Accountability and Transparency
The County is committed to openness and transparency in its decision-making and service delivery. To help deliver on this commitment, there are a number of mechanisms in place to promote and protect accountability and transparency in our government. The County Clerk's Office is responsible for administering these mechanisms; for more information, please explore the items below or contact the Clerk's Office.
The County has appointed the Local Authority Service (LAS) as the Municipal Closed Session Investigator to investigate in an independent manner, on a complaint made by any person, whether the municipality or local board of the municipality has complied with the Municipal Act and Procedure By-law in respect to a meeting that was closed to the public.
Members of the public, including corporations, may submit complaints to the Investigator relating to compliance with the Act or the Municipal Procedure By-law for meetings or part of meetings that are closed to the public. All complaints will be treated as confidential, unless authorization is given by the complainant to release his or her identity. Complaint forms can be downloaded from the link provided below; alternatively, hard copies are available in the Clerk’s Office. Complaints must be submitted in an envelope addressed to the Investigator, must be identified as a Complaint under Section 239 of the Act, and should include a copy of the Municipal Closed Session Investigator Policy.
Section 223.3 of the revised Ontario Municipal Act enables a municipality to appoint an "Integrity Commissioner" to address the application of the Code of Conduct for elected officials and/or members of local boards. In addition, the legislation provides that the Integrity Commissioner can be delegated any or all of the policy matters surrounding the enforcement of Codes of Conduct for elected officials and/or members of local boards.
The full mandate of the Integrity Commissioner is as follows:
- Providing written and oral advice to individual members of Council and to members of local boards about their own situation under the Code of Conduct and other procedures, rules and policies governing the ethical behaviour of members.
- Providing Council and its local boards with specific and general opinions and advice on the Town's procedures, rules and policies regulating the conduct of members and issues of compliance with such regulations.
- Conducting inquiries into a request made by Town Council, a member of Council, a local board, a member of a local board or a member of the public into whether a member of Council or a member of a local board has contravened any applicable code of conduct, procedures, rules and policies governing the ethical behaviour of members.
- Determining whether a member of Council or a member of a local board has violated any Town procedures, rules and policies governing ethical behaviour and report any violation with any recommendation for sanction to Council.
- Providing an annual report to Council on issues addressed, including examples in general terms of advice rendered and complaints received and disposed of.
- Providing, as requested, outreach programs to Council and local boards on issues of ethics and integrity.
- Providing, as required, recommended policies and procedures to govern the ethical behaviour of Members of Council and local boards.
Code of Conduct for Members of Council
The Corporation of the County of Prince Edward is committed to achieving the highest quality of municipal administration and governance by encouraging high standards of conduct on the part of all elected officials. A Code of Conduct aims to ensure public trust and confidence in the County’s decision making and operations. Adherence to these standards will protect and maintain the municipality’s integrity and fairness in its
decision-making process. The Code of Conduct covers expected standards relating to:
- general itegrity;
- confidential information;
- conduct at Council & Committee meetings;
- conduct respecting public;
- improper use of influence;
- conduct respecting staff;
- use of municipal property and resources;
- gifts, benefits and hospitality; and,
- election-related activities.
Members of Council are expected to adhere to the provisions of the Code of Conduct. The Municipal Act, 2001 authorizes Council, where it has received a report by its Integrity Commissioner that, in his or her opinion, there has been a violation of the Code of Conduct, to impose either of the following sanctions:
- A reprimand;
- Suspension of the renumeration paid to the member in respect of his or her services as a member of Council or a local board, for a period of up to 90 days.
The Integrity Commissioner may also recommend that Council impose one of the following sanctions:
- Written or verbal public apology;
- Return of property or reimbursement of its value or of monies spent;
- Removal from membership of a committee; and,
- Removal as chair of a committee.
For a more fullsome review of the policy, please download the Code of Conduct for Members of Council.
Any individual who identifies or witnesses behaviour or activity by a sitting Member of Council that appears to be in contravention of the Code of Conduct may file a complaint against the Member through the Integrity Commissioner. Such individuals are encouraged to pursue an informal complaint procedure as the first means of remedying behaviour or an activity that they believe violates the Code of Conduct. However, the informal complaint procedure is not a precondition or a prerequisite to pursuing the formal complaint procedure.
Complaints should be filed with the County Clerk who will forward the matter to the Integrity Commissioner for initial classification to determine if the matter is, on its face, a complaint with respect to non-compliance with the Code of Conduct and not covered by other legislation or other policies.
For more information about the Complaint Protocol or to initiate a complaint, please read Appendix A of the Code of Conduct for Members of Council.
Requests for information can be made by simply contacting the appropriate department within the municipality, and asking for the desired information. If the information is not available, a formal request can be made under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act) using the Access to Information Request Form.
The Clerk’s Office is responsible for the administration of the Act, including receiving and processing access requests on behalf of the County, providing advice to administration, serving members of the public and helping to ensure that the privacy requirements of the Act are met. For more information and frequently asked questions, click Accessing Municipal Information.