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Public Officers Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45

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Public Officers Act

R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER P.45

Historical version for the period January 1, 2004 to June 21, 2006.

Amended by: 2002, c. 17, Sched. F, Table; 2002, c. 24, Sched. B, s. 25.

Public officer to be Canadian Citizen or permanent resident

1. No person shall be employed in any public office in Ontario who is not a Canadian Citizen or permanent resident of Canada, but nothing in this section prevents the employment of any person for a temporary purpose by the Government of Ontario or by any commission acting for or on behalf of the Crown, when in the opinion of the Government or of such commission such employment is in the public interest. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 1.

Commissions continued on demise of the Sovereign

2. (1) It is not necessary, upon the demise of the Sovereign, to renew any commission, by virtue whereof any public officer or functionary in Ontario held his or her office or profession, during the previous reign, but a proclamation shall be issued by the Lieutenant Governor, authorizing all persons in office who held commissions under the late Sovereign and all functionaries who exercised any profession by virtue of any such commissions, to continue in the due exercise of their respective duties, functions and professions, and such proclamation shall suffice, and the incumbents shall, as soon thereafter as may be, take the usual and customary oath of allegiance before the proper officer or officers thereunto appointed. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 2 (1).

Continuance in duty and validity of acts

(2) The proclamation having been issued and oath taken, every public officer and functionary shall continue in the lawful exercise of the duties and functions of his or her office or profession as fully as if newly appointed by commission derived from the Sovereign for the time being, and all acts and things done and performed in good faith by such incumbents in their respective offices and in the due and faithful performance of their duties and functions between the time of the demise and the proclamation so to be issued, the oath of allegiance being always duly taken, shall be deemed to be legally done and valid accordingly. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 2 (2).

Savings as to rights of the Crown

3. Nothing in section 2 prejudices or in any way affects the rights or prerogatives of the Crown with respect to any office or appointment derived or held by authority from the Crown, nor prejudices or affects the rights or prerogatives thereof in any other respect whatsoever. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 3.

Oaths of allegiance and office

4. It is not necessary for any person appointed to any office in Ontario or for any person called as a barrister or admitted as a solicitor to make any declaration or subscription or to take or subscribe any other oath than the following:

I, ................................, do swear (or solemnly affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second (or the reigning Sovereign for the time being), her heirs and successors according to law. So help me God. (omit this phrase in an affirmation).

and also such oath for the faithful performance of the duties of his or her office or for the due exercise of his or her profession or calling as may be required by any law in that behalf. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 4.

Form of oath of allegiance to be used

5. Except where otherwise specially provided, the form hereinbefore set forth, and no other, is the oath of allegiance to be administered to and taken by every person in Ontario, who, either of his or her own accord or in compliance with any lawful requirement made on him or her or in obedience to the directions of any Act, desires to take an oath of allegiance. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 5.

Who may administer oath of allegiance

6. All provincial judges and all other officers lawfully authorized, either by virtue of their office or by special commission from the Crown for that purpose, may administer the oath of allegiance in any part of Ontario. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 6.

Security to be given by certain public officers

7. (1) Security by or on behalf of every person appointed to any office or employment, or commission in the public services of Ontario, or to any office or employment of public trust, or wherein he or she is concerned in the collection, receipt, disbursement or expenditure of any public money under the Government of Ontario, and who by reason thereof is required to give security, shall be furnished within one month after notice of his or her appointment, if he or she is then in Ontario, or within three months, if he or she is then absent from Ontario (unless he or she sooner arrives in Ontario, and then within one month after such arrival), in such sum and in such manner as is approved of by the Lieutenant Governor in Council or by the principal officer or person in the office or ministry to which he or she is appointed, for the due performance of the trust reposed in him or her and for his or her duly accounting for all public money entrusted to him or her or placed under his or her control. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 7 (1).

Liability of sureties of public officer for acts of deputy

(2) Where a deputy is appointed by a person holding an office, any security required by law and given on behalf of the person, extends to and includes the acts and omissions of the deputy, whether appointed before or after the giving of the security. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 7 (2).

