The Joint Compliance Audit Committee is an adjudicative body established to examine instances where election participants (including candidates, third party advertisers, and campaign contributors), appear to have contravened rules and limits established within the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, as amended.

Section 88.37 of Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (MEA) requires all municipalities and local boards to establish a compliance audit committee. In accordance with the MEA, the Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee is composed of no less than three (3) and not more than seven (7) members, and is responsible for considering applications when an eligible elector believes that a candidate or a registered third party has breached finance rules in the campaigning period.

Committee Will

  • Consider a compliance audit application received by an elector and decide whether it should be granted or rejected
  • Appoint an auditor to conduct a compliance audit of the candidates' or registered third party's campaign finances, if the application is granted
  • Receive the auditor's report
  • Consider the auditor's report and it may:
    • Commence legal proceedings against the candidate or registered third party of an apparent conviction if the report concludes that the candidate appears to have contravened a provision of the MEA relating to election campaign finances
    • Make a finding as to whether there were reasonable grounds for the application if the report concludes that the candidate or registered third party does not appear to have breached election campaign finance rules. Based on this finding, the Committee can recommend to Council whether or not to pursue the recovery of costs from the applicant.

How To Apply For a Compliance Audit

The Application for a Compliance Audit Request must be made completed and sworn in front of a commissioner and addressed to the Clerk. It must also include the reasons for the elector's belief that the candidate has contravened the MEA, and must be made within 90 days after the latest of:

  • The filing date under section 88.25 of the MEA for candidates, section 88.29 for a registered third party;
  • The candidate's supplementary filing date, if any, under section 88.25 of the MEA , section 88.29 for registered third parties; or;
  • The filing date for the final financial statement under section 88.32 of the MEA; or
  • The date on which the candidate's extension, if any, under subsection 88.23(6) or section 88.27(3) for third party of the MEA.

What Happens Next

Within 10 days after receiving the application, the Clerk will forward the application to the compliance audit committee for consideration.

Within 30 days after receiving the application, the committee will consider the application and decide whether it should be granted or rejected. The decision of the committee may be appealed to the Ontario Court of Justice within 15 days after the decision is made and the court may make any decision the committee could have made.

If the committee decides to grant the application, it will appoint an auditor to conduct a compliance audit of the candidate's or registered third party's election campaign finances. The auditor shall promptly conduct an audit of the candidate's or registered third party's election campaign finances to determine whether he or she has complied with the provisions of this Act relating to election campaign finances and shall prepare a report outlining any apparent contravention by the candidate or registered third party. The auditor will submit the report to the following: the candidate or registered third party; the council or local board, as the case may be; the Municipal Clerk; the secretary of the local board, if applicable; and the applicant.

No Apparent Contravention of The Act

If the report indicates that there was no apparent contravention and the committee finds that there were no reasonable grounds for the application, the council or local board is entitled to recover the auditor's costs from the applicant.

Additional Documents

  • Municipality of Central Elgin Staff Report
  • Municipality of Central Elgin Appointment Staff Report
  • Municipality of Central Elgin Appointment By-law
  • Terms of Reference

Submitting an Application

Applications must be filed in writing and set out the reasons why the elector believes that a candidate is in contravention of the Municipal Elections Act and be addressed our CAO.