1. What is the purpose of the Broader Public Sector (BPS) Perquisites Directive?
The purpose of the BPS Perquisites Directive is to set out the requirement for the designated BPS organizations to establish rules on perquisites where these are provided through public funds.
Under the directive, designated broader public sector organizations are not allowed to provide items such as a golf club membership or seasons tickets to events under any circumstances.
Amendments to the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010 provide the authority for the Management Board of Cabinet to issue directives requiring the designated BPS organizations to establish rules on perquisites.
The requirements set out in the directive contribute to greater alignment with the high standards expected in ministries and agencies of the Government of Ontario.
2. Which organizations are covered by the BPS Perquisites Directive?
The BPS Perquisites Directive applies to all designated BPS organizations under the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010 defined as follows:
a. every hospital
b. every school board
c. every university in Ontario and every college of applied arts and technology and post-secondary institution in Ontario whether or not affiliated with a university, the enrolments of which are counted for purposes of calculating annual operating grants and entitlements
d. every approved agency designated as a children's aid society under subsection 15 (2) of Part I of the Child and Family Services Act
e. every community care access corporation
f. every corporation controlled by one or more designated broader public sector organizations that exists solely or primarily for the purpose of purchasing goods or services for the designated broader public sector organization or organizations
g. every publicly funded organization that received public funds of $10 million or more in the previous fiscal year of the Government of Ontario
Publicly funded organizations that received less than $10 million in public funds in the previous fiscal year of the Government of Ontario are not required to follow the BPS Perquisites Directive. In this case, the directive serves as a guideline to all other publicly funded organizations as defined under the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010.
Note that the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010 and Ontario Regulation 219/11 made under the Act exclude some entities from the definition of publicly funded organizations. These include:
1. Rules on perquisites must set out that the following perquisites are not allowed under any circumstance:
- club memberships for personal recreation or socializing purposes, such as fitness clubs, golf clubs or social clubs
- seasons tickets to cultural or sporting events
- clothing allowances not related to health and safety or special job requirements
- access to private health clinics – medical services outside those provided by the provincial health care system or by the employer's group insured benefit plans
- professional advisory services for personal matters, such as tax or estate planning
2. Rules on perquisites must set out that perquisites that are not related to business requirements are not allowed.
3. Rules on perquisites must include an accountability framework to ensure that there is appropriate governance, and that everyone understands who in the organization has the authority for approvals. The approval authority for an allowable perquisite should be at a high level within the organization.
4. Rules on perquisites must require that good record-keeping practices be maintained for verification and audit purposes.
5. Rules on perquisites must set out that a perquisite is allowable only in limited and exceptional circumstances where it is demonstrated to be a business-related requirement for the effective performance of an individual's job.
6. Rules on perquisites must set out how summary information about allowable perquisites will be made publicly available. This summary information should be made available on an annual basis. Personal information should not be provided.