Governance for the Core Area Wastewater Program will shape the way the project unfolds to the completion of construction and commissioning of wastewater facilities. The governing body will be charged with bringing the project to completion within the scope and budget agreed to by the CRD, the Provincial and Federal governments.
During the planning stages of the wastewater project, the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee (CALWMC) has been responsible for governance. Recommendations by CALWMC have been passed to the CRD Board for approval.
With the selection of the McLoughlin Point wastewater system, the CRD is required to address the governance of the project. The Province recognizes the need for an independent project-specific body to ensure the project is delivered on time, within budget and that it meets the desired outcomes.
The CRD also needs to identify a preferred governance model to oversee the procurement phase of the project. A number of alternatives for governance have been explored by CRD consultants and presented to CALWMC, specifically the Committee Model, the Corporation Model and the Commission model.
Under the committee model, through the procurement phase of the project, CALWMC would remain in place as the committee responsible for governing the project. As a standing committee of the Board, CALWMC would be an advisory body with limited decision-making authority. CALWMC would be responsible for delivering the completed project in accordance with the expectations and conditions of the funding partners. This model does not meet the Province’s expectation of an independent project specific body.
Government Corporation Model
The government corporation model places project governance in the hands of an autonomous, local government not-for-profit corporation that is established specifically, and solely, to take a project through its procurement phase to operation.The CRD Board of Directors would establish a not for profit corporation which would be a separate legal entity with its own board of directors. All members of the board would be non-elected officials, appointed for their expertise and experience in working on large complex local government capital projects.
The government corporation model would effectively remove the project from the CRD organization for the duration of the procurement phase. Decisions from the CRD Board and other funding bodies would only be required to approve any changes to the scope and budget of the project. The corporation’s project management team, which would be independent of the CRD administration, would report to the corporation’s board of directors.
The CRD currently has a number of commissions with authority delegated by the Board. In this model, the CRD Board of Directors would establish, by bylaw, a Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project Commission. The Commission's sole purpose would be to deliver the project, but would not be a separate, legal entity.
Under the Commission model, day to day control over the project during its procurement phase would be delegated to a separate, single-purpose body that would:
- Operate with considerable decision-making authority, and with a high degree of autonomy from the CRD Board and the other funders
- Be headed by commissioners who would be appointed for their expertise and experience in developing large, complex capital projects
- Make decisions within the established scope and budget for the project, but would also keep the Board and the other funders apprised of progress and events throughout procurement phase, and would seek Board and funder approval on pre-determined items, and on any other matter that might affect the project's scope, budget or schedule
- Develop a public information capacity to keep the community well informed
The commission model recognizes the value of delegating authority to a body of independent experts to oversee and deliver projects of this scope and complexity, but also recognizes the reality that the ultimate responsibility for the project rests with the CRD Board.
For more detail on the different models please see the Report on Project Governance Models.
Geoff Young, CRD Board Chair
Denise Blackwell, CRD Core Area Liquid Waste Committee Chair
© Images courtesy of Evan Leeson