The Integrity Commissioner is a neutral, independent officer appointed by City Council for a fixed, non-renewable five year term to encourage and oversee compliance with high standards of conduct expected of elected and appointed officials at the City of Toronto.
Citizens expect members of City Council and of Local Boards (Restricted Definition) to meet the highest standards of conduct when carrying out their public functions. This means serving constituents and the public in a conscientious and diligent manner; acting with integrity; avoiding conflicts of interest and improper use of influence; and, arranging private affairs in a way that promotes public confidence and will bear close public scrutiny.
The standards have been written down in legislation and other binding documents, the most important of which is the Code of Conduct. Members of Council and Local Boards (Restricted Definition) are required to serve the public interest by upholding the letter and spirit of the written standards.
The work of the City of Toronto is complex and often involves multiple competing interests. Members of council, in particular, have legal, ethical and political accountabilities that often collide. It is not always easy for public officials to know how to act properly and in accordance with the high standards that are expected.
Members of council and of Local Boards (Restricted Definition) can turn to the Integrity Commissioner to provide confidential advice about how best to meet the standards. And, any individual can turn to the Integrity Commissioner to resolve or adjudicate disputes about allegations that the standards have been breached.
The Integrity Commissioner is also responsible for providing policy advice and educational programs to Council and Local Boards (Restricted Definition) on issues of ethics and integrity.
The Integrity Commissioner is one component of the City of Toronto's accountability framework, which has been entrenched through enactment of Chapter 3 of the Toronto Municipal Code. The Office works along-side and in cooperation with the other accountability officers.