C-23.1, r. 2 - Regulation respecting the rules of conduct applicable to the office staff of ministers

Full text
chapter C-23.1, r. 2
Regulation respecting the rules of conduct applicable to the office staff of ministers
ETHICS AND CONDUCT — OFFICE STAFF OF MINISTERS
Code of ethics and conduct of the Members of the National Assembly
(chapter C-23.1, s. 123).
C-23.1
Executive Powers Act
(chapter E-18, s. 11.7).
E-18
April 30 2013
CHAPTER I
APPLICATION
1. The purpose of this regulation is to set out rules of conduct for the office staff of ministers.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 1.
2. The regulation applies to the executive secretary and other office staff, including electoral division staff and regional staff, if applicable, appointed by a minister in accordance with section 11.5 of the Executive Powers Act (chapter E-18).
The rules of conduct for the office staff of the House officers of the National Assembly and the staff of the Members are adopted by the Office of the National Assembly, in accordance with section 124.3 of the Act respecting the National Assembly (chapter A-23.1).
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 2.
3. For the purposes of this regulation, “public body” and “family member” have the meanings given in section 5 of the Code of ethics and conduct of the Members of the National Assembly (chapter C-23.1).
The “Ethics Commissioner” is the Ethics Commissioner appointed under section 62 of the Code.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 3.
CHAPTER II
VALUES AND ETHICAL PRINCIPLES
4. Office staff adhere to the values of the National Assembly stated in section 6 of the Code.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 4.
5. Office staff recognize that these values must guide them in carrying out the duties of their position and in determining the rules of conduct applicable to them, and be taken into account in interpreting this regulation. They strive for consistency between their actions and the values of the National Assembly, even when their actions do not in themselves contravene the applicable rules of conduct.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 5.
CHAPTER III
RULES OF CONDUCT
DIVISION I
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
6. In the exercise of their functions, office staff may not
(1)  place themselves in a situation where there is a conflict between their private interests and the duties of their position;
(2)  act, attempt to act, or refrain from acting, so as to further their private interests or those of a family member, or to improperly further another person’s private interests; or
(3)  use their position to influence or attempt to influence another person’s decision so as to further their private interests or those of a family member, or to improperly further another person’s private interests.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 6.
7. Office staff may not use, communicate or attempt to use or communicate information obtained in or in connection with the carrying out of the duties of their position that is not generally available to the public so as to further their or another person’s private interests.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 7.
8. Office staff may not, directly or indirectly, be party to a contract with the Government or a department or public body.
However, they may
(1)  have interests in an enterprise that is party to such a contract, provided that the extent of the interests and the circumstances in which the contract is entered into make collusion or undue influence unlikely;
(2)  receive a loan, a reimbursement, a grant, an indemnity or any other benefit from the Government or a department or public body under any Act, regulation or program; and
(3)  hold securities issued by the Government or a public body on the same terms as are applicable to all.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 8.
9. Office staff who find themselves in a conflict of interest must put an end to the situation immediately.
As long as the situation remains unresolved, the staff member concerned may not discuss, even privately, any file that may be seen, however remotely, as being related to the interest in question, and must not exert or attempt to exert, directly or indirectly, any influence with regard to such a file.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 9.
10. An office staff member who simultaneously holds another position must avoid any conflict between the duties of the two positions.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 10.
DIVISION II
GIFTS AND BENEFITS
11. Office staff must not solicit, elicit, accept or receive any benefit, whether for themselves or for another person, in exchange for intervening or taking a certain position on any issue they may be called upon to intervene or take a position on as part of their duties.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 11.
12. Office staff must refuse or, at the first opportunity, return to the donor or deliver to the Ethics Commissioner any gift, hospitality or other benefit, whatever its value, that may impair their independence of judgment in carrying out the duties of their position, or that may compromise their integrity or that of the office for which they work.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 12.
