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Police Inquiry Regarding Release of Confidential Information Completed
(Note to Editors: In light of the number of media inquiries to HRM today regarding the above issue, Chief Administrative Officer George McLellan is issuing the following News Release to all media outlets.)
(Wednesday, April 23/2003)-- The findings of an internal review into the alleged release of confidential information regarding solid waste collection contracts following the January 28, 2003 In-Camera Council session have been received by Chief Administrative Officer George McLellan.
Based on the findings of the investigative review by Halifax Regional Police, there was no violation of any federal or provincial laws, municipal by-laws or Rules of Council.
Mr. McLellan said "The findings give us confidence that the Request for Proposal(RFP) process was not compromised, and that HRM employees involved in the process followed procedure and did not release any information. Neither the proponents nor HRM were disadvantaged during the RFP process."
The CAO requested the investigative review by Halifax Regional Police on January 30th, following allegations and speculation that confidential information had been released, and that staff of Solid Waste Resources were responsible. During that time, there was increased and unprecedented lobbying by the solid waste collection industry.
Mr. McLellan said "In light of these circumstances, I felt it necessary that there be an official independent investigation because such allegations cast a cloud of impropriety over Council and staff, and called into question the awarding of an important public contract.
Although the investigation determined there was no illegality, Mr. McLellan said this incident, and other instances in the past, prompted him to recommend to Council that there be an enforceable Code of Ethics to provide clear guidelines for elected municipal officials.
It was recommended that Halifax Regional Council petition the Government of Nova Scotia to amend the Municipal Government Act to enable municipalities to both adopt, and enforce, a Code of Ethics. Following Council approval of the CAO's recommendation yesterday, the Municipal Solicitor was asked to prepare a report regarding a Code of Ethics, encompassing enforcement provisions for Council.
Chief Administrative Officer