Council & Committee Meetings

Election Compliance Audit Committee

About the committee

As prescribed by Section 88.37(1) of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (the “Act”), the City of Hamilton has approved the establishment of the Election Compliance Audit Committee.

The Committee is responsible for reviewing and making decisions on applications for municipal election campaign finance compliance audits.

Committee type: Agencies, Boards, Tribunals
Reports to: no direct report to City Council
Meeting schedule: As required

View information about the Election Compliance Audit Process.

Alicia Davenport, Legislative Coordinator
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 2729
Email: [email protected]

Committee Membership

  • Barry Gilbert
  • John Klein
  • Linda Lister
  • Patrick Lachapelle
  • Jonathan van der Heiden

Responsibities

The Election Compliance Audit Committee shall be responsible for:

Part 1

  1. Receiving and considering an application for a compliance audit and determining whether the compliance audit should be granted or rejected;
  2. Prepare brief written reasons for the decision to grant or reject the compliance audit and provide same to the candidate or registered third party, the Clerk of the municipality and the applicant;
  3. Applications to the Committee shall use a form prescribed by the City Clerk and be accompanied by a declaration confirming that the applicant:
    (a) is an eligible elector in the City of Hamilton;
    (b) has reasonable grounds to believe that the candidate or registered third party referenced in the application has contravened a provision of the Act relating to election campaign finances;
  4. Appointing an auditor, if the compliance audit is granted;
  5. Receiving the compliance audit report from the auditor;
  6. Reviewing the auditor’s report and if the report finds a contravention appears to have occurred, deciding whether legal proceedings should be commenced against the candidate or registered third party;
  7. Prepare brief written reasons for the decision whether or not to commence legal proceedings and provide same to the candidate or registered third party, the Clerk of the municipality and the applicant;
  8. The Committee is required to review applications for compliance audits and reports from an auditor within 30 days of receipt.

Part 2

  1. Within 30 days after receiving a report prepared by the Clerk identifying each contributor to a candidate or registered third party who appears to have contravened any contribution limits set out under section 88.9 or 88.13 of the Act, consider the report and decide whether to commence a legal proceeding against a contributor for an apparent contravention of the contribution limits;
  2. Prepare brief written reasons for the decision whether or not to commence a legal proceeding and provide same to the contributor and the Clerk of the municipality.

Reporting Protocols

Following its consideration of an auditor’s report, or the report of the Clerk with respect to contribution limits, the Committee shall provide a report to Council outlining its findings and any recommendation for further action. The Committee shall provide notice of its intent to submit a report to Council one meeting in advance.

Membership

The Election Compliance Audit Committee will be comprised of four (4) members selected by the Election Compliance Audit Committee - Selection Committee.

The following are not eligible to sit on the Election Compliance Audit Committee:

  • employees or officers of the municipality or local board;
  • members of the council or local board;
  • candidates in the election for which the committee is established; or
  • persons who are registered third parties in the municipality in the election for which the committee is established.

Members must have a thorough understanding of the campaign finance rules (i.e. auditors, accountants, lawyers, etc.).

Three members will be required for quorum.

An individual shall be deemed ineligible to be a member of the Committee if they prepare the financial statements of any candidate running for office on City Council during the term for which the Committee has been established or for any registered third party.

Meetings

The Election Compliance Audit Committee will meet as necessary for the purposes of reviewing an application for a compliance audit, a report from an auditor, or a report from the Clerk with respect to contribution limits. The Committee may also meet as necessary to organize and plan its work.

Meetings of the Election Compliance Audit Committee shall be open to the public, but the committee may deliberate in private in accordance with 88.33(5.1), 88.34(9.1) and 88.36(6.1) of the Act. Meeting notices and agendas will be communicated through the City’s website.

The Chair and Vice-Chair shall be elected at the Committee’s first meeting.

Because the rules of “natural justice” require that both parties (applicant and candidate or registered third party) have the opportunity to fully present evidence, Members of the Committee must be present throughout a hearing.

A member of the Committee who arrives after a hearing has commenced will not be permitted to join the proceedings in progress.

