4000-5-4Conflict of Interest Policy

Issue Date:
May 22, 2009
Supersedes Date:
March 04, 1999
Replaces:
3000-1-2

Upon request, the college will provide a copy of this policy in an alternate format.

Purpose

The College Strategic Plan states that we are accountable to our students, our communities and the Government of Ontario. It is important that the public have confidence that College employees conduct themselves with integrity and in a manner that does not give rise to conflicts of interest.

The purposes of this policy are to:

1.1. Establish rules of ethical conduct applicable to College Employees and certain former Designated College Employees, and

1.2. Assist College Employees to avoid placing themselves into a position of a Conflict of Interest.

Definition of Conflict

A conflict of interest arises in any situation where an individual's private interests maybe incompatible or in conflict with their responsibilities as a College employee.

Applications and Scope

This conflict of interest policy applies to all Lambton College employees unless otherwise indicated in specific sections of the policy.

Definitions

College Employee
An individual who is employed on a full‐time, part‐time or contractual basis with Lambton College.
Senior College Employee
Includes the College President and individuals in positions reporting to the President (i.e. Vice‐President(s)).
Designated College Employee
A Lambton College employee who is identified as being subject to the "Post‐Service Restrictions" of the policy.
Designated Official
The Lambton College individual who is responsible for applying the provisions of the conflict of interest policy.
Confidential Information
Information that is not available to the public and that, if disclosed, could result in loss or damages to Lambton College or could give the person to whom it is disclosed an advantage.
Immediate Family
The Lambton College employee's parents, siblings, spouse and children.

Principles

Ethical Standards
College employees must act honestly and uphold the highest ethical standards. This will maintain and enhance public confidence and trust in the integrity, objectivity and impartiality of the College.
Public Scrutiny
College employees are obligated to perform their official duties and conduct themselves in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny. College employees cannot fulfill this obligation simply by acting within the law; they must also be perceived to be acting within the law.
Private Interests:
College employees shall not have private interests, other than those permitted pursuant to this policy, or which are permitted under laws or statutes, that would be affected particularly or significantly by College actions in which the employees participate.
Public Interests
Lambton College employees must arrange their private interests to prevent real or potential conflicts of interest. If a conflict does arise between the private interest of an employee and the official College duties and responsibilities of that individual, the conflict shall be resolved in favour of the College interest.
Failure to Comply
A Lambton College employee who does not comply with the provisions of this policy may be disciplined as appropriate, up to and including immediate dismissal. Civil action may be taken against an individual, outside entity or organization where failure to comply with the provisions of this policy results in loss or damage to Lambton College.

Provisions that Apply to All Lambton College Employees

In all of the following areas, a common sense approach will prevail in establishing guidelines for identifying and addressing any real or potential conflict of interest situations. Whenever a supervisor or an employee is unsure if there is a conflict of interest, he/she should contact Human Resources.

Private Activities

A College employee shall not engage in any private work or business undertaking:

  1. that is likely to result in a real or potential conflict of interest, or is in competition, direct or indirect, with the College, e.g. training, consulting, curriculum design, etc.;
  2. that interferes with the individual's ability to perform his or her duties and responsibilities;
  3. in which an advantage is derived from his or her employment as a College employee;
  4. in a professional capacity that will, or is likely to, influence or affect the carrying out of his or her duties as a College employee;
  5. that involves the use of College premises, equipment, and supplies without written permission from the College and due compensation to the College at prescribed rates.
  6. during assigned work hours without written permission from his/her supervisor. Permission may be granted only when, in the opinion of the supervisor, the activity will not interfere with the performance of the employee's duties or constitute a conflict of interest.

Use of College Position and Confidential Information

College employees shall not use, or seek to use, their positions or employment with the College to:

  1. Gain direct or indirect financial or material benefit for them or their immediate family;
  2. Solicit or accept favours or economic benefits from any individuals, organizations or entities known to be seeking, or already possessing, business or contracts with the College;
  3. Favour any person, organization or business entity;
  4. Disclose any confidential information about any College undertaking, acquired in the performance of duties for the College, to any person or organization not authorized by law or by the College to have such information;
  5. Benefit directly or indirectly in return for, or in consideration for, revealing confidential information;
  6. Use confidential College information in any private undertaking in which they are involved.

