Ethics Executive Roles and Responsibilities

Ethics Executives

Ethics executives are individuals designated to be responsible for promoting ethical conduct within their organizations. Ethics executives are the first point of contact for employees and appointees requiring advice or decisions on such matters.

Ethics executives are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that public servants are familiar with the conflict of interest/ political activity rules
  • Providing advice to public servants on the application of the conflict of interest / political activity rules
  • Conducting inquiries where public servants may have contravened a rule
  • Making determinations on conflict of interest and political activity issues and providing directions where an actual or potential conflict of interest is found
  • Authorizing requests to engage in certain political activities
  • Making a determination on the need to terminate employment or appointment if a public servant is elected to municipal office

Conflict of Interest Commissioner

The commissioner is the ethics executive for specified current and former public servants, including chairs of public bodies and the Secretary of Cabinet. In this capacity, the commissioner is responsible for providing these individuals with advice or direction on conflict of interest and political activity matters that may have an impact on fulfilling their duties as public servants.

The commissioner also provides advice and guidance to ethics executives and other officials of Ontario government offices. In assisting ethics executives, the commissioner seeks to support senior officials in carrying out their oversight responsibilities as ethics executives.

Ethics executives may refer a matter to the commissioner for a determination. If the commissioner accepts the referral, the commissioner assumes the decision-making function. When the commissioner provides advice, the ethics executive retains the decision-making function.

Integrity Commissioner

The Office of the Integrity Commissioner was established in 1988 as an independent ethics leader responsible for cabinet ministers and their staff and for members of the legislative assembly. For more information on the role of the Office and the Commissioner, please click here.