The Senate and senators benefit from constitutional privileges and immunities. One of these privileges is to govern the conduct of its members. The Senate has adopted the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators to do so.
Under the Parliament of Canada Act and the Code, the role of the Senate in the governing of the conduct of its members is:
- To establish and approve the Code and its amendments
- To approve by resolution the appointment of the Senate Ethics Officer
- To assign to the SEO his duties and functions for governing the conduct of members of the Senate, particularly under the Code
- To decide the remedial measures or sanctions to be imposed when a senator has breached the Code following an inquiry report of the SEO and the recommendations and report of the Standing Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest for Senators
The SEO is accountable to the Senate indirectly through the Committee.
The SEO carries out his duties and functions under the general direction of the Committee but is independent in interpreting and applying the Code as it relates to an individual senator’s particular circumstances.
The SEO is required to provide an annual report of his activities directly to the Speaker of the Senate, who then tables the report in the Senate.
The Senate’s website can be found here.