provide.
- Determining the need for any review and recommending to TB/MBC on the operation of SJTO and any changes to its structure or role.
- Recommending to TB/MBC the powers to be given to SJTO when a change in the mandate of a Tribunal is being proposed.
- Evaluating the Executive Chair's performance in light of the Accountability and Governance Documents, including the approved Business Plan.
- Developing SJTO's MOU with the Executive Chair and signing it into effect.
Role of the Executive Chair
The Executive Chair is responsible for:
- Keeping the Minister informed of issues or events that may concern him or her in the exercise of the Minister's responsibilities, and ensuring that matters relating to SJTO which, in the opinion of the Executive Chair or of the Minister, are of importance to the Ministry are brought to the attention of the Minister and/or the Deputy Minister in a timely fashion.
- Providing leadership to SJTO and improving the effectiveness and efficiency with which its Constituent Tribunals deal with the matters before them.
- Directing and monitoring the affairs of the Constituent Tribunals within their mandates as defined by the Child and Family Services Act, the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act, the Education Act, the Human Rights Code, the Intercountry Adoption Act, the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, the Ontario Works Act, the Residential Tenancies Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and the Accountability and Governance Documents, including the adjudicative and case management functions of the Tribunals and the development of policies for the management of the Tribunals.
- Setting the goals, objectives, processes, and strategic directions for SJTO in light of its mandate, the Accountability and Governance Documents, the ATAGAA, the PSOA and this MOU.
- Ensuring the development of the required Accountability and Governance Documents, including an effective performance measurement and management system for assessing the performance of the Constituent Tribunals and for evaluating the performance of Appointees and conducting such evaluations.
- Ensuring that public funds are used with integrity and honesty and that SJTO complies with Management Principles and operates within its approved funding allocation in the fulfillment of its mandates.
- Reviewing and approving SJTO's Business Plan, budget, Annual Report and financial reports, and submitting them to the Minister in accordance with the timelines specified in the applicable TB/MBC and MOF directives and this MOU.
- Reviewing and approving on an annual basis, SJTO's diversity and inclusion strategy including reporting obligations.
- Providing both the Minister and the Minister of Finance with a copy of every audit report, a copy of SJTO's response to each report, and any recommendations in the report.
- Advising the Minister annually on any outstanding audit recommendations.
- Ensuring that Appointees are informed of their responsibilities under the PSOA with regard to the rules of ethical conduct (Part III of the PSOA), and the political activity rules (Part IV of the PSOA).
- Recording any declared or apparent conflicts of interest and advising the Conflict of Interest Commissioner as appropriate.
- Ensuring the Appointees and SJTO staff are aware of and comply with the accountability and governance framework established by the ATAGAA, all approved Accountability and Governance Documents, and applicable TB/MBC and MOF directives.
- Ensuring appropriate management systems are in place (financial, information technology, human resources and records management) for the effective administration of SJTO.
- Ensuring that an appropriate framework is in place for the membership and staff of SJTO to receive adequate orientation and training including training on diversity and inclusion.
- Ensuring that a process for responding to and resolving complaints from the public is in place.
- Carrying out effective public communications and stakeholder relations for SJTO as its chief spokesperson.
- Cooperating with any periodic review of SJTO directed by the Minister or TB/MBC.
- Attending and/or making presentations before Cabinet or committees of Cabinet or the legislature on matters concerning the affairs of SJTO when requested to do so.
- Identifying the required skills, experience and capacity required for SJTO and its Constituent Tribunals to meet their mandates by notifying the Minister of the need for appointments, reappointments and/or cross appointments of tribunal members.
- Recommending to the Minister members for appointment, reappointment and/or cross appointment who have the identified skills and experience, pursuant to the process for appointment to adjudicative tribunals established by ATAGAA and by MBC, and which support the diversity objectives of the Ministry.
- Consulting with the Deputy Minister on the annual performance evaluation of the Executive Lead.
Role of the Deputy Minister
The Deputy Minister is responsible for:
- Advising and assisting the Minister in meeting the Minister's responsibility with respect to SJTO, and ensuring that the Minister is advised of the requirements of the AAD and other directives that apply to SJTO.
- Advising the Minister on the operation of the Tribunals or any changes to their structure or role.
