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Opening comments:  More at the end.

The full OMB Code of Conduct  -  Public Complaints Policy

[ section above ]  - 10 -

Selected sections of the OMB Code of Conduct for its members

     There are so many instances of events in this OMB Appeal/Hearing which are contrary to the OMB Code of Conduct that they can not be all noted, for each event.  However, a person should have these items listed below in their mind when reading this account, in order to see the shocking number of violations of the OMB Code of Conduct.  The full OMB Code of Conduct can be fond on my web-site

OMB - Background

Following the direction of the Management Board of Cabinet, the Boards have adopted this Code of Conduct for the guidance of their Members and to assist them in avoiding situations that might undermine the public's confidence in their objectivity and impartiality.

The primary objectives of this Code of Conduct are to:

*    provide guidance to decision-makers appointed to the ARB, BON and OMB on appropriate
      standards of conduct; and,

*    provide members of the public appearing before the Boards with an understanding of the
      standards of conduct that apply to decision-makers.

The Code is founded on the recognition that the conduct of Members must be governed by the requirements of fairness, integrity and independence in decision-making.

This code applies to all Members of the Board, full or part-time.


Principle - Members must provide services and perform statutory functions in an impartial, lawful, unbiased and just manner.

Member Responsibility

*    Members have an obligation to act fairly in the conduct of adjudicative proceedings.

... in accordance with the principles of natural justice.  To act fairly requires that Members conduct themselves in accordance with the principles and standards set out in this code.


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Principle - Members must provide information and services that are simple and easy to use.

Member Responsibility

*    Members must make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the proceedings are accessible and
      barrier-free for all parties, representatives, witnesses and observers.

*    Members must make all reasonable efforts to conduct proceedings in a manner that is
      understandable by all parties, whether or not they are represented.


Principle - Members must produce accurate and dependable information and results.

Member Responsibility - Members are responsible to:

*    be fully prepared for a proceeding.

*    maintain the integrity of the hearing process.

*    maintain proper control over proceedings to ensure that parties have an equal and fair
      opportunity to present their case.

*    maintain order and ensure proper decorum in the hearing room.

*    ... and meet the Board's standards for decision quality.

*    recognize the public interest in consistency and predictability in the exercise of their independent
      decision-making authority.


Principles - Members must use policies and procedures in a way that is are clear and understandable to everyone involved.

Member Responsibility

*    Members must ensure that proceedings are conducted in a manner that is transparent and seen to be fair.

If a party is not represented by legal counsel, Members should explain the Board's process, the Member's role and the parties' procedural rights and responsibilities.

Members should take care in social interactions to avoid any contact with parties, witnesses or representatives that might affect or appear to affect the transparency of the process.


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Principle - Members must possess and use the skill, knowledge and technical competence required to discharge statutory responsibilities and maintain public confidence.

Member Responsibility

*    Members should maintain a level of professional competence and knowledge


Principle - Members must demonstrate respect for everyone who comes into contact with the Board.

Member Responsibility

*    Members should be patient, dignified, and courteous in performing their duties.


Principle - Members must act in a manner that contributes to the public's confidence in the Board.

Member Responsibility

*    Members should act with honesty and integrity, and conduct themselves in a manner consistent
      with the nature of their responsibilities and the maintenance of public confidence in the
       administration of justice.

*    Members should not engage in any conduct that may, or may be perceived to constitute an
      abuse of their office.

*    Members must not personally appear before the Board on their own behalf.

*    Members must not act as a representative on behalf of any party in any proceeding before the Board.


Principle - Members must avoid situations of real or perceived conflict of interest or bias.

Member Responsibility

*    Members must make decisions independently without fear of criticism.

*    Members should approach every proceeding and every issue in a proceeding with an open mind,
      and avoid doing or saying anything to cause any person to think otherwise.

*    In the conduct of Board proceedings, Members' decisions should be based on an application of
      the relevant law to the evidence presented in each case and not on irrelevant considerations.

*    Members must avoid conflicts of interest.


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Principle - A conflict of interest arises when a Members private or personal financial interests take precedence over or compete with the Member's responsibilities as an appointee.

A conflict of interest will exist when an adjudicator has a financial interest that may be affected by the resolution or treatment of a matter before the Board. The financial interest may be that of the Board Member or other person with whom the Member has a close personal or professional relationship.

Member Responsibility

*    A Member shall not adjudicate in any proceeding, or participate in Board discussions of any
      matter, in which the Member has a financial interest.

*    A Member shall not accept money or gifts if a gift is, or may be perceived to be, offered
       because of membership in the tribunal.


Principle - Bias is a lack of neutrality or impartiality on the part of a decision-maker regarding an issue to be decided.  A biased decision-maker is one who is predisposed to decide a case on the basis of considerations extraneous to the evidence or the applicable law, policy or argument made in the case.

Bias may exist when there is a direct, recent or existing close relationship between the Member and a party involved in the proceeding. The relationship may be organizational or personal.

There may be an apprehension of bias when a Member demonstrates possession of and reliance on information that has been gained through prior involvement with one party to a dispute regarding the dispute.

Member Responsibility

*    Members should not only be unbiased, but also appear to be so. A reasonable apprehension of
      bias by an observer can be as detrimental to the hearing as actual bias.


Member Responsibility

After the Hearing Commences

*    If an allegation of bias or conflict of interest is raised after the hearing commences, it is the
      responsibility of the Member to determine whether there is a bias or a conflict of interest.

*      ... The Member should withdraw from the panel if the Member feels the allegation may have
        foundation.  If the allegation is brought by a party to the proceeding, the party should bring a
        motion before the panel, and the panel should hear submissions and determine the issue. If the
       decision is rendered orally, the panel should subsequently issue a written decision. If the
        Member agrees to withdraw when the allegation is brought to the Members attention, then
        there is no need for the motion or the written decision. The Chair should be subsequently
        informed of the situation by the Member.


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... The Boards make the following commitments to the taxpayers of Ontario:

*    The Boards are open and honest in their behaviour, ...

*    The Boards are fair, impartial and consistent in the exercise of their adjudicative responsibilities
      and strive to be accessible to everyone who must come before them to adjudicate disputes.


Purpose of Position - The decisions made and the reasons for the decisions must be rendered independently, and impartially, without bias or prejudice. They must properly reflect the evidence, administrative law and the applicable legislation.

Major Responsibilities

5.     Ensure that hearings are conducted in accordance with the Board's Rules of Practice and
        Procedure,  the Statutory Powers Procedure Act and other applicable legislation. Members are
        to impartially decide  all matters assigned by weighing and analysing the evidence to
        determine the facts, and by applying the  statutes and case law to the various issues identified.

10.    Perform all work so as to maintain and enhance the professional credibility of the Board, in
         accordance with the Board's Code of Conduct.


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