The officers of Parliament now form a group which includes the Auditor General and seven other "ethical regulators". Because of its independence and the nature of its members' mandates, this group is thought to be key to restoring the public's faith in government. However, the officers do not clearly fall within one of the three branches of government and are not fully subject to democratic accountability mechanisms, raising questions about the legitimacy of their exercise of authority.
This thesis explores alternative theories for supporting the legitimacy of officers of Parliament and draws lessons from that exercise for the future development of this virtues-based institution.
OVERVIEW OF CONTENTS
Who are the officers of Parliament and why do we have them?
Why are officers of Parliament important?
- Purposes behind the creation of officers of Parliament
- The result – the current officers of Parliament
- Do the officers of Parliament form a unit?
- Conclusion – Values-based Mandates
The constitution and the legitimacy of officers of Parliament
- Impact on individuals
- Impact on management of departments
- Impact on Parliament and parliamentarians
- Impact on the public
The legitimacy of officers of Parliament – An alternative approach
- Which branch of government appoints and removes the officers?
- Which branch of government do they work for?
- Who directs them?
- Which branch do they most closely resemble?
- Who is accountable for them and to whom do they account?
- On whose behalf do they act?
The legitimacy of officers of Parliament – Lessons learned
- Perceived legitimacy
- Beyond the perception
- Alternate sources of legitimacy
Appendix: Comparison of three executive agencies with the officers of Parliament
- The reasons for their structure and mandates
- The need for a decision-making framework
- New officers of Parliament/new mandates?
- Matters for potential reform
Table of legislation
Table of cases
- The Canadian Human Rights Commission
- The Public Service Commission
- The Security Intelligence Review Committee