December 5, 2001
The purpose of this report is to report to Council for further direction on the release publicly of a draft report, dated December 5, 2001, by the Chief Administrative Officer and City Auditor, the latter report being directed by Council at its meeting on December 4, 2001.
There are no financial implications by the receipt of this report.
It is recommended that the draft public report, dated December 5, 2001, of the Chief Administrative Officer and City Auditor, attached to this report, not be publicly released or received by Council.
At its meeting on December 4, 2001, Council had before it a confidential report, dated November 29, 2001, from the Chief Administrative Officer and the City Auditor. Council directed that provide a public report setting out information pertaining to the subject computer leasing contract between the City and MFP Financial Services (“MFP”).
There are a number of sensitive issues arising out of the in camera report all of which have potential adverse impacts on the City. There is the issue of potential litigation with MFP, the effect of any public disclosure and associated press attention on the current negotiations with MFP and the related issue of staff involvement which may or may not lead to dismissal or other action. These issues are all intertwined in attempting to build a legal strategy in relation to MFP.
As well, it is difficult to provide the background information publicly at this time without attracting the additional issue of’ the potential liability to other bidders in the computer leasing RFP evaluation process and the award by council to MFP. This may be better handled after determining a final position in relation to MFP and after a complete understanding of any culpability by MFP, as for example, in making misrepresentations to staff.
There is another concern pertaining to the ability of staff and councillors to withhold the confidential sensitive information when the public report will galvanize questions by the press on the facts in any public report. It may well be the result that any implications of staff impropriety will be seized on by the press, will overbroadly taint staff with culpability and the CAO and staff will be unfairly handcuffed in replying. The information in the draft will only engage a public debate and that debate, in the opinion of staff and the outside consultants is premature.