Skip to content

Member Accountability Framework

Table of Contents

Member: Position Description

Purpose

Members are responsible for the resolution of matters among parties appearing before the agency, pursuant to the governing legislation under which an appeal, complaint, application or dispute is filed, by providing a fair and impartial hearing  and rendering a decision on a timely basis.

Key Duties

Practices and Procedures

Members carry out the following responsibilities as part of a panel.

  • Participate on hearing panels and reviews, or other duties as assigned by the Chair, in accordance with the governing statute and other applicable laws as well as within the policies, procedures and rules of practice developed by the agency, and draft decisions.
  • Hear submissions and evidence presented by appellants / parties to a dispute, and ensure that all issues are dealt with at the hearing or review.
  • Actively listen to comprehend interests and positions, which are sometimes difficult to ascertain. Make rulings necessary for the proper and expeditious conduct, control and completion of the hearing or review.
  • Review and analyze all evidence and submissions thoroughly and make decisions based on the evidence and consideration and application of relevant law.
  • Make rulings and issue written decisions that are independent and free of outside influence.
  • Issue decisions in a timely manner, within the time frames established by the agency.
  • Issue clear, well-written, soundly reasoned decisions, which are understandable and can be implemented by the appellants / parties to a dispute.
  • Where the parties agree or where the law permits, act as a mediator among parties by listening to the parties’ positions, defining underlying issues and interests, focusing the parties’ attention on what a workable settlement would be and facilitating a resolution between the parties.
  • Participate in pre-hearing dispute resolution procedures to define
    and clarify issues in dispute.
  • Participate in initial training and stay current in the field by engaging in ongoing professional development, participating in scheduled and ad-hoc meetings of the agency and its Members, as well as participating on committees.
  • Participate in meetings of the agency, and when requested to do so by the Chair or the Chair’s designate, in training and mentoring sessions and in committees.
  • Comply with policies and practices set out by the agency to meet financial accountability and administrative requirements.
  • Work constructively and contribute to a collegial atmosphere at the agency by sharing knowledge, time and experience with other agency appointees.
  • Maintain positive, productive and appropriate relationships with stakeholders and all parties appearing before the agency.

Integrity and Fair Practices

  • Ensures equal access, fair treatment and due process in hearing and review practices.
  • Deals with conflict and diverging interests while maintaining decorum, due process, and professional and respectful interactions among all participants.
  • Recognizes and deals appropriately with situations that may involve an issue of bias or conflict of interest in accordance with the agency’s Code of Conduct, and Conflict of Interest rules under the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006.
  • Acts with integrity and honesty. Actions are guided by the best interests of the agency and the public.

Qualifications

Members are required to have the following abilities, skills and knowledge in order to carry out their responsibilities effectively:

  • Experience in interpreting and applying legislation with specific knowledge of the agency’s governing Act and related law.
  • Understanding of the context within which the agency operates.
  • Understanding of the justice system and administrative law and the concepts of fairness / natural justice.
  • Demonstrated analytical, conceptual, problem-solving, decision-making and writing skills.
  • Ability to listen and communicate clearly and effectively.
  • Ability to formulate reasoned decisions and communicate them orally and in writing in a timely manner.
  • Well-developed adjudication skills.
  • Impartiality and sound judgement to fairly assess cases involving issues regarding conflicting verbal / written evidence and the assessment of credibility.
  • Commitment to ongoing professional development to enhance expertise and remain current in the field.
  • Good organizational skills to manage a heavy workload with complex, ongoing processes.
  • Self-confidence / self-control and sensitivity to the diverse interests of appellants in order to maintain effective control in confrontational and stressful situations.
  • Commitment to respect diversity, and to maintain fair, transparent processes that meet high professional standards.
  • Computer literacy.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.

Vice Chair: Position Description

Purpose

To act as a substitute Chair, either in the Chair’s absence or as requested by the Chair, and to chair hearing panels.  The Vice Chair carries out additional leadership duties relating to the functioning, responsibilities and governance of the agency and its appointees.  Leads initiatives or takes on cases that may be high profile and complex.

Key Duties

Leadership and Agency Governance

In addition to the key duties outlined in the Member position description, a Vice-Chair:

  • Performs an additional role of overseeing and providing advice to the Chair and other Members regarding the processes, practices and policies of the agency.
  • In the Chair’s absence, is responsible for carrying out duties delegated by the Chair.
  • Leads sub-committees and special projects and reports back to the Chair.
  • Acts as an additional key point of contact to appointees and staff of the agency in the Chair’s absence and performs the responsibilities of the Chair when the Chair is not available, such as the assignment of cases, ensuring adjudicative quality and providing advice to appointees and staff.
  • Collaborates with the Chair to develop and implement processes and practices that support the agency’s operations to enhance effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Takes on cases or assignments that may have a higher profile, are more complex and may involve multiple parties or stakeholders.
  • Leads special projects and initiatives as assigned by the Chair, such as the development and implementation of new practices.
  • Mentors new appointees and provides oversight and advice to ensure quality and clarity.
  • Maintains current knowledge in the agency’s field of expertise and participates in professional development opportunities.
  • Remains current in developments in administrative law and related matters in Ontario, Canada and other jurisdictions.
  • Performs other responsibilities as agreed to with, or as delegated by the Chair.
  • Acts with integrity and honesty. Actions are guided by the best interests of the agency and the public.