- Undertaking, on behalf of the Minister, while respecting SJTO's authority and independence, assessments or reviews of whether or not SJTO or its Constituent Tribunals are fulfilling their legislative mandates in accordance with approved government policies, including identifying the need for corrective action and recommending ways to resolve any issues that are identified.
- Providing a framework for reviewing and assessing SJTO's Business Plan and other reports provided to the Ministry.
- Ensuring that the Ministry provides SJTO with the administrative support, financial and other services as set out in this MOU and its attached Schedules.
- Meeting with the Executive Chair as necessary to discuss matters of mutual importance to SJTO and the Ministry, such as the services provided by the Ministry to SJTO and the implementation of central agency and/or Ministry administrative policies.
- Informing SJTO of the financial and administrative, human resources, corporate and other policies of the Ministry and government that apply to SJTO, including those in respect of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, French language services, freedom of information, privacy, quality service, workplace harassment and diversity.
- Ensuring that SJTO incorporates diversity and inclusion into its business plan to promote an open and accessible administrative justice system.
- Ensuring annually, that the Executive Lead's performance management plan reflects his or her reporting obligations to the Executive Chair and to the Deputy Minister, and the standards to be met in carrying out those responsibilities and obligations. The Executive Lead's performance management plan will stipulate that the Executive Lead has an obligation to support the Executive Chair effectively and that this forms a part of the Executive Lead's performance evaluation.
- The annual performance evaluation of the Executive Lead, in consultation with the Executive Chair.
Role of the Executive Lead
The Executive Lead is responsible for:
- Supporting the Executive Chair in meeting his/her responsibilities.
- Providing leadership and managing the day-to-day operational and administrative direction to staff of SJTO to ensure it meets its legislated mandate.
- Working with the Executive Chair, provide executive direction and leadership for the strategic planning, business planning and priority setting, performance management systems, the diversity and inclusion strategy and overall operational direction of SJTO.
- Managing the financial affairs of SJTO in accordance with Management Principles and this MOU.
- Establishing and applying financial management frameworks for SJTO.
- Establishing systems to ensure that SJTO operates within its approved Business Plan.
- Keeping the Executive Chair and Deputy Minister informed and up-to-date on all relevant operational matters.
- Maintaining effective communications with the Deputy Minister and the senior management of the Ministry and seeking, as appropriate, advice and support on administrative or management matters of mutual importance from the Ministry.
- Ensuring that formal documents are prepared for, and approved by, the Executive Chair for submission to the Ministry in fulfillment of SJTO's mandate, including the Business Plan, budget, Annual Report and other documentation as required.
- Recruiting, training and supervising administrative staff in support of SJTO's functions. Ensuring that an appropriate framework is in place for SJTO staff to receive adequate orientation and training.
- In conjunction with the Executive Chair, consulting with the Deputy Minister on any affairs of SJTO that may affect the Ministry's provision of services under this MOU.
- Establishing a system for the retention and/or archiving of formal SJTO documents and records.
- Ensuring that SJTO staff are informed of their responsibilities under the PSOA with regard to conflict of interest, rules of ethical conduct (Part III of the PSOA), and political activity rules (Part IV of the PSOA).
- Recording any declared or apparent conflicts of interest and advising the Conflict of Interest Commissioner as appropriate.
- Carrying out such responsibilities as may be delegated to her or him by the Deputy or assigned by the Executive Chair under the terms of the Executive Lead's performance management plan; carrying out the responsibilities as assigned to her or him under the PSOA.
9. Reporting Requirements
- The Executive Chair will ensure that the Minister is provided with SJTO's annual Business Plan for review and approval in a timely fashion that permits review and comment. The Executive Lead will ensure that the Deputy Minister is similarly provided with copies.
- The Executive Chair is responsible for ensuring that SJTO's annual Business Plan fulfills the requirements of the AAD and related legislation.
- The Executive Chair will ensure that SJTO's Business Plan includes a system of performance measures and reporting on the achievement of the objectives set out in the Business Plan. The system must include performance goals, how they will be achieved and specific timeframes.
- The Deputy Minister will assist SJTO in the development and implementation of its system of performance measurement as needed including performance measures related to the diversity and inclusion strategy.
- Results from the performance measurement plan will be reported and reviewed by all parties annually.
- The Minister will review SJTO's Business Plan and will promptly advise SJTO whether or not he/she concurs with the directions proposed by SJTO. The Minister will advise the Executive Chair where and in what manner SJTO's plan varies from government or Ministry administrative policy or priorities, and SJTO will revise their plan accordingly unless issues of adjudicative independence or the statutory mandate of SJTO or its Constituent Tribunals are involved.