13. Office staff who have received, directly or indirectly, a gift, hospitality or other benefit that has a value of more than $200 and choose not to return it to the donor or deliver it to the Ethics Commissioner must, within 30 days, file with the Ethics Commissioner a disclosure statement containing an accurate description of the gift, hospitality or other benefit received and specifying the name of the donor and the date on which and circumstances under which it was received.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 13.
14. For the purposes of section 13, the repeated receipt of gifts, hospitality and other benefits from the same source must be taken into account.
For the purposes of section 13, the $200 is computed over a 12-month period.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 14.
15. Section 13 does not apply to gifts, hospitality or other benefits received by an office staff member in the context of a purely personal relationship.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 15.
16. Things received by the Ethics Commissioner under this Division are disposed of in accordance with section 34 of the Code.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 16.
DIVISION III
USE OF STATE PROPERTY AND SERVICES
17. Office staff use State property, including property leased by the State and services made available to them by the State, for activities related to the carrying out of the duties of their position.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 17.
DIVISION IV
DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
18. This division applies to executive secretaries.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 18.
19. Within 60 days after the notice of their appointment, and annually on or before the date set by the Ethics Commissioner, executive secretaries must file with the Ethics Commissioner a disclosure statement that
(1)  gives the name of any enterprise, association or body, whether non-profit or for-profit, in which they or a family member have an interest, including shares, stocks, pecuniary benefits, claims, priorities or hypothecs;
(2)  states the nature of any professional, commercial or industrial position, office or activity engaged in by them or a family member since the previous disclosure statement was made or since their appointment as executive secretary, and states the name of the enterprise, association or body, whether non-profit or for-profit, on whose behalf the position, office or activity was engaged in, or the fact that it was engaged in on their or the family member’s own account;
(3)  describes any other fact, situation or event of a personal, professional or philanthropic nature that could place them in a conflict of interest situation or be reasonably perceived as doing so;
(4)  gives any other information requested by the Ethics Commissioner.
An executive secretary who has no information to provide under subparagraphs 1 to 3 must fill out a statement to that effect and file it with the Ethics Commissioner.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 19.
20. Executive secretaries must inform the Ethics Commissioner in writing of any material change in the information required in their disclosure statement within 60 days after the change occurs.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 20.
21. After reviewing a disclosure statement filed under section 19, the Ethics Commissioner may request a meeting with the executive secretary concerned to ensure that adequate disclosure has been made and to discuss the executive secretary’s obligations under this regulation.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 21.
DIVISION V
POST-TERM RULES
22. This division does not apply to support staff.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 22.
23. Former office staff must conduct themselves so as not to obtain undue benefit from their prior position.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 23.
24. Former office staff must not disclose confidential information obtained in or in connection with the carrying out of the duties of their former position, and must not give advice to any person based on information not available to the public, obtained in or in connection with the carrying out of those duties.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 24.
25. Office staff who acted in connection with a proceeding, negotiation or other transaction may not act for or on behalf of anyone else in the same proceeding, negotiation or other transaction after leaving their position.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 25.
26. Office staff may not, in the year after they leave their position,
(1)  accept any appointment to a board of directors or as a member of any body, agency, enterprise or other entity that is not a State entity within the meaning of section 56 of the Code and with which they had official, direct and significant dealings in the year preceding their leaving the position, or accept employment, a position or any other post within such a body, agency, enterprise or entity; or
(2)  intervene on behalf of anyone else with any department or other State entity within the meaning of section 56 of the Code and with which they had official, direct and significant dealings in the year prior to their leaving the position.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 26.
CHAPTER IV
ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT
DIVISION I
ETHICS COMMISSIONER
27. The Ethics Commissioner is responsible for the administration of this regulation.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 27.
28. In exercising the duties of office, the Ethics Commissioner focuses on information and prevention and maintains high standards of confidentiality, objectivity and impartiality.
In all interventions and more particularly in determining the rules of conduct applicable to the office staff of ministers, the Ethics Commissioner takes into account their adherence to the values of the National Assembly.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 28.