Qualifications

A Vice-Chair will have all of the qualifications of a Member plus the following:

  • Leadership ability to oversee the implementation of a strategic vision by ensuring appropriate plans are put into operation to deliver efficient, effective and high quality services.
  • In-depth understanding of the context in which the agency operates, or the ability to acquire such understanding.
  • Understanding of the agency’s rules of practice and supporting procedures.
  • Advanced analytical skills to resolve complex matters involving multiple interests, under public scrutiny.
  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills to positively influence and communicate with staff and stakeholders.
  • Commitment to respect diversity and to maintain fair, transparent processes that meet high professional standards and the agency’s Code of Conduct.
  • Understanding of government values and a commitment to working within government’s agency accountability structure.
  • Knowledge of and commitment to governance practices.
  • Understanding of financial and operational business processes and practices.
  • Commitment to the protection of the public interest within the mandate of the agency.

Chair: Position Description

Purpose

The Chair is responsible for the overall strategic direction and performance of the agency.  The Chair provides leadership to the agency to ensure that the agency operates in accordance with its mandate, as defined in the governing legislation and within approved governance and accountability requirements of the government.

Key Duties

In addition to the key duties outlined in the Member position description, the Chair:

Practices and Procedure

  • Directs the affairs of the agency in accordance with its mandate as defined by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act and other Acts under which the Tribunal hears matters; and in accordance with the mandate of the Environmental Protection Act.
  • Establishes an adjudicative process including the assignment of cases to hearing panels.
  • Leads the process of setting the agency’s goals, designing and establishing the agency’s adjudicative process, and establishing and reporting on measures of service quality and performance.
  • Oversees the establishment of agency policies and procedures within the legal, political and economic framework of the government.
  • Provides oversight to internal processes and procedures that ensure efficiency, quality and timeliness in the rendering of decisions.
  • Arranges for and chairs meetings of the Vice-Chairs and Members to discuss emerging issues, build support for policy and process change, engage in professional sharing and development, and promote clarity and predictability in the exercise of independent decision-making.

Strategic Leadership

  • Mentors and develops Vice-Chairs and Members by providing oversight and advice, and discussing and encouraging professional development of and among appointees.
  • Represents the agency and ensures independence in adjudicative functions by acting as the liaison in dealings with the government and media on key agency matters.
  • Remains current in developments in administrative law and related matters in Ontario, Canada and other jurisdictions.
  • Responds to changes in demand for services, public expectations, legislative or regulatory change and government directives.
  • Liaises with government (Minister, Deputy Minister, Agency Lead, Agency Liaison) and participates in agency-related organizations.
  • Maintains open, effective and regular communication with staff of the agency so that plans and initiatives are understood and effectively executed.
  • Makes recommendations to government/Minister regarding impact of proposed policies where appropriate.
  • Ensures business plans are fiscally prudent, reflect the agency’s mandate, and take into account protection of the public interest, risk identification and mitigation, and opportunities to implement needed change.
  • Acts with integrity and honesty. Actions are guided by the best interests of the agency and the public.

Agency Governance

  • Establishes and monitors controls to ensure the agency has sound governance practices.
  • Participates in the preparation and execution, and complies with, the Memorandum of Understanding with the Minister responsible for the agency.
  • Provides input to government policy development and recommends legislative changes to the government, when appropriate and warranted.
  • Establishes agency operational policy and procedures within the legal, political and economic framework of the government.
  • Notifies the Minister of agency vacancies and makes recommendations for appointments or re-appointments that respect and promote the principles of equity, diversity, quality, merit and regional representation.
  • Ensures the Minister is provided with an annual report of the agency for approval and tabling before the Legislature.
  • Keeps the Minister informed in a timely fashion of issues affecting the agency and its stakeholders.
  • Ensures the agency operates within its approved budget allocation.
  • Ensures that public funds are used for the purpose intended and with integrity and honesty.
  • Develops, monitors and reports on the agency’s annual budget and business plan to ensure plans are within approved expenditures and expected results are on target.  Explains any variance and makes appropriate adjustments.
  • Directs the preparation of reports on operational and performance measurement plans.
  • Establishes performance measures and targets for the agency that are both realistic and challenging.
  • When necessary, directs corrective action be taken, arranges for audits as needed, and cooperates with any periodic review directed by the Minister.
  • Ensures appointees are aware of their obligations and that they act in compliance with the agency’s Code of Conduct, and Conflict of Interest Rules set out in O. Regulation 381/07. Ensures a process is in place to allow disclosure in keeping with the requirements set out in the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006.
  • Oversees the development of agency service complaint-handling procedures.

Qualifications

The Chair has all of the qualifications of a Member plus the following:

  • An experienced leader with ability to set strategic direction, articulate and work towards a vision, and oversee the implementation of plans and strategies to deliver efficient, effective and high quality services.
  • Thorough understanding of the administrative justice system, including the relevant legal principles.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the legislation under the agency’s jurisdiction and related laws and legal processes or the ability to acquire such knowledge.
  • In-depth understanding of the context in which the agency operates, or the ability to acquire such understanding.
  • Understanding of the agency's rules of practice and supporting procedures.
  • Superior analytical skills to resolve complex matters involving multiple interests, under public scrutiny.
  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills to positively influence and communicate with staff, stakeholders and the public.
  • Understanding of government values and a commitment to working within the government’s agency accountability structure.
  • Understanding of sound financial and operational business processes and practices.
  • Commitment to the protection of the public interest within the mandate of the agency.
  • Commitment to respect diversity and to maintain fair, transparent processes that meet the highest professional standards of the agency’s Code of Conduct.
  • Knowledge of and commitment to sound governance practices.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-888-466-2372 ext. 519-826-3433
Local: 519-826-3433
E-mail: AFRAAT@ontario.ca