Stronger Accountability and Oversight of Expenses
New Law Empowers Integrity Commissioner to Review Agency Expenses
A new law designed to strengthen accountability, transparency and oversight of government agency expense claims received Royal Assent today.
The Public Sector Expenses Review Act, 2009 gives Ontario's Integrity Commissioner the legal authority to review the expense claims of senior officials who are employed by or appointed to the province's largest agencies, boards and commissions.
It's expected the new Act will be proclaimed into force in November and the expense claims of senior employees and appointees of 22 of the province's largest agencies will become subject to the Integrity Commissioner's review.
Under the Act the Commissioner is required to give an annual written report about his or her review of expense claims to the Speaker. The Commissioner also has the discretion to make a public report respecting any matter related to the Commissioner's functions under the Act.
The proposed legislation requires employees in government agencies to abide by the same level of accountability and oversight that cabinet ministers and political staff must follow under the Cabinet Ministers' and Opposition Leaders' Expenses Review and Accountability Act.
- The proposed legislation would require the Integrity Commissioner to prepare and make public an annual report on the review of expense claims.
- Under the legislation the government has the power to make regulations requiring the expense claims of employees and appointees of any government agency, board or commission to be submitted to the Integrity Commissioner for review.
“This law provides further accountability, transparency and oversight with regard to the spending of taxpayers' hard-earned dollars. The law empowers the Integrity Commissioner to review the expense claims of senior management at our 22 largest agencies and take whatever action he or she deems necessary. It's more important than ever that we all take responsibility for ensuring tax dollars are spent wisely.”