The Office of the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario today filed its 2011-2012 annual report with the Speaker of the Ontario Legislature.
The report includes updates on all Office operations, including samples of opinions provided to Members of Provincial Parliament, as well as updates on the expenses review and disclosure of wrongdoing processes.
“Outreach was a major theme for the past year,” Integrity Commissioner Lynn Morrison said. “We are continuing our efforts to educate MPPs and their staff about ethical issues, and help them in serving the needs of their constituents.”
The Commissioner continues to call for a thoughtful, constructive review of the province’s lobbyists registration legislation.
She has issued recommendations about compliance tools, investigative powers for the Lobbyists Registrar, and changes to the scope and nature of information required on the registry.
“Ontario’s lobbyists registration system has served the province well, but it is time to consider updating,” Commissioner
Morrison said. “I have long maintained that governments must be transparent in their dealings, and a strong lobbyists registration system can play a key role in making that a reality.”
Among the annual report highlights:
- the Office received 261 inquiries from MPPs regarding members’ integrity issues;
- 112 inquiries from Ministers’ staff regarding ethical conduct, political activity and post-employment obligations;
- the Office reviewed more than 3,500 expense claims from approximately 770 people;
- the Lobbyists Registry had 1,562 active registrations as of March 31, 2011; and
- under the disclosure of wrongdoing framework, the report summarizes the outcomes of five cases concluded last year.
About the OIC
The Office of the Integrity Commissioner has five key responsibilities:
- Members’ Integrity
- Disclosure of wrongdoing (whistle-blowing) – Ontario Public Service
- Expenses review for Cabinet Ministers, Opposition Leaders, and 21 of Ontario’s largest agencies
- Ministers’ staff ethical conduct
- Lobbyists registration
An Officer of the Legislative Assembly, the Integrity Commissioner is independent of government.
The annual report and more information on the Office and its work can be found at www.oico.on.ca.
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Cathryn Motherwell, Director