The Office of the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario today filed its 2010-2011 annual report with the Speaker of the Ontario Legislature.
The report includes updates on amendments to the Members’ Integrity Act, 1994, summaries of work completed under the Office’s two mandates for reviewing expense claims and under the disclosure of wrongdoing framework, as well as changes made to the Lobbyist Registry.
The Commissioner is advocating for a review of the lobbyist registration system that includes the scope and nature of information required on the registry, as well as such issues as compliance tools and the powers of the provincial Lobbyist Registrar.
“The legislation governing Ontario’s lobbyist registration system was updated this year with selected amendments, but I think it’s time to do more,” said Integrity Commissioner Lynn Morrison. “I am calling for a thoughtful, constructive review of the law.
Common sense changes will help uphold two key elements of the registry: transparency, and the recognition that lobbying is a legitimate part of the political process.”
Among the annual report highlights:
• the Office received 318 inquiries from MPPs regarding members’ integrity;
• it received 83 inquiries from ministers’ staff regarding ethical conduct, political activity and post-employment obligations;
• the Lobbyists Registry had 1,689 active registrations as of March 31, 2010; and
• the Office referred eight files for investigation to the appropriate deputy minister or public body chair and completed its own investigation into a matter that had previously been referred. The investigation did not find wrongdoing but the Commissioner concluded that the ministry had allowed inconsistent implementation of a regulatory program which was not reasonable. The Commissioner made a number of recommendations, all of which were accepted and which the Commissioner continues to monitor.
About the OIC
The Office of the Integrity Commissioner has five key responsibilities:
- Lobbyists registration
- Members’ integrity
- Public service disclosure of wrongdoing (whistle-blowing)
- Expenses review for Cabinet Ministers, Opposition Leaders, and 22 of Ontario’s largest agencies
- Ministers’ staff ethical conduct
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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Contact: Cathryn Motherwell
Director, Office of the Integrity Commissioner