By Robert Frank
Laval needs to change dramatically the way that it runs its parapublic agencies, a comprehensive study has concluded.
According to a report that Mayor Marc Demers tabled during a June 18 news conference, the city’s longstanding way of doing business at best limits those agencies’ prospects for success. At worse, it opens the door to abuse.
In a detailed 84-page report, the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations (www.IGOPP.org) recommended that the city’s parapublic agencies need more independent boards of directors. To accomplish this, it recommended that municipal bureaucrats should no longer be allowed to sit on those boards and that only a small minority of elected officials should do so either.
IGOPP proposed that the agencies be run by independent directors and the city should instead create a permanent governance commission that would henceforth keep tabs their performance.
Mayor Demers agreed that the suggestions would help to reduce potential conflicts of interest and announced that the city will move right away to rethink how the 15 agencies will be run.
“We agree that the city should reduce its influence on day-to-day operations at those organizations,” he said in a prepared statement. “On the other hand, we will tighten accountability measures to ensure that these agencies fully fulfill their obligations.”
The mayor promised to study IGOPP’s suggestions in detail and follow up in the fall, once the city has had a chance to scope out the potential financial and legal impact of implementing the sweeping changes that IGOPP has recommended.
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