The City of Toronto appointed its first Integrity Commissioner in 2004 through a council resolution. Toronto was the first municipality in Canada to create the position of Integrity Commissioner.
Shortly after the Office was created, the Honourable Justice Denise E. Bellamy released her report into the Toronto Computer Leasing, and Toronto External Contract, Inquiries. This report, which has come to be known as the Bellamy Report, made more than 200 recommendations in relation to several aspects of City decision making and administration.
The decision of City Council to create an Integrity Commissioner was commended by Justice Bellamy but she made several recommendations to enhance the role, including that the Commissioner be full-time, that the Commissioner receive financial disclosures from municipal politicians and that the Commissioner have sufficient staff to ensure timely advice giving and investigations.
In 2006, the Province of Ontario enacted the City of Toronto Act, 2006 (COTA) enshrining a number of accountability and transparency requirements in legislation. COTA requires the City of Toronto to have an Integrity Commissioner, an Ombudsman, a Lobbyist Registry and an Auditor General (known collectively as the Accountability Officers).
Inaugural Integrity Commissioner David Mullan referred to 2006 as a watershed year in the life span of the Office of the Integrity Commissioner because of the support and momentum created by the Bellamy Inquiry and the passage of COTA. An account of how these events impacted on the trajectory of the Office can be found by reading Commissioner Mullan's annual reports in 2006.
The next organizational milestone for the Office of the Integrity Commissioner came in 2009 when City Council enacted Chapter 3 (PDF) of the Toronto Municipal Code. Chapter 3 establishes a comprehensive governance framework for all of the Accountability Officers. It entrenches that the role is independent and puts in place safeguards to protect the independence of the role, including procedures for appointment, remuneration and responsibilities. The work leading to Chapter 3 of the Municipal Code was assisted by insight and advice of Commissioner Mullan and then Interim Integrity Commissioner Lorne Sossin.
The Integrity Commissioner works closely with the Lobbyist Registrar and both offices work hard to ensure minimal duplication and efficient use of resources. In 2014, the Offices of the Integrity Commissioner and the Lobbyist Registrar entered in to an important memorandum of understanding (PDF) about their relationship.
Acting on the recommendation of Integrity Commissioner Janet Leiper, City Council decided to convert the position of the Integrity Commissioner from part time to full time, which was implemented upon the appointment of Integrity Commissioner Valerie Jepson in September 2014.