The Standing Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest for Senators is responsible to the Senate for all matters related to the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Code for Senators and its content, including all forms involving senators that are used in the Code’s administration. The Committee is also responsible for approving any guidelines that the Senate Ethics Officer prepares concerning the provisions of the Code.
The SEO is responsible for the administration of the Code and its application to the individual circumstances of each senator.
Although the SEO is an independent officer of the Senate, the SEO carries out his duties and responsibilities under the general direction of the Committee acting in an oversight role.
While the SEO is broadly accountable to the Committee and to the Senate, he acts independently in the discharge of his responsibilities.
After consultation with the SEO, the Committee may give general directives to the SEO concerning the interpretation, application and administration of the Code, but not concerning its interpretation and application as it relates to an individual senator’s particular circumstances.
The Committee is primarily responsible for recommending to the Senate any penalties and sanctions to be imposed on a senator who has been found to be in breach of the Code by the SEO. Through the Committee, the Senate retains its right to discipline its own members under parliamentary privilege by making final determinations regarding sanctions or penalties where senators have violated the provisions of the Code.
The Committee is required to carry out periodic reviews of the Code. These reviews ensure that the Code is always evolving and changing with the expectations of Canadians in the area of ethics and conflict of interest. As part of these reviews, the Committee recommends changes to the Code to the Senate.
The Committee’s website can be found here.