Compliance Audit Committee – Board Governance Structure
Mandate and Responsibilities
The Compliance Audit Committee is a local board of the City of Toronto. The Committee receives and makes decisions on applications for compliance audits of campaign finances for Council candidates and registered third party advertisers in a municipal election or by-election. The powers and functions of the committee are provided under the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (Act).
An elector who is entitled to vote in an election and believes on reasonable grounds that a candidate or registered third party advertiser has contravened a provision of the Act relating to election campaign finances may apply for a compliance audit of the candidate’s or registered third party advertiser’s campaign finances.
An application for a compliance audit must be made in writing to the City Clerk. This application must set out the reasons for the elector’s belief regarding the contravention, and must be submitted within 90 days after the candidate or third party advertiser files their financial statement.
The Act requires an outgoing City Council to establish a Compliance Audit Committee before October 1 of an election year to address election financing complaints received after an election.
The Compliance Audit Committee conducts itself in accordance with the Act and a procedures by-law. Meetings of the Committee are to be conducted in accordance with the open meeting provisions as set out in section 190 of the City of Toronto Act, 2006, and section 88.33 (5.1) of the Act.
The Compliance Audit Committee is responsible for performing functions relating to the compliance audit application process as outlined in the Act. These functions include:
- considering reports from the City Clerk identifying apparent contraventions of contribution limits, and deciding whether legal proceedings against the contributor should be commenced;
- considering a compliance audit application received from an elector and deciding whether it should be granted or rejected;
- appointing an auditor, if the application is granted; and
- receiving and considering the auditor’s report and deciding whether legal proceedings should be commenced
Board Size and Composition
The Compliance Audit Committee consists of 3 citizen members.
The Compliance Audit Committee elects a Chair from amongst its members.
Citizens are eligible for appointment to the Compliance Audit Committee, and may remain on the Compliance Audit Committee after being appointed, if they satisfy the eligibility requirements for appointment as set out in the City’s Public Appointments Policy.
Under the Act, the following individuals are ineligible for an appointment to the Committee:
- employees or officers of the City; or
- members of City Council or local boards; or
- any persons who are candidates or registered third party advertisers in the election for which the committee is established.
Any person appointed must agree in writing that:
- they will not provide advice to, or prepare or audit the election financial statements of, any candidate for office on Toronto City Council or registered third party advertiser; and
- they will not become a candidate or registered third party advertiser in the municipal election and any by-elections during the Council’s term that corresponds to the Compliance Audit Committee’s term.
Compliance Audit Committee members should collectively represent a range of expertise and be accomplished in the following areas:
- accounting and auditing – accountants or auditors with experience in preparing or auditing the financial statements of municipal candidates;
- academic – college or university professors with expertise in political science or local government administration;
- legal; and
- other individuals with knowledge of the Act’s campaign financing rules.
Appointments Process – Citizen Members
Citizen members are recruited through an advertised recruitment process. The appointments process is conducted according to the policies and procedures in the City’s Public Appointments Policy.
The Compliance Audit Committee meetings are scheduled as needed when a compliance audit application or report is received.
Citizen Members: $350 per diem for attendance at meetings.