Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 12:30 PM

Standing Committee Review Report

On Monday, City Council will vote on a Standing Committee Review Report which has, as one of its recommendations, a pilot project to change current standing committees to a Committee of the Whole structure.

“Transparency in our decision making process is extremely important to me,” said Mayor Danny Breen.  “This pilot project will help improve governance at City Hall through enhanced councillor participation, consent agendas, and a review of the Rules of Procedure and Freedom of Information bylaws. Moving to Committee of the Whole will better enable council to work together, share information at committee level, and enhance transparency and accountability to the public.”

The review of the committee structure began in May 2017 and included an examination of existing governance best practices, a jurisdictional scan, review of existing documentation including bylaws, and consultation with councillors and staff across the organization.

“We want to increase public access to decision making and provide simplicity around meeting structure by having all the information in one place,” said Mayor Breen. “We will also work to enhance access to information by streaming all of our public meetings online.”

The benefits of Committee of the Whole include:

  • Increased transparency with agendas/minutes easily accessible and streamed online in the future.
  • Full Council participation on all matters at the committee level; reducing duplication.
  • Simplified meeting schedule.
  • Better focus on important decisions with the introduction of the consent agenda.
  • Streamlined and simplified decision making processes resulting in more timely decisions.
  • Focused public delegation input and receipt of correspondence at Council.
  • Improved collaboration across topics and departments.
  • Better access to Council as delegates will be able to address all members at one meeting.
  • Improved inclusiveness as all council members participate in Committee of the Whole which increases knowledge and understanding of all city priorities.

If the report is approved, members of City Council will be assigned to take a lead role on various themes within the Committee of the Whole. The Audit Committee will continue to function as a stand-alone Standing Committee as is best practice. The Standing Committee Review Report is available online.
Media Contact:
Kelly Maguire
Media Relations
City of St. John's