Integrity Commissioner Releases 2019-2020 Annual Report

The Honourable J. David Wake, Integrity Commissioner, has filed his 2019-2020 annual report with the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

The report summarizes the activity 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 the reports issued by the Commissioner when a member complains about the conduct of another member under the Members’ Integrity Act, 1994. The report also covers the Public Sector Ethics mandate, which the Office assumed after merging with the Office of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner on May 1, 2019.

“This has been a remarkable year as the size and responsibilities of the Office have expanded,” said Commissioner Wake. “We maintained a significant volume of requests for ethics advice and direction, while also providing increased training and outreach sessions in all mandates.” The Commissioner noted that the Office has continued all operations while staff currently work remotely.

Among the annual report highlights:
- the Office responded to 369 inquiries from MPPs;
- 170 inquiries received from ministers’ staff regarding ethical conduct, political activity and post-employment obligations;
- 217 matters addressed in public sector ethics;
- 28 disclosures of wrongdoing assessed;
- 84 Advisory Opinions provided to lobbyists and 29 investigations concluded into lobbying non-compliance; and,
- 4,238 expense claims reviewed.

About the OIC

The Office has seven mandates under five pieces of legislation:
- Members’ Integrity, providing confidential conflict of interest advice to MPPs;
- Ministers’ Staff Ethical Conduct, providing conflict of interest advice and direction to public servants in ministers’ offices;
- Lobbyist Registration, operating Ontario’s lobbyist registry and conducting investigations into matters of potential non-compliance;
- Disclosure of Wrongdoing, receiving whistleblowing disclosures from current and former members of the Ontario Public Service;
- Public Sector Ethics, providing conflict of interest advice and direction to a broad range of public servants; and,
- Expenses Review:
   - Reviewing the travel, meal and hospitality expenses of Cabinet ministers, parliamentary assistants, Opposition leaders, and their staff; and,
   - Reviewing the travel, meal and hospitality expenses of selected agencies.

Michelle Renaud
Senior Advisor, Policy and Outreach