Thursday , August 18 2022

Ottawa Police to find a new background check fees structure


Cllr. Diane Deans is chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board.

Tony Caldwell / / Postmedia

Less than two months after the Ottawa Police Service started charging all the city's employees to recover the true cost of a police background investigation, the chair of the police board intends to scratch the model approved by its predecessor.

Chairman Coun. Diane Deans told the police once again that the fee options would be present earlier this month, at the exact time the police tried to confirm this year's budget.

Principal Charles Bordeleau presented those options to the board's finance and scrutiny committee on Wednesday. Any change to the policy, which came into effect on January 1 only, would throw another look again in what is already the agreed draft draft budget.

Last year, the previous police board approved a new fee structure that would see all employees paid to recover the full cost of a background check and that volunteers paid nothing. The average cost of a background check is $ 63 per transaction, but with volunteers who do not pay a fee, the cost is removed to those who need the check for employment. The monthly model means that anyone requiring a backup for employment pays $ 90 – covers direct costs and overheads of the police – with the service expecting $ 4.7 million in revenue.

The old fee structure was still responsible for volunteers only without recovering all the costs of the police and raising employees of either $ 15 or $ 50, with additional fees for expression check or someone outside of jurisdiction .

Bob Gallagher, president and chief executive of the YMCA-YWCA National Capital Division, told the committee that the changes affect a large number of student, part-time or occasional employees of a not-for-profit organization.

He asked the fee to be reduced for people who work in the charitable or not-for-profit sector, that the police collect the amount of money that it pays to any organization , return to fees 2018, or make specific agreements with organizations that serve youth or vulnerable people.

In 2017, shortcomings accounted for 45 per cent of all work-based background checks.

If the police were charged for every non-profit employee of $ 15 for a background check, it would lose $ 1.7 million in revenue this year.

The Deans said to the committee, although "budgets are not time for policy making" she would like to see a new draft policy by the end of the second quarter that would not be based on full cost recovery.

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