Frequently Asked Questions
The following is a list of questions about the expense review process and the Office of the Integrity Commissioner’s role. Please review the Submitting Expenses page for information on preparing an expense submission.
- What do I do if I’m not sure about a particular expense?
- How do I differentiate between “Ministerial/Parliamentary Assistant duty or function” and MPP business?
“Ministerial/Parliamentary Assistant duty or function” includes any activities and responsibilities that are reasonably related to the portfolio assignment, e.g. making an announcement, attending a cabinet or ministry briefing, or attending an event as a minister. Any expenses incurred as an MPP, such as travel to / from Queens Park while the house is in session or attending a caucus retreat, would not be considered a ministerial expense and would not be reviewable by the Office.
If you are not sure whether an expense is allowable, the Commissioner can provide advice in advance. Requests should be in writing and sent to email@example.com.
- How will the Integrity Commissioner decide whether an expense is allowable?
The Commissioner will refer to the Allowable Rules when deciding if an expense is allowable. For expenses that are not covered by the Allowable Rules, the Commissioner will exercise judgment in determining the reasonableness and appropriateness of an expense claim.
- What happens if the Integrity Commissioner finds that an expense claim does not comply with the Allowable Rules?
The Commissioner may request a repayment of all or part of an expense. The Commissioner can also recommend remedial action, which would be determined on a case-by-case basis. Both repayment and remedial action must be completed on or before a date specified by the Commissioner. Written notification must be provided to the Commissioner confirming that repayment and remedial action were taken.
- I need to make a repayment — how do I do this?
The repayment should be made by cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance.
For ministers, parliamentary assistants and their respective staff the cheque, with supporting documentation, should then be sent to:
Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery
Enterprise Financial Services
Attention: Cindy Pattenden
200 First Avenue West 3rd Flr
North Bay, ON P1B 3B9A
For Opposition leaders and their staff, repayment cheques should be sent to:
Financial Services of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Room 2630 Whitney Block
99 Wellesley Street West
Toronto ON M7A 1A6
Proof of the repayment (a copy of the cheque or money order) and repayment form should be sent to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner within the prescribed timeline.
- Will the Integrity Commissioner report on the results of the review?
The Integrity Commissioner is required to prepare an annual report of the expense reviews conducted under the Cabinet Ministers' and Opposition Leaders' Expenses Review Act, 2002. These reports are available here.
The Office of the Integrity Commissioner’s report to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario may include the names of individuals who do not comply with an order to repay or a recommendation for other action.
- What are the penalties for non-compliance?
If an individual fails to make a repayment or follow the remedial action directed, the Commissioner may advise appropriate persons, such as the responsible minister, on any matter related to the expense claim in question. The Office of the Integrity Commissioner’s annual report may include the names of individuals who do not comply with an order to repay or a recommendation for other action.
- What kinds of expenses are prohibited by the Rules?
Examples include expenses of a personal nature, including personal items, traffic and parking violations and social events that are not hospitality, are not allowable.
Hotel expenses related to the mini-bar, video rental, in-room movies or other entertainment-related activities not associated with official duties and functions, are not reimbursable.