Term

Members of the Election Compliance Audit Committee shall serve the same term of office as the Council that takes office following a regular municipal election. Each new Committee shall be appointed before October 1 of an election year.

  1. Authority
    Section 88.37(6) of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 provides that the Clerk of the City of Hamilton, shall establish administrative practices and procedures for a Compliance Audit Committee and shall carry out any other duties required under the Act to implement the Compliance Audit Committee’s decisions.
     
  2. Definitions In this Procedure:
    Act” means the Municipal Elections Act, 1996;
    applicant” means an elector as described under Sections 88.33(1) and 88.35(1) of the Act, who applies for a compliance audit of the election campaign finances of a candidate or a registered third party;
    application” means an application accepted by the Clerk of the City of Hamilton pursuant to Sections 88.33(2) and 88.35(2) of the Act;
    candidate” means the candidate whose election campaign finances are the subject of an application for a compliance audit;
    Chair” means the Chair of the Compliance Audit Committee;
    Clerk” means the Clerk of the City of Hamilton or designate;
    Clerk’s Report” means a report prepared by the Clerk pursuant to subsection 88.34(2), and 88.36(2) of the Act;
    Committee” means the Election Compliance Audit Committee;
    contributor” means an individual or entity entitled under the Act to make a contribution to the election campaign of a candidate or to a registered third party in relation to third party advertisements;
    Council” means the Council of the City of Hamilton; and
    registered third party” means an individual, corporation or trade union that is registered pursuant to the Act and whose election campaign finances in relation to third party advertisements are the subject of an application for a compliance audit;
     
  3. Application
    3.1 This Procedure shall be observed in all meetings of the Committee.

    3.2 All matters relating to the proceedings of the Committee not provided for in this Procedure shall be decided by the Chair in consultation with the Clerk having regard to the City of Hamilton Procedural By-law and the Statutory Powers Procedures Act.
     
  4. Meetings
    4.1 The Committee shall meet at the request of the Clerk.

    4.2 The Clerk shall call a meeting of the Committee when the Clerk considers it necessary, when required by the Act, or when requested to do so in writing by a majority of the Committee members.

    4.3 Meetings shall be held at the offices of the City of Hamilton or such other location as the Clerk deems appropriate.

    4.4 Meetings shall commence at the time and date to be set by the Clerk, and shall adjourn by vote of the Committee.

    4.5 The Committee shall conduct its meetings in accordance with its Procedure, the Council Procedural By-law and the Statutory Powers Procedures Act, with modifications as necessary.

    4.6 A majority of the Committee members constitutes a quorum at meetings of the Committee.

    4.7 Members of the Committee shall comply with the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and the Election Compliance Audit Committee Code of Conduct by disclosing any pecuniary interest to the Clerk and, after making such a disclosure, by absenting themselves from meetings for the duration of the consideration of the application, discussion and voting with respect to the matter.
     
  5. Chair
    5.1 At the first meeting of the Committee, the Clerk shall call the meeting to order and the first order of business shall be the selection of the Chair from the members of the Committee.

    5.2 When the Chair of the Committee is absent or is otherwise unable to act, the Committee may appoint another member as the Acting Chair. While presiding, the Acting Chair shall have all the powers of the Chair.
     
  6. Meeting Notice/Agenda
    6.1 Notice of meetings will be provided to the public on the City of Hamilton website meeting calendar.

    6.2 Application by Applicant:
    (1) Where a meeting of the Committee is required to consider the application of an applicant, made pursuant to subsection 88.33(1) or 88.35(1) of the Act, the Clerk shall give reasonable notice to the applicant and the candidate or registered third party of the time, place and purpose of a meeting and of the fact that if any party fails to attend the meeting, the Committee may proceed in the party’s absence and the party will not be entitled to further notice in relation to the meeting.
    (2) The Clerk shall circulate the agenda including a copy of the application, the financial statements of the candidate or registered third party, materials and any written submissions, to the Committee, applicant, candidate or registered third party and auditor, where applicable, within 10 days after receiving an application.

