Office of the Integrity Commissioner
Ramara’s Code of Conduct Information
Consistent with the Township’s practice
of demonstrating transparent, accountable and ethical governance,
Township Council adopted a Code of Conduct for Members of Council and
its Boards and Committees.
The purpose and intent of the Council
Code of Conduct is to establish standards of conduct for Members of
Council, Local Boards and Committee Members in the individual conduct of
their official duties. These standards will help protect and maintain
the Township of Ramara’s reputation and integrity.
Maintaining a high quality of public
administration and governance can be achieved in part by encouraging
high standards of conduct on the part of Township officials. The public
is entitled to expect the highest standards of conduct from members that
are elected or appointed to serve their local government.
A written Code of Conduct helps to
ensure that the members of Council share a common basis of acceptable
conduct. These standards are designed to supplement the legislative
parameters within which the members must operate. They are intended to
enhance public confidence that the Township of Ramara’s elected and
appointed officials operate from a basis of integrity, justice and
Ramara’s Code of Conduct regulates a wide range of conduct by elected and appointed officials, such as:
- improper receipt of gifts and benefits;
- misuse and improper securing of confidential information;
- inappropriate use of Township property, services and other resources, including using Township facilities for campaign purposes;
- allowing employment prospects to influence the way in which a Councillor performs her or his role;
- avoidance of waste;
- business relations;
- misbehaviour at Council meetings;
- mistreatment of staff;
- improper use of influence;
- discreditable behaviour towards other Councillors, staff and members of the public; and,
- failing to follow Council policies.
The Code of Conduct is administered by
the Township’s Integrity Commissioner. The Integrity Commissioner is an
independent accountability officer given authority under the Ontario
Municipal Act. It is the role of the Integrity Commissioner to:
- Conduct investigations in response to complaints received for an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct;
- Provide information to members as to their obligations under the Code of Conduct;
- Provide advice to individual members regarding specific situations as they relate to the Code;
- Provide advice to members on other policies and procedures relating to the ethical behaviour of members;
- Provide information to the Public regarding the Code and the obligations of members under the Code;
- Provide an annual report to Council on the activities of the Integrity Commissioner.
Office of the Integrity Commissioner - Questions & Answers
Who can file a complaint?
Members of the public, staff, any organization as well as other Members of Council, can file complaints under the Code.
What is the process for filing a complaint?
may be filed by following the Code of Conduct Complaint Protocol. The
complaint is filed with the Integrity Commissioner.
How is the complaint investigated?
formal investigation is undertaken if the complainant wishes to forego
the opportunity for a resolution of the complaint through the informal
complaint mechanism. The official is given a copy of the complaint and
asked to respond in writing to the complaint. A copy of this response is
provided to the complainant. Should the response not be sufficient to
resolve the complaint, the Integrity Commissioner will further
investigate the matter. The process could include an interview with the
complainant and the Integrity Commissioner. Within 90 days of filing the
complaint, the Integrity Commissioner submits a report to Council,
detailing any contravention of the Code of Conduct and any
recommendations. Council determines what action will be taken.
Does the Integrity Commissioner investigate complaints about Township employees?
The Integrity Commissioner does not have any authority over Township
employees. Township employees are subject to a separate Code of Conduct.
The activities of the Integrity Commissioner relate only to the Code of
Conduct for Council, Local Board and Council Committee members.
Can an anonymous complaint be filed?
The Complaint Protocol makes no provision for anonymous complaints or
for withholding the complainant's name. However, the Protocol does
include an informal complaint procedure that allows the Integrity
Commissioner to have an informal discussion with the Township official
in an attempt to resolve the issue.