The Office of the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario today filed its 2016-2017 annual report with the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
The report summarizes the activity in all of the Office’s mandates, including anonymized samples of confidential advice provided to Members of Provincial Parliament and ministers’ staff, as well as summaries of disclosure of wrongdoing cases.
“This has been a very busy year with significant growth in all mandates,” said Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake. “I am gratified to see the high number of inquiries from MPPs and their staff, and believe that their requests for advice indicate an understanding of the value of ethical behaviour in their day-to-day work.”
The report also includes a summary of the first investigation concluded under the Lobbyists Registration Act, 1998. The Integrity Commissioner, as Lobbyists Registrar, received investigative powers effective July 1, 2016, and has been focusing on education and compliance. As a result, the Office has seen a 33 per cent increase in the number of active lobbyists registered.
In the Expenses Review mandate, amendments to the Public Sector Expenses Review Act, 2009 were fully implemented. The ability to review the expenses of entities on a rotational basis resulted in the graduation of three entities (subject to recall), and the inclusion of two new entities to be reviewed in the next fiscal year.
In Members’ Integrity, the Commissioner received eight complaints under s.30 of the Members’ Integrity Act, 1994.
Among the annual report highlights:
- the Office received 370 inquiries from MPPs regarding members’ integrity issues;
- it handled 172 inquiries from ministers’ staff regarding ethical conduct, political activity, and post-employment obligations;
- 61 disclosure of wrongdoing inquiries received;
- staff reviewed 5,390 expense claims; and
- the Lobbyists Registry had 1,854 active lobbyist registrations as of March 31, 2017.
About the OIC
The Office of the Integrity Commissioner has five key responsibilities:
- Members’ Integrity
- Public service disclosure of wrongdoing (whistle-blowing)
- Expenses review for Cabinet Ministers, Opposition Leaders and selected agencies
- Ministers’ staff ethical conduct
- Lobbyists registration
An Officer of the Legislative Assembly, the Integrity Commissioner is independent of government.
More information on the OIC and its work is available at www.oico.on.ca.
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Office of the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario