Constituency Services and Office Budget
This information is from the 2014-2018 City Council Handbook, updated as needed.
This is a discretionary budget allocated to each Councillor to pay for expenses that are allowable under the Constituency Services and Office Budget Policy.
This budget is adjusted annually by the Statistics Canada cost of living index for Toronto, as calculated by the Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer and based on the previous year’s average (City Council, 2012).
Councillors must not exceed their annual Constituency Services and Office Budget limit, whether using City funds or personal funds.
Councillors can choose to use City funds, personal funds or a combination of the two as long as the total amount of expenditure remains within the limit. Councillors who pay for office expenses with personal funds are subject to the same accountability mechanisms and must file all receipts with the Director, Strategic Integration and Excellence, with the exception of kilometrage, parking, wireless expenses and business meals. Any Councillor who exceeds the limit using City funds must repay the City using personal funds for expenses related to kilometrage, parking, wireless devices and business meals.
The City Clerk will report to the Integrity Commissioner the names of those Councillors who exceed the Constituency Services and Office Budget limit.
The Constituency Services and Office Budget Policy sets out the roles and responsibilities concerning Councillor expenses. It includes a description of the types of budgets, guiding legislation and principles, as well as:
- Process for purchasing goods and services
- Accounting and audit principles to follow when claiming expenses
- Process for Councillor reimbursement
- Limitations on using personal funds, furniture and equipment
- Councillor expenses during an election year
- Process for reviewing Councillor expenses
- Rules for disclosure of expenses.
Section 5 of the Constituency Services and Office Budget Policy outlines the categories and types of allowable expenses payable from the Councillor’s Constituency Services and Office Budget.
In an election year, Councillors are allocated 11/12ths of the approved budget amount until the end of the Council term (November 30). New Councillors are allocated a budget equal to 1/12th of the approved budget amount for the month of December and re-elected Councillors have available to them the balance of funds remaining as of Election Day.