- The Executive Chair will ensure that the reports and documents set out in Schedule 2 of this MOU are submitted to the Minister in a timely manner for review and approval.
- The Deputy Minister will ensure that SJTO is furnished with the Ministry's annual report, business and strategic plans and all relevant promotional and information materials in a timely manner.
The Executive Chair is responsible for ensuring that SJTO's Annual Report is submitted to the Minister for tabling in the Legislative Assembly. The Executive Chair will submit the Annual Report within the timeframe set out in Schedule 2 to this MOU.
The Executive Chair is responsible for:
- Ensuring that the reports and documents set out in Schedule 2 to this MOU are submitted for review and approval to the Minister, Deputy Minister or Ministry according to prescribed time lines.
- At the request of the Minister or Deputy Minister, supplying specific data and other information that may be required from time to time for the purpose of Ministry administration, subject to any restrictions which may interfere or conflict with the integrity of the adjudicative process or natural justice rights of the parties.
"Communications" shall not include discussion or exchanging of non-public information between SJTO personnel and the Minister, Deputy Minister or Ministry staff about specific current, past, or future cases before the tribunals.
Inquiries received by the Minister's office regarding a case in progress at a Tribunal will be re-directed to SJTO without comment. Any response made by the Minister's office to the inquiring party will indicate that the inquiry has been forwarded to SJTO and that the Minister cannot interfere with an adjudicative proceeding or decision or resolution.
The parties to this MOU recognize that the timely exchange of information on the administration of SJTO is essential for the Minister to meet his/her responsibilities for reporting and responding to the Legislative Assembly on the affairs of SJTO. The parties also recognize that it is essential for the Executive Chair to be kept informed of government initiatives and broad policy directions that may affect SJTO's mandate and functions. The parties, therefore, agree as follows:
- The Executive Chair will keep the Minister advised, in a timely manner, of all planned events and issues that concern or can be reasonably expected to concern the Minister in the exercise of his/her responsibilities. The Executive Lead will similarly keep the Deputy Minister advised.
- The Minister will consult with the Executive Chair, as appropriate, on broad government policy initiatives or legislation being considered by the government that may affect SJTO's mandate or functions.
- The Minister and the Executive Chair will consult with each other on public communications strategies and publications. They will, as appropriate, keep each other informed of the results of formal stakeholder and other public consultations.
- The Minister and the Executive Chair will meet at least annually, or as requested by either party, to discuss issues relating to the fulfillment of SJTO's mandate.
- The Deputy Minister and the Executive Chair/Executive Lead will meet as necessary to discuss issues relating to the efficient and effective operation of SJTO and the provision of services by the Ministry to SJTO.
- The parties agree to adhere to the Communications Protocol set out in Schedule 1 to this MOU.
11. Administrative Arrangements
Applicable Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet and Ministry of Finance Directives
SJTO is responsible for operating in accordance with all applicable TB/MBC and MOF Directives, and Public Service Commission directives under the PSOA, applicable collective and memorandum agreements pertaining to staffing, as well as applicable Ministry financial and administrative policies and procedures. Schedule 3 to this MOU provides a list of applicable directives and policies.
Administrative and Organizational Support Services
- The Deputy Minister is responsible for providing SJTO with the administrative support services listed in Schedule 4 of this MOU, and for negotiating with Ontario Shared Services concerning these services.
- Schedule 4 may be reviewed at any time at the request of either party.
- The Deputy Minister will ensure that the support or services provided to SJTO are at least of the same quality as those provided to the Ministry's own divisions and branches.
- Legal services to SJTO are provided by lawyers employed in the Ministry of the Attorney General. With respect to the provision of legal services and advice, the SJTO Legal Services unit reports to the Executive Chair and acts exclusively for SJTO. It is recognized that a solicitor-client relationship exists between SJTO counsel and SJTO which includes Appointees and staff.
- SJTO may retain outside legal services when it requires expertise unavailable within the Ministry or when the use of a law officer of the Crown would result in a conflict of interest or possible compromise to the independence of SJTO. When SJTO wishes to retain outside legal counsel it shall do so in accordance with the Ministry's corporate operating policy on the "Use and Retention of Outside Legal Services".
