Released on November 01, 2012, 3:00 AM EDT
Tag #: 641
City’s Labour and Employment Legal Expenses Continually Soar
2011 outside legal counsel expenses paid to the one single firm reached $ 681,682.27
In 2011, one single legal
firm which received a contract for outside legal counsel collected
$ 681,682.27 for their services from the
City. The estimated annual budget was $ 151,865. It is now 348.87% over
the budget. WikiLeaks Sudbury uncovered 99 transactions belonging
to 8 accounts. The controversial account # 69238 also appeared
once on 2011 payments in which the city paid $ 319,020.80.
According to the Request
for Proposal submitted to City council, the anticipated expenses for 3
years should not be more than $455,597 or $151,865 annually.
city’s legal department consists of 4 lawyers and 7 support staff. The
legal services department’s total full time staff level increased from
10 to 11. Interestingly, Human Resources and Organizational Development
Department hired 2 additional employees, increasing the total full time
staff level to 22.
Regardless of all internal
full time position increases, the City’s Human Resources and
Organizational Development Department hired two outside legal firms to
handle their labour and employment matters. The job was divided to two
legal firms and Karen Matthies, a Relief Director of Human Resources and
Organizational Development, participated in the selection committee.
To protect economic
interest of the third party WikiLeaks Sudbury will not disclose names of
the legal firms.
The outrageous legal expenses are a clear indicator of incompetence of its
Divisional Director whom manages human resources matters in the City.
Tax payers of the City have a right to
know how and why their tax dollars were spent for outside legal firms
concerning labour and employment matters.
Kevin Fowke is the Director of the Human
Resources and Organization Development for the City of Greater Sudbury.
- Total Payments 2011 Click
Categorization by Accounts
Rethink Refocus Rebalance:
Towards Fiscal sustainability - (Staff level Increased)
Request for Proposal Approved by
01, 2012 at
3:00 AM EDT
The original article initially published on
Performance & Management Review, 35(3), 399–421.
Excerpts from the article as follows.
Avoidance in Public Reporting: Evidence
from a Provincially Mandated Municipal Performance Measurement Regime
public reporting is a responsibility bestowed on managers in the public
sector. The information contained in public reporting can be marginally
helpful to managers in their day-to day jobs. Public managers have
different needs than citizens regarding the level of detail and
sophistication of information about their agency’s performance.
reporting constitutes one of the functions of the chief executive, as
identified by Luther Gulick’s POSDCORB (Planning, Organizing, Staffing,
Directing, Coordinating, Reporting, and Budgeting). The promotion of
information that citizens can easily understand and care about would also
be one of the purposes of performance management.
to the responsibility to inform the public, public agencies operate in an
environment characterized by the presence of a negativity bias. A
negativity bias is the principle that “negative events are more salient,
potent, dominant in combinations, and generally efficacious than positive
events”. This bias derives from the grievance asymmetry of citizens, who
“often take good government for granted and pay more attention to
insufficient performance”. Consequently, publicly reporting on poor
results has limited appeal in public agencies. The theory of results-based
management spells out that selective reporting is a hallmark of the public
research presented in this article is framed by blame avoidance theory. It
takes advantage of the natural setting of a mandatory municipal
performance regime in the Canadian province of Quebec to study performance
reporting. More specifically, the study evaluates predictors of municipal
managers’ recourse to a presentational strategy of using justifications
in their public reporting. Data from Quebec’s Municipal Management
Indicators regime (Indicateurs de gestion municipaux) are used to
establish whether recourse to justifications in reporting is associated
with achieved performance. One distinctive aspect of Quebec’s municipal
performance measurement regime is the availability to municipal managers
of a predetermined list of influential factors for their reporting. The
recourse to influential factors enables managers to offer justifications
in their mandatory reporting of standardized indicators. The case of
Quebec offers an opportunity to statistically analyze recourse to
presentational strategies in public reporting. This is a novel
contribution, since studies on public sector reporting typically use
content analysis. Quebec’s Municipal Management Indicators regime
provides a set of data capturing both management behaviors and performance
applied to public bureaucracies, blame avoidance theory frames the
strategies taken by managers to cope with a negativity bias. In the
context of public reporting, the occurrence of blame avoidance would take
away from transparency. There are three main strategies for avoiding
blame: the presentational strategy (spin your way out of trouble), the
agency strategy (find a scapegoat), and the policy strategy (don’t make
contestable judgments that create losers). From the perspective of
municipal managers in a provincially mandated performance measurement
regime, the presentational strategy is the only available one. The
presentational strategy consists of “selecting arguments to minimize or
avoid blame, for example in choosing between excuses intended to mitigate
blame and justifications designed to turn blame into credit”
could decide to only report numerical values for their data. However, for
almost half the non-financial indicators reported that year, municipal
managers took the opportunity given them to add justifications for the
values of their indicators in the form of predetermined influences. The
performance achieved by municipalities influenced their recourse to
justifications in reporting. All things considered, for most indicators,
declining performance of municipalities, as measured historically,
influenced reporting. This holds true even with the delay granted
municipalities by the provincial government.
Charbonneau, E.; Bellavance, E.. (2102). Blame Avoidance in Public
Reporting. Evidence from a Provincially Mandated Municipal Performance
Measurement Regime. Public
Performance & Management Review, 35(3), 399–421.
November 01, 2012.
Blame Avoidance in Public Reporting:
Evidence from a Provincially Mandated Municipal Performance Measurement