As an early signal of its commitment to accountable and transparent government, City Council established an Auditor General in 2002 and an Integrity Commissioner in 2004. In 2006, the Province of Ontario enacted the City of Toronto Act, 2006 enshrining a number of accountability and transparency requirements in legislation.
The City of Toronto Act, 2006 establishes four mandatory functions including the Auditor General, Integrity Commissioner, Lobbyist Registry and authority to appoint a Lobbyist Registrar, and an Ombudsman. To meet its statutory obligations and round out Toronto’s accountability system, City Council established a lobbyist registry and appointed a Lobbyist Registrar in 2007 and an Ombudsman in 2008.
The City of Toronto’s accountability mechanisms are summarized below.
The Auditor General is responsible for assisting City Council in holding itself and its administration accountable for the quality of stewardship over public funds and for the achievement of value for money in City operations.
The Integrity Commissioner is responsible for providing advice, complaint resolution and education to Members of City Council and Members of local boards on the application of the City’s Codes of Conduct, and other by-laws, policies and legislation governing ethical behaviour.
The Lobbyist Registrar is responsible for promoting and enhancing the integrity of the City’s decision-making through public disclosure of lobbying activities and regulation of lobbyists’ conduct.
A Policy Framework for Toronto’s Accountability Officers
At their April 2009 meetings, Executive Committee and City Council will consider a policy framework for Toronto’s accountability officers. The policy framework supports the independence in the officers’ decision-making processes and accountability to City Council for the management of their offices, and their performance in fulfilling their mandates.