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Election Compliance Audit Committee

Pursuant to Section 88.37(1) of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, as amended, municipalities are required, prior to October 1 in a regular election year, to establish a Compliance Audit Committee (CAC). The purpose of the CAC is to consider applications for compliance audits of candidates’ or registered third parties’ campaign finances and determine if audits are required. The Terms of Reference have been established to ensure that the duties and responsibilities of the CAC are fulfilled in a fair, open and responsible manner.

The Committee is to be comprised of persons with accounting and audit, academic or legal backgrounds and/or other individuals with knowledge of election campaign finances. Members should have a demonstrated knowledge and understanding of municipal election campaign finances; proven analytical and decision-making skills; experience working on a committee, task force or similar setting; and good oral and written communication skills.

There are three (3) appointed members from the public who comprise the Committee. Employees of the Town of Essex, Council members and any candidates in the most recent municipal election, or in any by-election during the term of Council, are not eligible to be appointed as a member of this Committee.

The Committee is established prior to Election Day and appointments take effect on the first day of the new Council’s term of office.

Committee responsibilities

The Committee performs duties related to the compliance audit application process as outlined in the Act including:

  • considering a compliance audit application received by an elector and deciding whether the application should be granted or rejected;
  • appointing an Auditor if the application is granted;
  • receiving the Auditor’s report;
  • reviewing the Auditor’s report and deciding whether legal proceedings should be commenced; and
  • determining whether to recover the costs of conducting the compliance audit from the applicant, if the Auditor’s report indicates there were no apparent contraventions and, if there were no reasonable grounds for the application.

How to apply for a compliance audit

To apply for a compliance audit, you must notify the Town Clerk in writing, including your name, address and contact information, the candidate’s name, and the reason for requesting a compliance audit with specific examples.

If an Auditor is appointed and the Auditor’s report finds that there was no apparent contravention of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, the Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee may find that there were no reasonable grounds for the application and seek to recover the Auditor’s costs from the applicant.