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.

Additional resources about compliance with the Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive are available on the Agency Network Solutions (AGNES) under the Legislation, Directives and Policies/Corporate Directive and Policies sections. Please contact your ministry liaison or Treasury Board Secretariat to get access to AGNES.

What do I do if I’m not sure about a particular expense?

If you are not sure whether an expense is allowable, the Commissioner can provide advice about the expense before it has been incurred. Requests must be made in writing through the Expenses Officer by sending an email to expenses@oico.on.ca.

How will the Integrity Commissioner decide whether an expense is allowable?

The Commissioner will refer to the Travel, Meals and Hospitality Expenses Directive when deciding if an expense is allowable. Expenses Officers are required to provide relevant information about the nature of the expense in order to assist the Commissioner’s review. For expenses that are not covered by the Travel, Meals and Hospitality Expenses Directive, the Commissioner will seek confirmation that the expense was required in the performance of the public servant’s duties or function within the public entity.

What happens if the Integrity Commissioner finds that an expense claim does not comply with the directive?

The Commissioner must notify the Expenses Officer and may direct them to require the public servant to repay all or part of the claimed 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.

Will the Integrity Commissioner report on the results of the review?

The results of each review of the submitted expenses in a reporting period are provided to the Expenses Officer.

Under the Public Sector Expenses Review Act, the Commissioner can make a public report on any matter related to the review of expenses. In addition, the Office of the Integrity Commissioner’s annual report to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario will contain an overview of the work related to expenses review.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

If a public servant fails to make a repayment or follow the remedial action directed by the Commissioner, a number of penalties can come into play. The Commissioner may advise appropriate persons, such as the responsible minister, on any matter related to the expense claim in question. The Commissioner can also publicly report on details relating to the specific expense claims of a designated person who has failed to comply with a direction to repay or to complete remedial action. The Commissioner will determine public reporting of this nature on a case-by-case basis.