Created in 1994, the Office of the Ethics Counsellor was responsible for the administration of the Conflict of Interest and Post Employment Code for Public Office Holders (aka the Conflict of Interest Code) and acted as an advisor to public office holders.
Evolution to present day:
- Enforcement of the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct becomes an additional responsibility of the Office of the Ethics Counsellor as per An Act to Amend the Lobbyists Registration Act and to Make Related Amendments to Other Acts, S.C. 1995, c. 12.
- An Act to Amend the Parliament of Canada Act (Ethics Commissioner and Senate Ethics Officer) and Other Acts in Consequence, S.C. 2004, c. 7, creates the Office of the Ethics Commisioner. As a result the Office of the Ethics Counsellor is dissolved. Responsibility for the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct is transferred to the Registrar of Lobbyists; the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists becomes an administrative unit within Industry Canada.
- In 2006, the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists moves from Industry Canada to operate as an independent entity within the the Treasury Board. On July 2, 2008, amendments to the Lobbyists Registration Act (renamed the Lobbying Act) contained in the Federal Accountability Act, S.C. 2006, c. 9, are brought into force, replacing the position of Registrar of Lobbyists with that of Commissioner of Lobbying, an independent Agent of Parliament.
- With the coming into force of the Conflict of Interest Act (enacted in Part 1 of the Federal Accountability Act, S.C. 2006, c. 9) on July 9, 2007, the Office of the Ethics Commissioner is dissolved and replaced by the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. The Commissioner is responsible for administering the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons (known as the MP Code, which replaces the Conflict of Interest and Post Employment Code for Public Office Holders) and for administering the Conflict of Interest Act for public office holders.
The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner provides confidential advice to MPs and public office holders and may conduct inquiries or examinations. Summaries of compliance documents required of each MP are available to the public on request, by fax or mail. The public may access information on documents required of a public office holder online.