Conflict of Interest Commissioner
Annual Report2013 Annual Report of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner
The Conflict of Interest Act
The purpose of the Conflict of Interest Act is to assist members and ministers in reconciling their private and public interests to enhance public confidence in the Legislative Assembly. Members of the Legislative Assembly must have the trust and confidence of the public who elected them to discharge their duties. To achieve that trust and confidence, members and ministers must adhere to the provisions of the Act and conduct their duties with integrity. The Conflict of Interest Act provides that members of the Legislative Assembly must serve the public interest when discharging their public responsibilities. Where there is a conflict between the public interest and the member's private or family interest, it is the public interest that should prevail.
The Conflict of Interest Act is administered by the Conflict of Interest Commissioner who is an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly. The Commissioner has four separate but related roles:
First, the Commissioner acts as an advisor to members.
Secondly, each member is required to meet with the Commissioner at least once annually to review the disclosure of the member's private interests and general obligations imposed by the Act.
Thirdly, the Commissioner prepares a Public Disclosure Statement for each member of the Legislative Assembly. These statements are filed with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and are available for public inspection.
Fourthly, the Commissioner undertakes inquiries into alleged contraventions of the Conflict of Interest Act. Where a member alleges that another member has contravened the Act, the Commissioner will give an opinion respecting the matter. Upon completion of the investigation, the Commissioner reports to the legislature through the Speaker. If the Commissioner finds that the member is in breach of the Act, the Commissioner shall recommend a suitable penalty.