The office of the Senate Ethics Officer (SEO) was created in 2004 by amendments to the Parliament of Canada Act.
The Senate Ethics Officer is appointed by the Governor in Council, after consultation with the leaders of the recognized parties in the Senate and a confirming vote in the chamber. The Officer holds the position for a term of seven years and may be removed only by the Governor in Council following an address of the Senate, and only for cause. He or she may be reappointed for subsequent terms of up to seven years.
The statute provides that the SEO is to perform the duties and functions assigned by the Senate for governing the conduct of members of the Senate. Thus, the SEO is responsible for administering the Conflict of Interest Code for Senators, in collaboration with the Standing Senate Committee on Conflict of Interest for Senators.