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CAMA Introduces Free CAO Performance Evaluation Toolkit

Gatineau, QC (May 30, 2017) – The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) has introduced a three-step CAO Performance Evaluation Toolkit that will benefit municipalities across the country.  Developed and piloted over a two-year period, the toolkit will enhance the CAO / Council relationship and help Council achieve their strategic goals and objectives.  It is available for free to member and non-member municipalities.

“An effective working relationship between local elected officials and their Chief Administrative Officer can be one of the most critical prerequisites for municipal government success,” said Janice Baker, President of CAMA, Chair of the CAO Performance Evaluation Task Force, and CAO/City Manager for the City of Mississauga, ON.  “We are excited to give back to our profession by making this toolkit available to Canadian municipalities.”

Mayors and councillors rely on their CAO to be the connecting link between elected officials and municipal operations; to implement the municipality’s policies and programs; and, to help them achieve their strategic goals and objectives.  For some time now, however, CAMA has been aware from their members that meaningful performance evaluations didn’t seem to be taking place.  

With that in mind, in a survey conducted by CAMA in 2014, while a majority of elected officials and CAOs indicated they participated in a performance evaluation process, far less reported they feel prepared for the process or that the outcomes are tied to actual results.  Overwhelmingly, both parties identified the need to establish a performance evaluation system benefiting each.  

As a result, CAMA spent two years developing a three-step CAO Performance Evaluation Toolkit.  It was prepared using surveys and best practice research, with input and support from CAMA members, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), public sector / human resource experts, and the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA).  It was piloted in almost 15 communities and further tested by a number of other municipalities in 2016.

The result is a toolkit that uses a “pick and choose” format, which can be adapted to support existing evaluation processes. It builds on foundational steps and core competencies to help set clear goals for the success of the municipality, to guide and support the evaluation process, and to foster open conversations between Council and the CAO.

The first step sees the CAO create a Handbook for Performance Evaluations.  The handbook is then provided to elected officials for their input and the creation of a Final Performance Evaluation Report as step two.  In the third step, elected officials and the CAO sit down to discuss the performance evaluation report, establish new goals for the CAO to meet, and sign on off on the final CAO Performance Evaluation.  

“As a national association focused on administrative excellence in local government, this toolkit is about building better municipalities together,” added Baker.  “I encourage elected officials and CAOs to take advantage of this free resource.”

The toolkit is available by visiting the CAMA website at or by contacting the CAMA National Office at 1-866-771-2262 or  

About CAMA
The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) is a national, non-profit association open to all Chief Administrative Officers / City Managers and any person employed in a senior management position that reports directly to the CAO.  With a membership of approximately 575 senior municipal employees, from all parts of Canada, CAMA collectively represents more than 70% of the nation’s population.

Media Contact:  Stacey Murray,, 506-261-3534

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