I have been the CFO of a number of companies, a four of which were publicly traded.
In EVERY instance, the instruction from the chair of the board of directors was that all material was to be distributed to EVERY director at least a week before the meeting, and any updated information was to be distributed to EVERY director in as timely a manner as possible.
I was most certainly expected to present to and discuss with the CEO the reports that were to be distributed to the directors. However, under no circumstances would preferential distribution of information or reports be tolerated. I am confident that a failure to abide, dare I say OBEY, this instruction would have resulted in a much different career trajectory.
What has become evident during the last six years (my terms of reference in paying close attention to the petty politics that pervade Ottawa’s city hall do not predate that) is that what constitutes best practices in corporate governance of public and private organizations has not permeated the hallowed stone and faux stone walls of 110 Laurier Avenue West.
When individuals who are entrusted to properly manage and/or oversee a $3 billion + budget on behalf of the residents of Ottawa are more concerned with leveraging information for personal power or to embarrass ones’ peers, or are prepared to limit the distribution of key information to allow their superiors (in an organization chart context) to leverage that information, it is time to replace them.
As I said in my initial comment, those who had critical information, but chose not to share it with everyone who had the RIGHT to that critical information should be censured.
Photo above: The purposeful withholding of information to councillors would not be tolerated on a board of directors.
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