For the purposes of the Public Service of Ontario Act (PSOA), OTF is considered to be a “public body”, and all OTF employees and volunteers are considered to be “public servants” subject to all relevant sections of the Act, including the Act’s Conflict of Interest provisions. Public servants are in a position of trust and are accountable for fulfilling their duties with integrity. Conflict of interest rules assist public servants to act honestly and honourably in all situations.
The Foundation’s Conflict of Interest Policy is based entirely on provisions in the Public Service of Ontario Act and has been updated to reflect the language and key points of the Conflict of Interest directives in the PSAO.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST RULES
OTF employees and volunteers are prohibited from:
- using their position to directly or indirectly benefit themselves, their spouse, or their children including allowing the prospect of future employment by a person or entity to detrimentally affect the performance of his or her duties to the Foundation;
- accepting gifts from a person, group or entity that has dealings with OTF;
- disclosing confidential information (even after leaving the Foundation) and using confidential information in a business or undertaking outside his or her work for the Foundation;
- giving preferential treatment or creating the appearance of giving any preferential treatment to any person or entity, including a person or entity in which the public servant or a member of his or her family or a friend has an interest. A public servant shall not offer assistance to any individual or entity in dealing with OTF other than assistance given in the ordinary course of the public servant’s responsibilities to the Foundation.
- hiring, contracting with, or supervising their spouse, children, parents, or siblings;
- engaging in outside activities that conflict with their public service duties including becoming employed by or engaged in a business or undertaking if the public servant’s private interests in connection with the employment or undertaking could conflict with his or her duties to OTF;
- making personal use of OTF resources including its premises, equipment or supplies;
- participating in decision-making in a matter that the public servant is able to influence in the course of their duties if the public servant could benefit from the decision.
ROLE OF THE ETHICS EXECUTIVE
Current and former public body employees or appointees such as OTF staff and volunteers are responsible for notifying their Ethics Executive if they have a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest.
OTF’s Ethics Executives are the Chair, for Board and GRT members, and the CEO, for employees. They are responsible for:
- promoting ethical conduct
- answering questions about the application of conflict of interest rules
- determining whether a conflict of interest exists
- providing direction where there is a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest
- referring any significant matter to Ontario’s Conflict of Interest Commissioner
Ontario’s Conflict of Interest Commissioner is the Ethics Executive for the Board Chair and CEO.
Conflict of interest: any situation where a public servant’s private interests may be in conflict with his or her public service responsibilities.