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Surrey Ethics Commissioner Office

The postion of Surrey Ethics Commissioner Office (SECO) was established by "Ethics Commissioner Establishment Bylaw, 2020, No. 20018". The Ethics Commissioner is a neutral, independent officer who oversees the conduct of elected officials at the City of Surrey, and operates independently of City Council and City Administration. 

The Ethics Commissioner is appointed by Council for a term of up to two years, and their term may be renewed for a maximum of three 1-year terms. Council appointed Reece Harding as the Ethics Commissioner for a term of two years, beginning July 13, 2020.

There is no legislation in British Columbia mandating a specific type of ethical framework for municipalities. The standards of conduct expected of elected officials are outlined in legislation and other binding documents, the most important of which is the "Council Code of Conduct Bylaw. 2020, No. 20020".

Core Functions:

  1. Provide advice to Council Members on behaviour that would be consistent with the Council Members' ethical obligations under the Code of Conduct;

  2. Deliver training, as part of orientation or on an annual basis, on any aspects of ethical conduct that the Commissioner determines may be valuable for Council Members, which includes the ability to compel attendance of the Council Members;

  3. Receive, review, investigate and adjudicate complaints related to the conduct of a Council Member and violations of the Code of Conduct;

  4. Decide whether the matter is within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner;

  5. Adopt procedures, policies and protocols designed to ensure that Formal Complaints are fully and fairly investigated;

  6.  Determine whether to proceed to investigate a Formal Complaint or dispose of the Formal Complaint in a summary manner;

  7.  Subject to the requirements of the Code of Conduct respecting procedural fairness, identify records and documentation received and reviewed during an investigation as confidential; and

  8. Provide advice and recommendations to Council regarding amendments to the Code of Conduct and any other policies, procedures or protocols governing Council Members' ethical behaviour.
     

Background Information:

Corporate Report 2020-R013: Ethics Commissioner Establishment Bylaw, 2020, No. 20018

Appointment of Ethics Selection Committee Members
 

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