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Code of Conduct

Office of the Integrity Commissioner

Barrie’s Code of Conduct Information

Consistent with the City’s practice of demonstrating transparent, accountable and ethical governance, City Council adopted a Code of Conduct for Members of Council and its Boards and Committees.

The purpose and intent of the Council Code of Conduct is to establish standards of conduct for Members of Council, Local Boards and Committee Members in the individual conduct of their official duties. These standards will help protect and maintain the City of Barrie’s reputation and integrity.

Maintaining a high quality of public administration and governance can be achieved in part by encouraging high standards of conduct on the part of City officials. The public is entitled to expect the highest standards of conduct from members that are elected or appointed to serve their local government. 

A written Code of Conduct helps to ensure that the members of Council share a common basis of acceptable conduct.  These standards are designed to supplement the legislative parameters within which the members must operate.  They are intended to enhance public confidence that the City of Barrie’s elected and appointed officials operate from a basis of integrity, justice and courtesy.

Barrie’s Code of Conduct regulates a wide range of conduct by elected and appointed officials, such as:

  • improper receipt of gifts and benefits;
  • misuse and improper securing of confidential information;
  • inappropriate use of City property, services and other resources, including using City facilities for campaign purposes;
  • allowing employment prospects to influence the way in which a Councillor performs her or his role;
  • avoidance of waste;
  • business relations;
  • misbehaviour at Council meetings;
  • mistreatment of staff;
  • improper use of influence;
  • discreditable behaviour towards other Councillors, staff and members of the public; and,
  • failing to follow Council policies.

The Code of Conduct is administered by the City’s Integrity Commissioner. The Integrity Commissioner is an independent accountability officer given authority under the Ontario Municipal Act. It is the role of the Integrity Commissioner to:

  • Conduct investigations in response to complaints received for an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct;
  • Provide information to members as to their obligations under the Code of Conduct;
  • Provide advice to individual members regarding specific situations as they relate to the Code;
  • Provide advice to members on other policies and procedures relating to the ethical behaviour of members;
  • Provide information to the Public regarding the Code and the obligations of members under the Code;
  • Provide an annual report to Council on the activities of the Integrity Commissioner.

Questions & Answers

Frequently Asked Questions
Who can file a complaint? Answer
Members of the public, staff, any organization as well as other Members of Council, can file complaints under the Code.
What is the process for filing a complaint? Answer
Complaints may be filed by following the complaint protocol (see link below). The complaint is filed with the Integrity Commissioner.
How is the complaint investigated? Answer
A formal investigation is undertaken if the complainant wishes to forego the opportunity for a resolution of the complaint through the informal complaint mechanism. The official is given a copy of the complaint and asked to respond in writing to the complaint. A copy of this response is provided to the complainant. Should the response not be sufficient to resolve the complaint, the Integrity Commissioner will further investigate the matter. The process could include an interview with the complainant and the Integrity Commissioner. Within 90 days of filing the complaint, the Integrity Commissioner submits a report to Council, detailing any contravention of the Code of Conduct and any recommendations. Council determines what action will be taken.
Does the Integrity Commissioner investigate complaints about City employees? Answer
The Integrity Commissioner does not have any authority over City employees. City employees are subject to a separate Code of Conduct. The activities of the Integrity Commissioner relate only to the Code of Conduct for Council, Local Board and Council Committee members.
Can an anonymous complaint be filed? Answer
The Complaint Protocol makes no provision for anonymous complaints or for withholding the complainant's name. However, the Protocol does include an informal complaint procedure that allows the Integrity Commissioner to have an informal discussion with the City official in an attempt to resolve the issue.

 

Additional Information

  •  You may view the Code of Conduct by clicking the link Code of Conduct
  • Information on how to file a complaint can be obtained by clicking on the link Code of Conduct Complaint Protocol
  • Inquiries of the Integrity Commissioner may be made by email or by contacting (705) 739-4220 ext. 5425.

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