A Peel Regional Police investigation concludes no criminal offences were committed by City of Brampton employees operating the program known as Outside Policy Request (OPR).
On June 6, municipal council heard an internal audit report, which uncovered the practice granting salary increases to non-union employees between Jan. 1, 2009 and May 14, 2014. Internal controls were ineffective and required significant improvement to ensure non-union salary changes were in compliance with council-approved policies. Allegedly, hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid out annually without council’s knowledge.
On June 21, council voted unanimously to call police. They wanted to know everything about the fund, including who approved it and who received the payments.
On Sept. 19, city officials received the police fraud bureau report. It concludes there never was a slush fund. Salary expenditures came from council-approved budgets.
The reported $1.25 million in salary expenditures was also refuted. The actual amount paid to 167 employees over the five-and-a-half year period was about $614,000.
As well, investigators say no senior managers benefited from the program. The OPRs were used for legitimate reasons to reward those employees either entitled to or deemed to be deserving of a salary increase.
“City management agrees with internal audit’s assessment, and acknowledges the historical lack of consistency between council-approved policies and organizational practices,” said city chief administrative officer Harry Schlange, in a news release. “Open, transparent government administration is a foundational priority for us. The updated salary administration policy is supported by clear procedures to ensure accountability, internal controls and reporting mechanisms are in place through policy-compliant salary administration decisions.”
An updated salary administration policy, identified as a priority in May, will now be brought to council in November.