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Member Standards Program

Municipal administrators serve as the frontline custodians of billions of dollars in community-owned assets and public welfare. Manitobans entrust administrators with the management of their communities and the health and safety of their families. This is sacred trust and a great responsibility.

Professionalism and ethical conduct are indispensable for maintaining public trust in municipal governance. Trust is the foundation upon which democratic societies are built, essential for fostering civic engagement, promoting cooperation, and sustaining legitimacy.

Just like other professions that have a duty to the public such as engineers, lawyers, and accountants, municipal administrators must demonstrate high ethical and professional standards, and they must be held accountable when they fail to meet those standards.

Under the Manitoba Municipal Administrators Association Inc Act, the MMA is empowered to establish professional standards for its members and to hold members accountable to those standards.

Under this authority, MMA by-laws set out both a member accountability framework and establishes the MMA Professional Code of Conduct, to which all members must be compliant.

Grounds for Disciplinary Action

Following the fair and transparent investigation and adjudication of a formal complaint, an MMA member may be disciplined if they have:

  • failed to comply with the by-laws or policies of the MMA;
  • violated the MMA’s Professional Code of Conduct or any other standards or duties of care as may be established by the MMA from time-to-time;
  • engaged in actions which are deemed detrimental to the purposes, aims, or objectives of the MMA; or
  • been convicted of a criminal offense.

 Formal Complaint Submission

Under the MMA Constitution, a formal complaint against a member may be submitted by another MMA member, or by a municipal council following a duly passed resolution of council. Resolutions to authorize a complaint much contain both the name of the member who is the subject of the complaint, and it must identify the reason for the complaint.

Complaints from the Public

Please note that complaints from the public cannot be accepted.

If a citizen has a concern about a CAO, they should raise their concern with a member of the employing council (such the Mayor or Reeve). If the member is another administrators and not the CAO, the concern should be raised with the CAO.

Complaint Form

The council or CAO may download a copy of the Member Standards Complaint Form to document and submit a complaint. Witness statements may be submitted with the complaint form if they are submitted on the Member Standards Witness Attestation Form.

Complaint forms may be submitted with additional evidentiary documents.

All documents submitted via this process should be considered public. Confidential information should not be submitted – but may be referenced. The complaint hearing process provides for in-camera consideration where confidential information may be provided as evidence.

Complaint Adjudication

Once a complaint has been confirmed as complete and appropriate (i.e. submitted in accordance with the MMA by-laws and policies), a complete copy of the complaint package is sent to the member under complaint (the Defendant). The Defendant is expected to submit a statement of response to the complaint. If the Defendant fails to respond, or responds and waives a complaint hearing, then the appointed complaint panel can consider the complaint without a hearing and with only the evidence already provided.

Complaint Hearings

If the Defendant chooses to defend against the complaint, a public complaint hearing is held.

Complaint hearings are not court proceedings and are governed under the policies of the MMA. The Defendant is presumed to be innocent, and the burden of proof is on the Complainant. The evidentiary standard is “balance of probabilities” whereby the burden of proof is achieved when the Complainant convinces the Panel that there is a greater than 50% chance that the complaint is accurate.  

Each side presents their case, with the ability to provide witness testimony. Members of the three-person panel may ask questions of each participant, however there is no opportunity for cross examination. Following the presentation of evidence, each side is offered an opportunity to provide closing statements where responses to the testimony of others can be provided.

Complaint Decisions

Following the adjournment of the hearing, the Panel considers the evidence and makes a decision, which can include disciplinary measures as guided by MMA policy. Both the Complainant and the Defendant are notified of the decision.

Complaint Decision Appeals

Complaint decisions of the Panel may be appealed to the MMA Executive Council by the Defendant if:

  • one or more members of the Panel were in a conflict of interest, or participated in the hearing with malice;
  • MMA policies were not reasonably followed in the conduct of the hearing or in the making of the decision;
  • the decision is in contravention of the by-laws, or policies of the MMA; or
  • the Defendant admitted wrong-doing and requests a reduction to the disciplinary action prescribed in the decision.   
Manitoba Municipal Administrators