513TH MEETING, JUNE 22, 23, 2017
At its June meeting, Council approved the Council Term Limits Task Force’s (CTLTF) revised recommendations for term limits and succession planning. The CTLTF presented its original report at the March 2017 Council meeting but Council directed the report be referred back to the task force for further deliberation and that the task force report back at Council’s June meeting (see In Council, Engineering Dimensions, May/June 2017, p. 62).
Discussion among councillors focused mainly on how long a hiatus from Council is appropriate for anyone who reaches their term limit. Ultimately, Council amended the task force’s alternative recommendation of 10 years to six years. Approved recommendations, along with policy direction outlined in the CTLTF report and recommendations, will be sent to the Legislation Committee for development of any necessary act, regulation and/or bylaw changes, and will be advertised and put into practise with the 2019 Council elections. Council will also establish a succession planning task force to implement the succession planning recommendations with an annual budget of $60,000. Council also approved the motion that the CTLTF be stood down with thanks. More information about the CTLTF’s report and recommendations can be found at www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/29629/la_id/1.htm.
DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE APPEALS
Council has approved a new policy that allows the registrar to appeal a decision or order of the Discipline Committee on behalf of PEO. The policy includes criteria that allows the registrar to appeal a decision within 30 days if, in his or her opinion, it raises a question of jurisdiction, of fact or law with implications for future decisions, of an issue that may affect the public interest, or of procedural fairness.
Appeals by either party to a proceeding are authorized by section 31 of the Professional Engineers Act and other regulators have also exercised similar powers. Prior to February 2017, no appeal had ever been commenced by PEO from any decision of the Discipline Committee.
At its September 2011 meeting, Council approved 24 of the recommendations contained in the Complaints and Discipline Process Task Force Final Report to Council, one of which recommended PEO develop criteria for when it is appropriate for PEO to appeal a Discipline Committee decision, with the rationale that from time to time it may be in PEO’s or the public’s best interest to appeal. The new policy will be periodically reviewed by Council to ensure it continues to be appropriate and provides an up-to-date framework in which decisions can be made and implemented.
GLP TO IMPLEMENT AUDIT PLAN
At its June meeting, Council approved implementation of a Government Liaison Program (GLP) audit implementation plan to address the recommendations given in the audit report prepared by Don Dickson of D&B Dickson Management Solutions Inc.
In February 2016, Council passed a motion to undertake a review of the GLP. The scope of the review was to determine whether the GLP is operating as designed and whether it is achieving the expected results. The review found that the GLP was meeting its intended objective, but 32 recommendations were made to help further improve the program. The implementation plan for these recommendations was assigned to the GLP without a budget. With Council’s approval, the GLP will proceed to act on the implementation plan, with additional budgets identified for development of an online MPP interactions database and online orientation training module, as well as a certification training program for GLP representatives.
2018 BUDGET ASSUMPTIONS APPROVED
Council has approved assumptions to guide development of PEO’s 2018 operating and capital budgets. The operating budget is to be balanced with no increase in fees for the ninth consecutive year. Net growth for full-fee professional engineers is assumed to be 1 to 1.5 per cent, while retirees and partial fee members are assumed to increase by 3 to 4 per cent. The Financial Credit Program is expected to continue, which will have an impact on engineering intern (EIT) and P.Eng. application fee revenues. Investment income in 2018 is expected to be in the range of 5 to 6 per cent versus 2 to 3 per cent in 2017 but may be revised based on input from PEO’s investment manager. Salaries are assumed to increase by 3 per cent, comprising a consumer price index adjustment of 2 per cent and a 1 per cent merit pool. Non-labour expenses are assumed to increase at the forecast inflation of 2 per cent and all programs will be subject to evaluation. Chapter spending may vary outside the range of the forecasted inflation rate, depending on a review of chapter business plans, chapter bank balances and regional business demands. Council will have an opportunity to review a draft budget in September, prior to approval in November.