Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion can investigate possible contraventions of the Conflict of Interest Act.
Investigations under the Act are called "examinations".
The Commissioner can launch an examination at the request of a Senator or Member of the House of Commons who provides reasonable grounds to believe the Act has been contravened.
Or, he may do so on his own initiative if he has reason to believe the Act has been contravened. He may decide to self-initiate on the basis of information that comes to the attention of our Office in various ways, such as media reports and complaints from members of the public.
An examination may also result when a matter is referred to the Commissioner by the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner under subsection 24(2.2) of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act.
When our Office receives information about a possible contravention of the Act, we open a case file. We review the information to determine if the concern raised falls within the Commissioner’s mandate. If it does, we must determine whether the Member or Senator set out their reasonable grounds to believe or, in the case of a self-initiated examination, whether the Commissioner has reason to believe, that a contravention may have occurred. Some of these initial reviews lead to examinations. In other cases, an examination is not found to be warranted and the files are closed.
When the Commissioner completes an examination, he issues a public report. If he discontinues a self-initiated examination, he does not issue a report.
The Commissioner has two other means of enforcing the Act in cases where an examination is not warranted. He can issue a compliance order or impose an administrative monetary penalty.