The mandate of the Senate Ethics Officer is to administer, interpret and apply the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators. The SEO’s mandate involves six roles.
1. Opinions and Advice
The main role of the Senate Ethics Officer is to provide independent, non-partisan advice to senators on the application and interpretation of the Code. The SEO strives to provide consistent and transparent advice to senators in a timely fashion.
2. Disclosure Process
An important role of the Senate Ethics Officer is to administer the disclosure process under the Code. The disclosure process is at the heart of the rules on conflict of interest for senators. The process is aimed at fostering transparency, accountability, and confidence in the Senate.
An important role of the Senate Ethics Officer involves conducting inquiries to determine whether senators have complied with their obligations under the Code.
4. Public Registry
The Senate Ethics Officer is responsible for the maintenance of the Public Registry, an important part of any modern conflict of interest regime that promotes integrity and enhances accountability and transparency in the Senate. The Public Registry contains all senators’ public disclosure files, including their Public Disclosure Summaries, their Statements of Material Changes, Statements of Gifts or Other Benefits, their Statements of Sponsored Travel, and any Declarations of Private Interests.
The online Public Registry can be consulted here.
5. Outreach and External Activities
The Senate Ethics Officer keeps abreast of developments related to ethics and conflict of interest issues and reaches out to others interested in these issues.
6. Annual Report
Within three months after the end of each fiscal year, the Senate Ethics Officer must submit a report of his activities to the Speaker of the Senate, who tables the report in the Senate. The annual reports shed more light on his work, as well as on his views regarding various issues that may be of interest to senators and to the public. Through his annual reports, the SEO is accountable to the Senate and to the public.
The annual reports are available here.