The Municipal Act, 2001 permits Council to appoint an Integrity Commissioner who performs specified functions regarding the application of the Council Code of Conduct (the Code) in the Municipality of South Dundas
As of August 1, 2018 the Ombudsman of Ontario is the Municipality’s Integrity Commissioner.
All elected officials (the Mayor and Councillors) are subject to the Code.
The role of the Integrity Commissioner is to:
How does the Integrity Commissioner get involved?
What is the extent of the Integrity Commissioner’s Authority?
Who can file a complaint?
What is the process for filing a complaint?
How is the complaint investigated?
Does the Integrity Commissioner investigate complaints about Municipal employees?
Can an anonymous complaint be filed?
How is the public informed of the Commissioner’s activity?
Members of Council can ask the Integrity Commissioner for advice. Generally, this is to ensure that members of Council have availablility a resource to assist them in determining how to comply with the requirements of the Code. Council, any member of the Council or members of the public can request the Integrity Commissioner to launch an investigation into an alleged contravention of the Code by an individual member or members.
The Code sets out the scope of the Integrity Commissioner’s authority and describes several types of complaints that would be covered by existing legislation and therefore not subject to the Integrity Commissioner’s mandate. The first step in the process will involve the Integrity Commissioner determining whether the complaint falls within his mandate.
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. A complaint of alleged conflict of interest involving 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 a alleged conflict of interest involving a member of Council because a process is provided under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. The Integrity Commissioner, in conducting his inquiry and investigation, has the power to review all pertinent Town files and records that have a bearing on the allegation, and access to anyone who is relevant to the complaint. On completion of his inquiry and investigation, the Commissioner will submit a final report to Council outlining his findings, the terms of any settlement of the complaint, recommended corrective action and/or penalty imposed.
Members of the public as well as members of Council can file a complaint under the Code.
Members of the public and Council can file a complaint by following the Code and completing a Complaint Review Request Form. The complaint is filed with the Clerk together with the applicable fee. The Clerk will formally forward the complaint to the Integrity Commissioner and advise Council of the complaint through submission of an open report to Council which outlines the following:
The fee payable will be refunded except where the Integrity Commissioner determines the following:
The elected official is given a copy of the complaint and asked to respond in writing to the complaint, with a copy of the response being provided to the complainant. The process may include an interview with anyone considered relevant to the complaint by the Integrity Commissioner. Within ninety (90) days of filing the complaint, the Integrity Commissioner submits a report to Council, detailing any contravention of the Code and any recommendations, corrective action and/or penalty.
The Integrity Commissioner does not have any authority over Municipal employees. The activities of the Integrity Commissioner relate only to members of Council and their compliance with the Council Code of Conduct.
The Code of Conduct forbids any anonymous complaint and the anonymous complaint will not be accepted.
The Integrity Commissioner is required to submit an annual report on complaints filed. These reports may be obtained by contacting the Clerk at 613-543-2673.