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy
Regulation 460 under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) designates the Executive Chair as the "institution head" of SJTO for the purposes of FIPPA.
- The Executive Lead is responsible for ensuring that SJTO complies with the TB/MBC Management of Recorded Information Directive and the Archives and Recordkeeping Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, Chapter 34, Schedule A.
- The Executive Lead is responsible for ensuring that a system is in place for the creation, collection, maintenance, and disposal of records.
- SJTO shall have a formal process for responding to complaints about the quality of services received by the public and clients of SJTO, as provided in SJTO's Service Standards Policy required under ATAGAA.
- SJTO's processes for responding to complaints about the quality of services is separate from and will not interfere with the Tribunals' case-related processes.
12. Financial Arrangements
- SJTO and its Constituent Tribunals are funded out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund pursuant to an appropriation authorized by the Legislative Assembly.
- The Executive Lead will prepare estimates of SJTO's expenditures for inclusion in the Ministry's Results PRRT process. The Executive Chair will deliver these estimates to the Minister in sufficient time to be analyzed and approved by the Minister.
- The estimates provided by the Executive Chair may, after appropriate consultation with the Executive Chair, be altered as required.
- Financial procedures of SJTO must be in accordance with TB/MBC and MOF directives and guidelines, and other applicable government direction.
- The financial and administrative framework, including human resources administration, for SJTO is set out in the Ministry's Financial Delegation Framework documents.
- Recovered costs and other revenues, if any, are paid as received to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, and may not be applied to administrative expenditures of SJTO, unless otherwise provided by law.
- Pursuant to section 28 of the Financial Administration Act, SJTO shall not enter into any financial arrangement or commitment, guarantee, indemnity or similar transaction that may increase, directly or indirectly, the indebtedness or contingent liability of the Government of Ontario without the written approval of the Minister of Finance. The Minister's approval is required before seeking statutory approval from the Minister of Finance.
- SJTO shall keep its accounts and shall provide financial reports or statements on instruction from the Ministry for consolidation into the public accounts.
- Responsibility for the maintenance of documentation and information to support expenditures is assigned to the Executive Lead as outlined in the policies of central agencies and the Ministry.
13. Audit and Review Arrangements
- The Minister may direct that SJTO be audited.
- The Ontario Internal Audit Division may also carry out an internal audit, if approved to do so by the Ministry's Audit Committee or by the Corporate Audit Committee. Also, the Auditor General of Ontario may, at any time, audit any aspect of the operations of SJTO under the Auditor General Act.
- SJTO will promptly provide a copy of every report from an audit to the Minister and the Minister of Finance. SJTO will also provide a copy of its response to the audit report and any recommendations therein. SJTO will advise the Minister annually on any outstanding audit requirements.
- The Executive Chair may request an external audit of the financial transactions or management controls of SJTO at SJTO's expense.
14. Staffing & Appointments
- SJTO is staffed by persons employed under Part III of the PSOA. Such persons are eligible for all the rights and benefits accorded under the PSOA and relevant collective agreements.
- SJTO, in its dealings with staff employed under the PSOA, is subject to TB/MBC human resources directives, and Public Service Commission directives under the PSOA.
- The Executive Chair is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, and pursuant to sub-section 17(1) of the ATAGAA, has all of the powers, duties and responsibilities of Chair of each of SJTO's Constituent Tribunals. Pursuant to sub-section 17(2) of the ATAGAA, the Executive Chair may delegate such functions or responsibilities to Associate Chairs or Vice-Chairs of the Tribunals as he or she considers appropriate, except his/her responsibility as Ethics Executive.
- The Executive Chair is the Chair of the Child and Family Services Review Board, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, the Custody Review Board, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Landlord and Tenant Board, the Ontario Special Education (English) Tribunal, the Ontario Special Education (French) Tribunal and the Social Benefits Tribunal. The Chair of the Child and Family Services Review Board is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council pursuant to section 207(3) of the Child and Family Services Act. The Chair of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council pursuant to section 3(1) of the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act. The Chair of the Custody Review Board is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council pursuant to section 96(3) of the Child and Family Services Act. The Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council pursuant to section 32(6) of the Human Rights Code. The Chair of the Landlord and Tenant Board is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council pursuant to section 170(1) of the Residential Tenancies Act. The Chair of the Ontario Special Education (English) Tribunal and the Chair of the Ontario Special Education (French) Tribunal is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council pursuant to section 57 (1)(3) of the Education Act. The Chair of the Social Benefits Tribunal is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council pursuant to section 62(1) of the Ontario Works Act.
