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Oversight, Methodology, and Process for Salary Compensation

 A committee of the Board,  the CIRA Compensation & Review Committee (“CRC”), is accountable for the direct oversight of the President & CEO’s Annual Compensation package. CRC’s responsibilities include overseeing the compensation philosophy to ensure that the overall remuneration is fair, equitable and at an appropriate level that will attract and retain the necessary executive talent to direct and oversee CIRA’s operations and the achievement of our Strategic Plan. 

Over the past six years, the CRC has undertaken two benchmarking studies performed by highly reputable independent executive compensation consultant firms. These expert consultants measured the total annual compensation of the CIRA President & CEO with other comparable industries, markets and organizations. They studied the technology and not-for-profit sectors and looked at entities of a similar size and which operate on a similar geographic footprint. They also recognized the crucial role that CIRA, as an operating technology company, plays in the sector and recognized that CIRA is an important voice in public discussions of policy and community social responsibility. 

The CRC also has oversight over compensation of executives below the level of the President and CEO and oversees CIRA’s general compensation philosophy. 

CIRA’s Human Resources professionals use various tools to analyze compensation levels in the marketplace within the Ottawa to Waterloo tech corridor. In particular, they rely upon the Ontario TechEdge Survey, which is data that BenchMarket collects and regularly updates within the Ottawa marketplace where most of CIRA’s employees are sourced.  Defined CIRA positions are classified against comparable TechEdge Survey data and benchmarked based upon organizational size, an individual’s years of experience within the role and skill set and various different percentile ranges on an ongoing basis.  Armed with this sophisticated comparative data, CIRA offers compensation for each position that is both fiscally prudent and competitive in the marketplace of technology talent. 

Employee Compensation at CIRA

In discussing salary issues, it is important to understand the environment in which CIRA operates.  CIRA is unique: a not-for-profit that competes for talent amongst the technology sector; an organization that generates 100% of its funding from commercial-like activities for the purpose of fulfilling its mandate. CIRA gets no government funding, nor does it receive donations from either public or private sources. It is not a government agency nor crown corporation, nor is it a charity or publicly traded company.

There is no regulatory requirement for CIRA to disclose salary information, and we are not aware of any comparable Canadian organization that reveals detailed salary information.  

The CIRA Board believes that disclosing the salaries of individual employees without their consent would be a  breach of their privacy. CIRA’s external legal counsel agrees and has provided an opinion confirming their view.    Disclosing salary information would also contradict CIRA’s role as an advocate for privacy. 

All that said, CIRA believes that in the spirit of transparency its Members and the public should be given a clear understanding as to how salaries and compensation packages are determined.  It is a rigorous process, the methodology developed with the help of independent, expert consultants and balanced by the need to attract top talent in the tech sector, while respecting the fiscal health of the organization.