    6.3 Clerk’s Report re: Contributions:
    (1) Where a meeting of the Committee is required to consider a Clerk’s Report, the Clerk shall give reasonable notice to the contributor, and to the candidate or registered third party of the time, place and purpose of a meeting and of the fact that if any party fails to attend the meeting, the Committee may proceed in the party’s absence and the party will not be entitled to further notice in relation to the meeting.
    (2) The Clerk shall circulate the agenda including a copy of the Clerk’s Report to the Committee, contributor, and to the candidate or registered third party.
    Subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and Municipal Act, 2001, the agenda will be public and made available upon request at the Office of the City Clerk.
     
  7. Lack of Quorum
    If no quorum is present 30 minutes after the time fixed for a meeting, or the resumption of a meeting after an adjournment, or should a quorum at a meeting be lost for a period of 30 consecutive minutes, the Clerk shall record the names of the members present and the meeting shall stand adjourned until the next regular meeting day scheduled by the Clerk.
     
  8. Meeting Procedure
    8.1 Opening Statement by Chair:
    The Chair shall inform everyone in attendance of the agenda and procedures for the meeting by reading an opening statement.

    8.2 Motions:
    Following the opening statement and before considering the substance of agenda items, the members of the Committee may make preliminary motions, including motions to change the order of business or to defer an agenda item, with respect to any business properly before the Committee.

    8.3 Committee Business:
    Prior to consideration of an item on the agenda, the Chair shall identify for those present the agenda item to be considered.

    8.4 More Than One Item:
    Where the agenda includes consideration of more than one item, each item shall be considered by the Committee in its entirety before consideration of the next item.

    8.5 Introduction and Recording of Applicant, Candidate, Registered Third Party and Contributor:
    (1) Prior to consideration of an application made pursuant to section 88.33(1) or 88.35(1) of the Act, the Chair shall request the candidate or registered third party and the applicant or their agents, if present, to identify themselves and to provide their names and mailing addresses to the Clerk.

    (2) Prior to consideration of a Clerk’s Report, the Chair shall request the contributor, the candidate or registered third party and their agents, if present, to identify themselves and to provide their names and mailing addresses to the Clerk.

    8.6 Consideration of Agenda Items - Consideration of an Application:
    (1) Presentation by Applicant:
    (a) The applicant or the applicant’s agent may address the Committee;
    (b) Members of the Committee may, through the Chair, ask questions of the applicant; and
    (c) The candidate or registered third party shall be permitted to view any documents submitted by the applicant.

    (2) Presentation by Candidate or Registered Third Party:
    (a) The candidate or the registered third party or either of their agent’s may address the Committee. The candidate or registered third party may respond to the content of the applicant’s address to the Committee;
    (b) Members of the Committee may, through the Chair, ask questions of the candidate or registered third party; and
    (c) The applicant shall be permitted to view any documents of the candidate or registered third party.

    (3) Once the applicant and the candidate or registered third party have addressed the Committee, the members of the Committee shall each have an opportunity to speak to the matter.

    (4) The Committee may retire to deliberate in private before rendering its decision.

    8.7 Consideration of Agenda Items - Consideration of a Clerk’s Report:
    (1) Presentation by Clerk
    (a) The Clerk may address the Committee;
    (b) Members of the Committee may, through the Chair, ask questions of the Clerk; and
    (c) The contributor and candidate or registered third party shall be permitted to view any documents submitted by the Clerk.

    (2) Presentation by Contributor:
    (a) The contributor or the contributor’s agent may address the Committee. The contributor may respond to the content of the Clerk’s address to the Committee;
    (b) Members of the Committee may, through the Chair, ask questions of the contributor; and
    (c) The Clerk and candidate or registered third party shall be permitted to view any documents of the contributor.

    (3) Presentation by Candidate or Registered Third Party:
    (a) The candidate or registered third party or either of their agents may address the Committee. The candidate or registered third party may respond to the content of the Clerk’s address to the Committee and the contributor’s address to the Committee;
    (b) Members of the Committee may, through the Chair, ask questions of the candidate or registered third party; and
    (c) The Clerk and contributor shall be permitted to view any documents of the candidate or registered third party.

