Stewardship Ontario (SO) is pleased that Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) has agreed to our request to submit to a formal dispute resolution process with respect to Stewardship Ontario’s Management Services Agreement with Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance (CSSA). SO has been in negotiations with CSSA over the past year to provide program administration services to SO that capitalize on a national administrative framework for stewards in order to deliver significant cost savings. Discussions have been ongoing with WDO since December 2013, but have not yet been completed. All matters have been sufficiently resolved except the single outstanding issue of information exchange. WDO is seeking direct contractual access to information from CSSA as a service provider to Stewardship Ontario. We believe this is unnecessary because SO is required to and does provide WDO with all the information it requires in order to exercise sufficient oversight. We are concerned that this could require that all service providers to all Industry Funding Organizations (IFOs) have a direct contractual relationship with WDO. This would set an unnecessary and concerning precedent.
SO also welcomes the opportunity to provide further information about its administrative costs through a review. We currently provide quarterly financial information to WDO, and all annual audited financial statements are publicly available at https://stewardshipontario.ca/download-category/annual-reports/.SO has been vigilant about holding the line on program administration costs over the past several years. The recent administrative arrangement with CSSA is a further attempt to keep administrative costs under 10% of overall program cost burden. We look forward to reviewing these matters with WDO and to working with our stewards to continue to reduce the costs associated with administration and regulatory oversight.