Mayor Larry O’Brien has stepped in to put the brakes on a $100,000 contract to look into the city’s sick leave policies.


"In my opinion, the City of Ottawa's sick leave numbers are not high enough to warrant a contract of this size," said O'Brien. "This is simply not a high-priority project."


On Tuesday, O'Brien asked city manager Kent Kirkpatrick to reevaluate the contract. Since is has not been awarded, the contract will be put on hold until the review is completed.


Last November, the city’s auditor general reported that the city is doing a poor job in managing absenteeism.

The reported stated that in 2007, city employees averaged 10.6 paid sick days at a cost of around $27.8 million.

“It is our opinion that a fundamental goal of any attendance management program should be to decrease sick leave,” Alain Lalonde wrote in the report. “Unless the city clearly establishes such a goal, decreasing sick leave will continue to represent a challenge for the city.”