Accountability & Transparency
Accountability and Transparency
Who are Markham’s Accountability Officers?
Markham has appointed ADR Chambers Incorporated as the City’s Integrity Commissioner to investigate complaints about the conduct of Members of Council and determine if there has been a violation of the Code of Conduct. The City has also retained the services of Amberley Gavel Limited to act as the City’s Closed Meeting Investigator and conduct investigations accordingly. MNP LLP provides Auditor General services for the City.
In January, 2007, the Municipal Act, 2001 (the “Act”) was significantly amended by Bill 130 (the Municipal Statute Law Amendment Act). Included in the amendments was a new Part VI “Accountability and Transparency”. In addition to the provisions found in the Act the City of Markham has adopted its own Accountability & Transparency Policy [PDF] for Council.
When should I contact one of Markham’s Accountability Officers?
If you have a complaint regarding the ethical behaviour of a Member of Council you should submit a request for an investigation with the City’s Integrity Commissioner.
If you have a complaint relating to compliance with the closed meeting provisions of the Municipal Act or the Procedural By-Law, you should submit a request for an investigation with the City’s Closed Meeting Investigator.
The role of the Auditor General is to review and ensure the quality of stewardship over public finds and for the achievement of value for money in programs and services. The Auditor General reports directly to Council through General Committee.
If you have a complaint regarding an act done or omitted in the course of the administration of the municipality, its local boards or municipally-controlled corporations you should first submit a service request to the appropriate Department. If, after receiving a resolution you remain unsatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can submit a request with the Provincial Ombudsman’s Office.
On December 11, 2015 the City of Markham filled its vacant position for the Auditor General. The role of the Auditor General is to review and ensure the quality of stewardship over public finds and for the achievement of value for money in programs and services. The Auditor General reports directly to Council through General Committee.
Section 239.1 of the Act provides for the ability to request an investigation into whether or not a meeting of Council has complied with the open meeting requirements found in Section 239 and in the City’s Procedural By-law [PDF]. If someone is of the view that a meeting was improperly closed to the public they can request a closed meeting investigation.
Section 223.3(1) of the Act permits municipalities to establish a code of conduct for Members of Council and local boards. Such a code may speak to matters like the ethical behaviour of Members of Council, standards for appropriate interaction with City staff, residents and key stakeholders, and appropriate use of corporate resources. It should be noted that several Ontario municipalities established a code of conduct and Bill 130 simply now makes the authority to do so clear.
The Act also authorizes municipal councils to appoint an Integrity Commissioner to perform functions related to the application of the code of conduct and other procedures, rules and policies regarding the ethical behaviour of Members of Council and local boards. At the request of Members of Council or the public, the Integrity Commissioner would conduct an inquiry.
The Code of Conduct [PDF] was adopted by Council effective February 1, 2014 and applies to Members of Council as of this date.
The Act also authorizes municipalities to appoint an Ombudsman whose function is to investigate any decision or recommendation made or act omitted in the course of municipal administration. The City of Markham utilizes the services of the Provincial Ombudsman.