    (4) Once the Clerk, contributor and candidate or registered third party have addressed the Committee, the members of the Committee shall each have an opportunity to speak to the matter.

    (5) The Committee may retire to deliberate in private before rendering its decision.

    8.8 Voting on an Item:
    Once the process set out in Section 8.6 or 8.7 has concluded, members of the Committee may make motions and vote on the item.

    8.9 Rules of Debate:
    (1) When two or more members of the Committee wish to speak, the Chair shall designate the member who first requested to speak as the member who speaks first.

    (2) A member of the Committee may ask a question only:
    (a) of a member who has already spoken on the matter under discussion;
    (b) of the Chair; or
    (c) of any other person addressing the Committee.

    (3) A member of the Committee may ask a question only for the purpose of obtaining information relating to the matter then under discussion.

    (4) Any member of the Committee may propose a motion on the matter then under consideration, and the Clerk shall record the motion in writing.

    (5) Where a member of the Committee present at a meeting is prohibited from voting by statute, the Clerk shall record the name of the member and the reason they are prohibited from voting.
    (a) The matter put to a vote shall be in the form of a motion addressing the matter then under consideration.
    (b) All motions must be introduced by a mover before the Chair may put the question or motion on the floor for consideration.
    (c) After a motion is properly moved, it shall be deemed to be in the possession of the Committee, but may be withdrawn by the mover at any time before decision.
    (d) A motion to amend shall relate to the subject matter of the main motion, shall not be received posing a direct negative to the question, and shall be put to vote in reverse order in which the amendments are made. Only a motion to amend an amendment to the original motion shall be allowed and any further amendments must be made to the original motion.
    (e) The Committee shall endeavour to make decisions by consensus. If this is not possible, the decision of a majority of the members of the Election Compliance Committee is the Committee’s decision and, in the case of a tie, the decision of the Chair governs.

    (6) Procedural motions and precedence of motions shall be subject to consideration as set out in the Council Procedural By-law.
     
  9. Committee Decision
    9.1 The Application:
    (1) In accordance with Section 88.33(7) and 88.35(4) of the Act, within 30 days after receiving the application, the Committee shall consider the application and decide whether to grant or reject the application.

    (2) The decision of the Committee, whether granting or refusing an Application, shall be in writing, shall set out the reasons for the decision, and shall be signed by the members who concur in the decision. In addition to the written decision, nothing herein shall prevent the Committee from delivering an oral decision at the meeting.

    (3) The Clerk shall forward notice of the decision of the Committee to the
    applicant and the candidate or registered third party at the mailing addresses provided to the Clerk.

    (4) If the Committee decides to grant the application, it shall appoint an auditor, licensed under the Public Accounting Act, 2004, to conduct a compliance audit of the election campaign finances of the candidate or the registered third party.

    9.2 The Clerk’s Report:
    (1) In accordance with Section 88.34(8) and 88.36(5) of the Act, within 30 days after receiving a Clerk’s Report, the Committee shall consider the Clerk’s Report and decide whether to commence a legal proceeding against a contributor for an apparent contravention of the Act.

    (2) The decision of the Committee, shall be in writing, shall set out the reasons for the decision, and shall be signed by the members who concur in the decision. In addition to the written decision, nothing herein shall prevent the Committee from delivering an oral decision at the meeting.

    (3) The Clerk shall forward notice of the decision of the Committee to the contributor at the mailing addresses provided to the Clerk.
     
  10. Auditor
    10.1 Where an auditor is appointed by the Committee under subsection 9.1(4) of these procedures, the auditor shall promptly conduct an audit of the election campaign finances of the candidate or registered third party to determine whether they have complied with the provisions of the Act relating to election campaign finances and shall prepare a report outlining any apparent contravention by the candidate or the registered third party.

    10.2 The auditor shall submit the report to:
    (a) the candidate or the registered third party;
    (b) the Clerk;
    (c) the applicant.

    10.3 Within ten days after receiving the report, the Clerk shall forward the report to the Committee.

    10.4 The powers of the auditor are as set out under Section 88.33(15) of the Act.
     
  11. Meeting Procedure - Auditor’s Report
    11.1 Opening Statement by Chair:
    The Chair shall inform everyone in attendance of the agenda and procedures for the meeting by reading an opening statement.