Gifts, Hospitality and Other Benefits

  1. College employees must refuse gifts, hospitality or other benefits that could influence their judgement and performance of official duties.
  2. College employees may accept incidental gifts, hospitality or other benefits associated with their official duties and responsibilities if they are considered a common expression of courtesy or within the normal standards of hospitality and do not cause suspicion about the objectivity and impartiality of the College employee and would not compromise the integrity of the College.
  3. When they cannot refuse unauthorized gifts, hospitality or other benefits, College employees must immediately report the matter to the designated official. The designated official may require that such a gift be held by the College or given to charity or such other action as he or she may determine.

Avoidance of Preferential Treatment

  1. A College employee shall not grant preferential treatment in relation to any official matter to any person, organization, immediate family member or friend, or to any organization in which the College employee, immediate family member or friend has an interest.
  2. Subject to conditions set by the designated official, a College employee shall not hire or contract with members of his or her immediate family or occupy a position where one immediate family member reports directly to another.
  3. College employees involved in the contracting out process or in the awarding of contracts must ensure that they or their immediate family or friends do not personally benefit from the process.

Procurement

  1. A College employee shall not help any outside entities or organizations in any transaction or dealings with the College in any way that contravenes the provisions of this policy.
  2. A College employee shall not give confidential information associated with a transaction, except as required by a transaction, to any outside entity or organization about a College undertaking before the transaction or dealing with the College is completed.

Political Activity

  1. The political activity of Crown employees, including College employees, is governed by the Public Service Act.

Duty to Disclose

  1. A College employee must disclose any real or potential conflict of interest situations to the appropriate designated official to resolve.

Post‐Service Restrictions for Senior College Employees and Designated Employees:

Post‐Service Restrictions

  1. In addition to the provisions in Section 2, the College maintains a legal interest in the post‐service activities of former senior College employees and designated employees who, because of their former College position(s), have privileged knowledge of College operations and confidential information.
  2. Senior College employees will be notified in writing at the point of hire that they are subject to the post‐service restrictions. Existing senior College employees shall be informed in writing that they are subject to the post‐service restrictions.
  3. Under certain circumstances, individuals who are not senior College employees may also be designated as subject to the post‐service restrictions. Such individuals can be so designated if:
    • He or she performed a function in a position during his or her last 12 months prior to leaving the College where the individual had substantial involvement with the outside entity; and
    • He or she had, or had access to, confidential information that, if disclosed to that outside entity, could result in loss or damage to the College or could give the outside entity an unfair advantage;
    • Such individuals shall be notified in writing before the commencement of job functions that may be subject to this provision, or as soon as possible following the commencement of such functions, about the application of this provision.
  4. Such senior College employees and designated employees shall also be informed in writing when they leave the employment of the College concerning any post‐service restrictions that may apply. This notification shall state that it is the former employee's obligation to inform any potential new employer about the post‐service restrictions that apply to him or her.
  5. Senior College officials and designated employees should be aware that restrictions upon accepting employment with an outside entity may apply for a limited time if the individual had confidential information about both the College and the outside entity that, if disclosed to that entity, could result in loss or damage to the College or could give the outside entity an unfair advantage.
  6. As such, after leaving the service of the College, a former senior College employee or designated employee is restricted from accepting employment with, or appointment to the board of, an outside entity for a period of 12 months:
    • If the individual had substantial involvement with that outside entity, in the course of his or her employment with the College during the 12 months before he or she ceased to be a senior College employee; and
    • If he or she had, or had access to, confidential information (in the course of his or her employment by the College during the 12 months before he or she ceased to be a College employee) that, if disclosed to that outside entity, could result in loss or damage to the College or could give the outside entity an unfair advantage.
  7. Where a former senior College employee or designated employee accepts a position with an outside entity and possesses, or had access, to confidential information as outlined above, that outside entity may be restricted from doing business with the College for a subsequent period of 12 months after the employee left the employment of the College with respect to matters in which that confidential information may result in unfair advantages or loss or damage to the College.
  8. The College may seek damages for the misuse of confidential information from the former senior College employee or designated employee or any organization, which uses the confidential information where the damages are quantifiable and recoverable.

Provisions Relating to Privatization and Contracting Out Matters

Privatization or Contracting Out

  1. Applying the same principles and processes identified in the previous sections, College employees involved in the privatization or contracting out of any area or function of the College, or any proposed privatization or contracting out undertaking, should not personally benefit, or have any family member or friend benefit, financially or materially, from the privatization/contracting out process. Benefits to such employees must be limited to the remuneration they receive from the College.

For questions or concerns regarding policies, please contact:

Jim Elliott
Director, Quality Assurance & Institutional Research
519-542-7751 x 3489
jim.elliott@lambtoncollege.ca

Back to Top