- The members of SJTO's Constituent Tribunals are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Executive Chair and have the powers and duties assigned to them by legislation and pursuant to their position description.
15. Liability Protection and Insurance
The operations of SJTO are covered for commercial general liability risks under the Government of Ontario's Protection Program.
16. Effective Date and Duration and Periodic Review of the MOU
Effective Date of MOU
- This MOU takes effect on the date it is signed by the parties. It expires on the earlier of:
- a date five years from the day it is entered into, unless renewed before that day for another five years; or
- the date a new MOU takes effect replacing it, but may continue in effect temporarily pending approval and signature of a new MOU; provided that this MOU continues in effect, despite its expiry, until it is renewed or replaced.
- Without affecting the expiry date of this MOU,
- the Minister and Executive Chair may amend this MOU, or any part of it, by written agreement; and
- either the Minister or the Executive Chair may initiate a review of this MOU by notifying the other by letter.
- If a new Minister or Executive Chair takes office during the term of this MOU, the Minister and Executive Chair shall either:
- each affirm that this MOU shall continue in force, with or without amendment, for the duration of its term; or
- agree to review and revise the MOU.
- This MOU shall undergo a full review:
- immediately upon any significant change to the tribunals' mandates, powers or governance structure as a result of amendments to the legislative authority for SJTO and its Constituent Tribunals, or any other act, and
- at least once before it expires.
- This MOU replaces all existing MOUs involving the Constituent Tribunals in SJTO.
- SJTO may be subject to periodic review at the discretion and direction of TB/MBC or the Minister. The review may cover such matters relating to SJTO as are determined by TB/MBC or the Minister, and may include the mandates, powers, governance structure and/ or operations of SJTO, subject to the ATAGAA.
- The Minister will consult the Executive Chair as appropriate during any such review.
- The Executive Chair and Executive Lead will cooperate in any review.
- Subject to any further written agreements or updates, the parties agree that this MOU entered into between them will satisfy the requirements of s. 11 of the ATAGAA.
Executed this _____________ day of ____________ 2017.
The Honourable Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General of Ontario
Michael Gottheil, Executive Chair, Social Justice Tribunals Ontario
- To establish clear lines of communication between the Ministry (i.e. the Minister's Office, the Deputy Minister's Office, and Ministry staff) and SJTO.
- To establish a process for dealing with requests from Ministry staff for briefing material/issue notes.
This supplements the MOU, which defines the specific roles, responsibilities and relationship between the Ministry and SJTO.
SJTO and its Constituent Tribunals exercise their adjudicative and related functions independent of the government, the Ministry and the Minister, subject only to the provisions, limitations and conditions set out in the Child and Family Services Act, the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act, the Education Act, the Human Rights Code, the Intercountry Adoption Act, the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, the Ontario Works Act, the Residential Tenancies Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the ATAGAA, and any other legislation governing SJTO and this MOU.
SJTO's Constituent Tribunals are adjudicative tribunals as designated by the Management Board of Cabinet and ATAGAA. The commitment of the government to independent tribunals capable of efficiently and effectively fulfilling their mandates requires that the Minister, the Ministry and SJTO establish communication relationships, which are respectful of:
- SJTO's independent legislated mandates; and
- the Minister's accountability to the Legislature for the fulfilment of SJTO's mandates.
III. Lines of Communications/Protocols
Communication between the Ministry and SJTO
The Minister's office shall coordinate communication with SJTO through the office of the Executive Chair. The Deputy Minister shall communicate with the Executive Chair or Executive Lead.
Questions or Complaints about individual cases
The parties recognize and accept that it is inappropriate for SJTO, the Minister or the Ministry to comment publicly about specific cases before the SJTO or its Constituent Tribunals, and for the SJTO to discuss or communicate with the Minister or Ministry about specific cases that are under active consideration by the tribunals.
Public Inquiries and Complaints about Tribunal Members or SJTO staff
Telephone or written inquiries from members of the public to the Minister's Office, or Ministry staff about SJTO's policies and procedures are to be directed to SJTO, either through SJTO public information lines or in writing to SJTO offices. Inquiries to SJTO about government policy or funding will be directed to the Ministry.