Security to cover acts and omissions of deputy

(3) The liability of the sureties, and of the officer appointing the deputy, is the same as regards the performance of the duties of the office by the deputy, as in regard to the performance thereof by the person holding the office, and such liability extends to and covers all acts and omissions of the deputy while he or she continues to perform the duties of the office, and whether before or after the death or resignation of the person appointing him or her, subject to the same rights of withdrawal by the sureties from liability, as exist in regard to the security given by public officers. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 7 (3).

Deputy may be required to furnish security

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, despite this section, require new security to be furnished by any deputy on the death or resignation of the person holding the office wherein he or she is deputy, and such security shall be for the like amount, and subject to the same conditions as that required by law for the due performance of the duties of the officer whom the deputy represents. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 7 (4).

Form of security

8. The Lieutenant Governor in Council may prescribe the form of the security required to be furnished under any statute by a public officer or by any class of public officers, and may authorize the Treasurer of Ontario to enter into agreements in Her Majesty’s name with any corporation authorized to carry on the business of fidelity insurance in Ontario for the furnishing of security for any public officer, or for public officers generally, or for any class or classes of public officers. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 8.

Savings as to municipal or school treasurers

9. Nothing in the preceding sections applies to any treasurer or other officer of a municipal or school corporation having the custody of money of such corporation. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 9.

Laying statement of securities before Assembly

10. The Treasurer of Ontario shall cause to be prepared and laid before the Assembly, within fifteen days after the opening of every session thereof, a detailed statement of all securities furnished on behalf of public officers, and of any changes that have been made in reference to such securities since the last statement laid before the Assembly. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 10.

Effect of securities by public officers

11. The security furnished on behalf of any public officer in pursuance of this or any other Act requiring security enures as well for the benefit of Her Majesty as for that of the persons for whose benefit it is provided by the Act requiring the security or otherwise that it shall enure. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 11.

12. Repealed: 2002, c. 24, Sched. B, s. 25.

Local registrars and clerks

13. Every local registrar of the Ontario Court (General Division) and every clerk of the Small Claims Court for a division embracing a local municipality that was a city on December 31, 2002 or part of such local municipality, shall keep a separate book in which he or she shall enter from day to day all fees, charges and emoluments received by him or her by virtue of his or her office, showing the sums received by him or her for fees, charges and emoluments of all kinds whatsoever, and shall on or before the 15th day of January in each year make up a statement under oath of such fees, charges and emoluments to and including the 31st day of December of the previous year and deliver or mail it to the Attorney General. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 13; 2002, c. 17, Sched. F, Table.

Particulars in returns by public officers

14. Every public officer who is by this or any other Act required to make a return of the fees and emoluments of his or her office to any ministry of the Government, or to any officer, shall include in his or her return,

(a) the aggregate amount of all fees and emoluments earned by him or her during the preceding year by virtue of his or her office;

(b) the aggregate amount of all fees and emoluments actually received by him or her during the preceding year by virtue of his or her office;

(c) the actual amount of the disbursements during the same period in connection with his or her office, and such other particulars as the Lieutenant Governor in Council may prescribe. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 14.

Procedure against person who has ceased to be a public officer for retaining money, books, etc.

15. Where a person who has been, but has ceased to be, a public officer, retains possession of any accounts, money, books, papers, matters or things that have been in his or her possession as such officer, a judge of the Ontario Court (General Division), upon application of the successor in the office of such person or of the Attorney General or of some person by his or her authority, and on notice to the person affected, may order that such accounts, money, books, papers, matters and things be forthwith delivered to such successor in office or to such person as the judge may direct, and in default that such person be committed to a correctional institution for such period as the judge may direct, or until he or she complies with the directions of the order, and may authorize the sheriff for the area in which the same may be found to forthwith seize and take such accounts, money, books, papers, matters and things, and deliver them to the persons to whom they have been directed to be delivered. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 15.

Procedure when public officer interested in question before him

16. Where by any general or special Act any person or the occupant for the time being of any office is empowered to do or perform any act, matter or thing and such person or the occupant for the time being of such office is disqualified by interest from acting and no other person is by law empowered to do or perform such act, matter or thing, then he or she or any interested person may apply, upon summary motion, to a judge of the Ontario Court (General Division), who may appoint some disinterested person to do or perform the act, matter or thing in question. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.45, s. 16.