February 2012 — As of February 1,
2012, most of the amendments to the Act respecting health
services and social services brought under the Act to
improve the management of the health and social services
network (the former Bill 127) and applicable to institutions
will be in force.
Now that the new boards of directors are in place, and that they
must exercise their duties and responsibilities under the Act, it
will be critical to amend the numerous rules of internal management
applicable to institutions, to bring them in line with the
Act's newest requirements.
The challenge is even more pressing for those in charge of
governance matters, such as the board of directors and the various
boards and committees that must be established to provide for the
proper management of the institution.
Amending provisions such as the boards of directors' rules
of internal management or the codes of ethics and professional
conduct of directors involves more than a simple update of
technical provisions on aspects like the composition of boards or
the rules on filling vacancies. Each institution will probably want
to adopt a personal approach to the ideal size and composition of
the board's committees and similar rules, in consideration of
the Act's new requirements.
An institution may also want to examine whether the
responsibilities entrusted to certain committees under the Act,
such as the governance and ethics committee, should be extended to
include the implementation of the directors' Code of ethics and
professional conduct. This Code could also be amended to reflect
the independence required under the Act.
The same could be said for the audit committee, whose enhanced
responsibilities could require a closer, more accurate
In other words, boards of directors must act promptly to define
the limits under which they will exercise their responsibilities,
whether these responsibilities are pre-existing or new.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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