Transparency—openness, clarity, unobstructed access and disclosures, when interacting with, or acting on behalf of, the public—is a pillar of effective conflict of interest regimes.
The Conflict of Interest Act and the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons ensure transparency through disclosure and public declaration requirements.
The Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner maintains a public registry of compliance documents required under the Act and the Code. It contains reporting public office holders’ summary statements, their public declarations of gifts or other advantages, travel, certain assets and liabilities and outside activities, and other declarations as necessary. It includes Members’ disclosure summaries and public statements of gifts or other benefits, sponsored travel and material changes. Section 51 of the Act and sections 23 and 24 of the Code identify the information that is made public.
The Commissioner’s reports on investigations of possible contraventions of the Act and the Code are also made public.
Early in his mandate, Commissioner Mario Dion undertook to make the Office and its work as transparent as possible, while respecting the strict confidentiality requirements of the Act and the Code, particularly regarding investigations and advice provided to public office holders and Members. The Office is as forthcoming with Parliament, the media and the public as it is permitted to be.
In support of that commitment, quarterly statistical reports are released. They contain data on various activity areas and track how the Office is meeting its service standards.