Ottawa, June 10, 2019
Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion’s 2018-2019 annual report on his administration of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons was tabled today in Parliament.
The report is available here. It outlines the Office’s activities and performance in administering the Code in 2018-2019, Commissioner Dion’s first full fiscal year as Commissioner.
In the report, the Commissioner refers to key priorities, such as continuing to assist Members in achieving and maintaining compliance with the Code. He notes that the Office has started preparing for the upcoming federal election and anticipates that their workload will increase significantly as a result. He also notes an intention to identify ways in which the Code could be strengthened.
In 2018-2019, the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner:
provided tailored advice to Members in 700 instances;
issued two advisory opinions about the acceptability under the Code of certain gifts or other benefits;
launched a review of all informational materials it has issued under the Code to explain how its rules apply;
issued three investigation reports under the Code (Angus Report I, Angus Report II, Kusie Report) and has yet to report on a further two, which commenced during the fiscal year;
issued the list of sponsored travel taken by Members in 2018;
started preparing for the October 2019 federal election.
"We strive to continuously improve the way we administer the Code. In doing so, we are guided by three key priorities: building and improving communications and outreach processes, modernizing technology and information management structures and maintaining operational excellence." – Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion
"Our Office is an institution that serves an important purpose: to enhance Canadians' trust and confidence in elected Members of Parliament and appointed public office holders. We work to administer two similar but distinct regimes efficiently and effectively while upholding the highest standards of accountability." – Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion
The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner is required to present two separate annual reports to Parliament on the Office's activities by June 30 of each year. One is on the administration of the Conflict of Interest Act and the other is on the administration of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons.
Commissioner Mario Dion's annual report on the Conflict of Interest Act was tabled on June 3, 2019, and is available here.
The Code applies to all 338 elected Members of Parliament and seeks to prevent conflicts between their public duties and private, largely financial, interests. It sets out a number of obligations and prohibits various actions that could give rise to such conflicts.
The Office has ongoing contact with Members from the time notice of their election is published in the Canada Gazette until they leave public office.
The Office maintains a searchable public registry of publicly declarable information— such as assets, liabilities, gifts and sponsored travel—provided by Members. In 2018-2019, 368 public declarations by Members were posted on the registry.
The Commissioner has a specific mandate under the Code to undertake educational activities for Members and the general public regarding the Code and the role of the Commissioner.
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