29. The Ethics Commissioner retains authority in respect of former office staff for a period of one year after they have left their position. Even after the expiry of that period, the Ethics Commissioner may continue an inquiry that had already begun.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 29.
30. The Ethics Commissioner must retain all documents relating to an office staff member for a period of 12 months after he or she has left the position of office staff member. The documents are then to be destroyed unless an inquiry under this regulation is in progress or has been suspended or a charge has been laid against the office staff member, and the documents may be relevant.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 30.
DIVISION II
ADVISORY OPINIONS OF THE ETHICS COMMISSIONER
31. In response to a request in writing from an office staff member on any matter respecting his or her obligations under this regulation, the Ethics Commissioner provides him or her with a written advisory opinion containing reasons and any recommendations the Ethics Commissioner considers appropriate.
The advisory opinion is confidential and may only be made public by the person who requested it or with that person’s written consent, subject to the Ethics Commissioner’s power to conduct an inquiry and report on the facts alleged in or discovered in connection with the person’s request.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 31.
32. An act or omission by an office staff member is deemed not to be a breach of this regulation if he or she had previously requested an advisory opinion from the Ethics Commissioner and the advisory opinion concluded that the act or omission did not contravene this regulation, so long as the facts relevant to the request were fully and accurately presented to the Ethics Commissioner.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 32.
33. The Ethics Commissioner may publish guidelines for office staff regarding the application of this regulation, provided that no personal information is included.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 33.
DIVISION III
INQUIRY AND REPORT
34. In response to a written request from the Premier or the Minister concerned, or on the Ethics Commissioner’s own initiative, and after giving the office staff member concerned reasonable written notice, the Ethics Commissioner may conduct an inquiry to determine whether the office staff member has violated the rules of conduct set out in this regulation.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 34.
35. After receiving a request for an inquiry to determine whether there has been a violation of the rules of conduct set out in this regulation, the Ethics Commissioner informs the office staff member concerned.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 35.
36. If the Ethics Commissioner considers it necessary, the Ethics Commissioner may specially authorize a person to conduct an inquiry.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 36.
37. The Ethics Commissioner and any person specially authorized by the Ethics Commissioner have, for the purposes of an inquiry and in accordance with section 93 of the Code, the powers and immunity conferred on commissioners appointed under the Act respecting public inquiry commissions (chapter C-37), except the power to order imprisonment.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 37.
38. The Ethics Commissioner may make agreements with other persons such as the Auditor General and the Lobbyists Commissioner for the conduct of joint inquiries, each under the legislative provisions that person administers.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 38.
39. If, after a verification, the Ethics Commissioner is of the opinion that there are no grounds for a request for an inquiry, the Ethics Commissioner terminates the inquiry process and records that fact in the report on the matter.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 39.
40. The Ethics Commissioner must conduct inquiries in private and with due dispatch. The Ethics Commissioner must allow the office staff member concerned to present a full and complete defence, including an opportunity to submit observations and, if the office staff member so requests, to be heard, including on the question of whether he or she has violated the rules of conduct set out in this regulation.
The Ethics Commissioner must not comment publicly on a verification or inquiry but may confirm that a request for a verification or an inquiry has been received or that a verification or inquiry is under way or has been completed. The Ethics Commissioner may also state why, after a verification, the Ethics Commissioner decided not to conduct an inquiry.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 40.
41. The Ethics Commissioner’s inquiry report is sent to the office staff member concerned, the Minister concerned and the Premier. If applicable, the Ethics Commissioner informs the person who submitted the inquiry request of the Ethics Commissioner’s findings.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 41.
42. The Ethics Commissioner may include in the report any guidelines for the general interpretation of the rules of conduct set out in this regulation.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 42.
CHAPTER V
COMING INTO FORCE
43. Executive secretaries who are employed as such on 30 April 2013 must, within the following 60 days, file with the Ethics Commissioner the disclosure statement described in section 19.
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 43.
44. (Omitted).
Decision 2013-03-15, s. 44.
REFERENCES
Decision 2013-03-15, 2013 G.O. 2, 776