Integrity Commissioner Q & A's

Integrity Commissioner Q & As

 

The following questions and answers include sample questions to other Integrity Commissioners in Ontario.

 

What are the Commissioner’s main duties? 

All elected officials are subject to a Code of Conduct. The mandate of the Integrity Commissioner is to provide advice and opinion to Council and Members, to provide independent complaint prevention, investigation, adjudication, and resolution. Duties of the Integrity Commissioner include conducting inquiries into requests made by a member of the public, Council, or a Member of Council, into whether or not a Member of Council has contravened the Code of Conduct.

 

What is the extent of the Integrity Commissioner's authority?

Council has adopted a Code of Conduct Procedure Information Package (click here to view) that sets out the scope of the Integrity Commissioner's authority over matters addressed by the Code of Conduct. The Protocol describes several types of complaints that would be covered by existing legislation or mechanisms. For example, an allegation that may involve a contravention of the Criminal Code of Canada is a police matter, and would not be investigated by the Integrity Commissioner. Likewise, the Integrity Commissioner would not consider a complaint of alleged conflict of interest involving a Member of Council as a remedy is provided under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. Contact the Integrity Commissioner to determine if the matter is a Code of Conduct violation.

 

Who can file a complaint?

Municipal employees, members of the public, Members of Council, Committees or Local Boards can file a complaint and request an investigation.

 

What is the process for filing a complaint? 

Members of the public can file a complaint by following the Formal Complaint Procedure (click here to view) and completing a signed affidavit. The complaint is filed with the Clerk or the Integrity Commissioner.

 

How is the complaint investigated? 

Where an informal resolution cannot be achieved, a formal investigation is undertaken. The elected official is given a copy of the complaint and asked to respond in writing to the complaint, with a copy of this response being provided to the complainant. The process could include an interview with the complainant and the Integrity Commissioner. Within 90 days of filing the complaint, the Integrity Commissioner submits a report to Council, detailing any contravention of the Code of Conduct and any recommendations. Council determines what action will be taken.

 

Does the Integrity Commissioner investigate complaints about Municipal employees?

The Integrity Commissioner does not have any authority over Municipal employees. The activities of the Integrity Commissioner relate to the Council Code of Conduct.

 

Can an anonymous complaint be filed?

The Formal Complaint Procedure makes no provision for anonymous complaints or for withholding the complainant's name from the Member of Council. All formal complaints shall be in writing and signed by an identifiable individual. However, the Protocol does include an informal complaint procedure that allows a senior staff member or an officer of the organization to have an informal discussion with the Member of Council in an attempt to resolve the issue.

 

How is the public informed of the Commissioner’s activity? 

The Commissioner publishes an annual report and it is posted to the Municipalities website.