October 13, 2017

The following statement is from TTC CEO Andy Byford on the just-released report by the City's Auditor General entitled, "Review of Complaint Regarding the June 29, 2016, Toronto Transit Commission Briefing Note." TTC staff will make no further comment prior to the report being considered by the TTC board at its October 16 meeting.

"I would like to thank Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler for her comprehensive review and report - a report that exonerates the TTC and dismisses any suggestion that I or my staff misled Council or were compelled to draft a briefing note to fit a political agenda.
 
"From the moment this matter materialized as a media story last fall, I asked for it to be fully investigated and publicly reported out on because I knew, as the Auditor General concludes, that I and my staff had acted with nothing but integrity and professionalism.

"Indeed, as the Auditor General reports, I, as CEO, was the first to approach the City Ombudsman and ask for an investigation. After all, my reputation and integrity, and the reputation and integrity of my staff, were being called into question. 

"I am also pleased to see a clear finding that there was no interference on the part of any elected official in directing or drafting the briefing note in question, refuting any allegation that anyone acted with anything but integrity and professionalism. The note was initiated by my staff to answer questions of Councillors, a chain of events that is confirmed by the Auditor General. Briefing notes, after all, are not decision documents.

"The report also shows the project manager at the time suggested the briefing note include cost escalation assumptions for a more consistent comparison, a point I could not recall when media asked why the inclusion of costs were added to the note.
 
"The contents of the briefing note, as recounted in the Auditor General's report, were based on calculated assumptions made on the information available to staff at the time the note was written - assumptions rooted in interactions with Metrolinx, but also assumptions rooted in years of experience by engineers and project managers working on complex transit projects.

"I and my staff accept that the distribution of such briefing notes could be improved. As such, TTC staff have implemented procedures to ensure that any future briefing note is distributed to City Council by Commission Services staff (the TTC Clerk). 

"Over the past several months there have been those - those lacking knowledge and insight of a modern transit organization like the TTC - who have suggested that I did not act with the requisite professionalism of a public servant on this matter; the Auditor General has, unequivocally, concluded otherwise.

"The Auditor General's report serves as a reminder to us all of the importance of waiting for an accountability officer's findings before repeating unfounded allegations in public forums. Facts matter and I am grateful that the facts of this matter are now public."

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