IN order to rebuild confidence and trust at City Hall, One Surrey announced Wednesday that it will establish an Integrity Commissioner to ensure high standards of ethical and respectful behaviour.
“We must do everything in our power to create a safe workplace that fosters a culture of integrity and respect at City Hall. It’s time the City of Surrey had an independent watchdog, working for the people of Surrey, responsible for investigating inappropriate behaviour, and enhancing transparency and accountability,” said mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode.
The Integrity Commissioner will investigate complaints of unethical behaviour and wrongdoing, as well as review and disclose expenses to ensure City Hall is conducting business in the public’s best interest. The commissioner will issue annual reports and have the power to refer matters to the RCMP without consulting with the mayor, Council or city manager.
“One Surrey has listened to residents who have expressed the need for City Hall to have an impartial and confidential investigator examining complaints from staff and the public,” said Rasode.
The Commissioner will be responsible for creating an expanded lobbyist registry, similar to Ottawa and Toronto, to restore trust in the decision-making process. Rasode said the scope of the current policy is too narrow, noting that Toronto had 4,705 reports of lobbying in 2013, while Surrey had only about 150 reports.
They will also enhance the powers of the Whistleblower and Respectful Workplace policies to ensure that all allegations are investigated fairly and thoroughly.
This announcement is part the One Surrey plan to create the most transparent and accountable government in Canada, said Rasode.