Open Municipal Government Toolkit – Accountability
Many municipalities recognize accountability and transparency as principles of good government. Councils accept that they have a responsibility to their citizens, community organizations, businesses and taxpayers to act for the greater good and to ensure that their decision-making process and actions are open and accessible.
Many municipalities across Canada demonstrate this commitment through action:
- Publishing Council meeting agendas and supporting reports before the meeting;
- Sharing minutes;
- Holding public meetings on important issues;
- Publishing a community newsletter that outlines Council’s deliberations and decisions;
- Sharing data; and
- Pro-actively and routinely disclosing information.
Creating an accountability and transparency policy is another way of showing Council’s commitment to open government. An accountability and transparency policy outlines how Council will approach municipal matters. In general, such policies emphasize openness, ethics and fiscal responsibility.
The Accountability and Transparency Policy Best Practices guide outlines best practice drawing upon examples in Prince Edward Island, and is also a guide to be used alongside the draft policy.
The Accountability and Transparency Policy template includes a list of policy commitments that Council can select as well as places where Council can select an approach that reflects its circumstances. This policy template can be modified where appropriate and is intended to reflect Council’s commitments related to accountability, accessibility and transparency.
Accountability and Transparency Policy Best Practices (pdf)
Accountability and Transparency Policy (Macro-Enabled Word)
Accountability and Transparency Policy (Word)
Open Government Toolkit Instructions (pdf)