Complaints about the conduct of tribunal Members or employees of SJTO, will be directed to the Executive Chair, or the Executive Lead, respectively, in accordance with the SJTO Complaints Policy.
Briefing Material/Issue Notes
SJTO will prepare briefing or issue notes for the Minister upon the request of the Minister's office or the Ministry, so long as such requests do not deal with cases under active consideration by the tribunals, or matters which are expected to come before the tribunals.
SJTO will prepare and deliver to the Ministry background information on specific issues, within the timeframe suggested, in accordance with SJTO's independent function.
Requests for information from, and provision of information to, former host ministries of the Constituent Tribunals, will be referred to the Ministry to take appropriate action.
Ministry's and SJTO's Communication Materials
Whenever practical, the Ministry will give advance notice to the Executive Chair of the general content of documents or messages regarding SJTO's operations and mandates and permit the Executive Chair a reasonable period to provide comments and suggestions.
Whenever practical, the Executive Chair will give the Minister advance notice of the general content of documents or messages of a public nature that might reasonably be expected to be of interest to the Minister. The Executive Lead will similarly advise the Deputy Minister.
SJTO's public materials will comply with the government's visual identity guidelines and legal requirements for accessibility.
SJTO will provide copies of its rules, practice directions, and public information materials to the Ministry upon request.
The Executive Chair will ensure that the following reports, statements and documents are submitted to the minister for review and approval:
|1. ANNUAL PROGRAM REVIEW, RENEWAL and TRANSFORMATION (PRRT) DOCUMENTS
||As determined by the Ministry.
|2. PERFORMANCE MEASURES PLANS
||As determined by the Ministry.
|3. FINANCIAL REPORTS as required by Ministry's internal financial reporting requirements or the Tribunals' governing legislation
||As determined by the Ministry.
|4. ANNUAL REPORTS for tabling in the Legislature
||Within 90 days of the end of the fiscal year
|5. Such other reports as may be requested by the Lieutenant Governor in Council
||As determined by the Ministry.
|6. Other reports as required for the Ministry's business planning process (e.g. reports related to consultant or trade agreements, Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, risk reports, etc)
||As determined by the Ministry.
APPLICABLE TB/MBC AND MINISTRY OF FINANCE DIRECTIVES
The following TB/MBC and MOF directives, guidelines and/or policies apply to SJTO.
- Accountability Directive
- Agencies and Appointments Directive
- Applicable Collective Agreements
- Archives and Recordkeeping Act
- Business Continuity Planning/Continuity of Operations Planning Operating Policy, Management Board of Cabinet
- Disclosure of Wrongdoing Directive
- Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Directive
- French Language Services Directive
- Government Appointees Directive
- Management and Use of IIT Directive
- Management of Recorded Information Directive
- Perquisites Directive
- Procurement Directive
- Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive
- Visual Identity Directive
- The Ministry is responsible for informing SJTO of amendments or additions to directives, policies and guidelines that apply to the Tribunals.
The Deputy Minister will ensure that the Ministry, authorized outside contractors, Justice Technology Services (JTS), or the Ontario Shared Services Bureau provides the following operations support services to the SJTO:
- Financial Administration: accounts payable, pay and benefits administration, revenues, purchasing, accounts receivable, including usage of IFIS facilities for processing these services where available, technical advice, purchasing, accounts receivable central mail and printing services, records and form advisory services.
- Human Resources Services: classification; advice and consultation regarding recruitment procedures and staff relations; job description writing; counselling regarding career planning and staff development; and advice and consultation regarding corporate initiatives such as Occupational Health and Safety, and other standard human resources services. The Ministry will assist the Executive Lead in ensuring that corporate educational opportunities and career planning services are available to the SJTO staff, and that these are communicated effectively to staff.
- Diversity and Inclusion Services: strategic advice, guidance and expertise on diversity and inclusion challenges; support in the development of a diversity and inclusion strategy and performance measures.
- Information Technology and Telecommunications Services: advice, consultation, services and support, including independent and external websites.
- Internal Audit: financial compliance, management, human resources and information systems audits; operational reviews and special investigations as required; consultations and training as required.
- Accommodation Planning: facilities planning and relocation services, including lease renewals.
- Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Program Services.
- French Language Services: advice in meeting obligations under the applicable legislation, translation and interpretation services.
- Legal Services (as required)