    11.2 Motions:
    Following the opening statement and before considering the substance of agenda items, the members of the Committee may make preliminary motions, including motions to change the order of business or to defer an agenda item, with respect to any business properly before the Committee.

    11.3 Committee Business:
    Prior to consideration of an item on the agenda, the Chair shall identify for those present the agenda item to be considered.

    11.4 More Than One Item:
    Where the agenda includes consideration of more than one item, each item shall be considered by the Committee in its entirety before consideration of the next item.

    11.5 Introduction of Auditor:
    Prior to consideration of the Auditor’s Report, the Chair shall introduce the Auditor.

    11.6 Consideration of Agenda Items:
    (1) Presentation by Auditor.
    (2) The Committee may ask questions of the Auditor.
    (3) The Committee may retire to deliberate in private before rendering its decision.

    11.7 Voting on an Item:
    Once the process set out in Section 11.6 has concluded, members of the Committee may make motions and vote on the item.

    11.8 Rules of Debate:
    (1) When two or more members of the Committee wish to speak, the Chair shall designate the member who first requested to speak as the member who speaks first.

    (2) A member of the Committee may ask a question only:
    (a) of a member who has already spoken on the matter under discussion;
    (b) of the Chair; or
    (c) of any other person addressing the Committee.

    (3) A member of the Committee may ask a question only for the purpose of obtaining information relating to the matter then under discussion.

    (4) Any member of the Committee may propose a motion on the matter then under consideration, and the Clerk shall record the motion in writing.

    (5) Where a member of the Committee present at a meeting is prohibited from voting by statute, the Clerk shall record the name of the member and the reason they are prohibited from voting.
    (a) The matter put to a vote shall be in the form of a motion addressing the matter then under consideration.
    (b) All motions must be introduced by a mover before the Chair may put the question or motion on the floor for consideration.
    (c) After a motion is properly moved, it shall be deemed to be in the possession of the Committee, but may be withdrawn by the mover at any time before decision.
    (d) A motion to amend shall relate to the subject matter of the main motion, shall not be received posing a direct negative to the question, and shall be put to vote in reverse order in which the amendments are made. Only a motion to amend an amendment to the original motion shall be allowed and any further amendments must be made to the original motion.
    (e) The Committee shall endeavour to make decisions by consensus. If this is not possible, the decision of a majority of the members of the Election Compliance Committee is the Committee’s decision and, in the case of a tie, the decision of the Chair governs.

    (6) Procedural motions and precedence of motions shall be subject to consideration as set out in the Council Procedural By-law.
     
  12. Committee Decision - Auditor’s Report
    12.1 In accordance with subsection 88.33(17) of the Act, within 30 days of receipt of an auditor’s report, the Committee shall consider the report and may:
    (a) if the report concludes that the candidate or registered third party appears to have contravened a provision of the Act relating to election campaign finances, determine whether or not to commence a legal proceeding against the candidate or registered third party for the apparent contravention;
    (b) The decision of the Committee, shall be in writing, shall set out the reasons for the decision, and shall be signed by the members who concur in the decision. In addition to the written decision, nothing herein shall prevent the Committee from delivering an oral decision at the meeting;
    (c) The Clerk shall forward notice of the decision of the Committee to the applicant and to the candidate or registered third party at the mailing addresses provided to the Clerk.
     
  13. Exceptions to the Procedure
    The Committee may, by majority vote, waive any provision of this Procedure, as it considers appropriate to ensure the questions at issue are determined in a just manner.
     
  14. Minutes
    14.1 The Clerk shall prepare minutes of each meeting of the Committee and shall provide members with a copy of the minutes as soon as the minutes are available.

    14.2 The Committee members shall each review and sign the minutes to confirm the minutes reflect the Committee’s actions.
     
  15. Legal Proceeding
    15.1 The Committee, with the assistance of the Clerk, shall engage the services of legal counsel if it commences a legal proceeding against a candidate or registered third party or against a contributor, for any apparent contravention.