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Integrity Commissioner

The Integrity Commissioner is responsible for administering the City’s Code of Conduct and to assist in maintaining high ethical standards at the City of Barrie. The Integrity Commissioner is an independent accountability officer given authority under the Ontario Municipal Act and the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. 

Role of Integrity Commissioner

The Integrity Commissioner ensures all Members of Council and its Boards and Committees follow the City’s Code of Conduct, and handles matters when a section of the Code is violated. This includes:

  • Conducting investigations in response to complaints received for an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct, or Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA);
  • Providing information to members as to their obligations under the Code of Conduct/MCIA;
  • Providing advice to individual members regarding specific situations as they relate to the Code/MCIA;
  • Provide advice to members on other policies and procedures relating to the ethical behaviour of members;
  • Providing information to the Public regarding the Code/MCIA, and the obligations of members under the Code/MCIA;
  • Providing an annual report to Council on the activities of the Integrity Commissioner.

Complaint Process

All elected officials and appointed committee members are required to follow the City’s Code of Conduct. If a Council Member/Committee Member appears to have violated a section of the Code, a complaint can be submitted to the Integrity Commissioner. Any member of the public, staff, any organization, as well as other Members of Council, can file complaints under the Code. Complaints pertaining to a perceived violation under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act must be made within six weeks of the alleged violation. Complainants may decide to use an informal or formal procedure to file a complaint. The complaint protocol does not allow anonymous complaints, or withholding the complainant’s name from the Council Member.

Informal Complaint Procedure

The informal complaint procedure allows the Integrity Commissioner to have an informal discussion with the Member of Council/Board/Committee to resolve the issue. If the Integrity Commissioner determines the complaint is legitimate and the Code has been violated, the informal process will begin.

Formal Complaint Procedure

A formal investigation is undertaken if the complainant wishes to forego the opportunity for a resolution of the complaint through the informal complaint mechanism.

  • All formal complaints must be made using the City’s Formal Complaint Form;
  • All names of the complainant and alleged Council Member(s) must be provided;
  • An explanation outlining the alleged violation is required;
  • Any witnesses or evidence in support of a complaint is required.

Upon completion of an investigation, the Integrity Commissioner shall report to the complainant and the member on the results of his/her review within 90 days of receiving a complete Complaint Form/Affidavit. Once the report has been received, Council will determine what actions will be taken.

Reports and Statements

Each year, the Integrity Commissioner is required to provide an annual report to Council on the activities of the Integrity Commissioner. Recent reports issued by the Integrity Commissioner can be found below.

Annual Reports

Each year, the Integrity Commissioner publishes a report discussing complaints received and disposed of and general terms of advice.

Reports to Council

If a complaint is filed, the Integrity Commissioner must submit a report to Council outlining the violations made and any recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions
How is the complaint investigated?
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?

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 Boards, and Council Committee members.

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