Administrative Procedure 440: Employee Conflict of Interest

Legal References

Policy/Program Memorandum No. 165: School Board Teacher Hiring Practices, Education Act: Section 217 Promotion or Sale of Books by Employees; Ontario College of Teachers Act, O. Reg. 437/97 Professional Misconduct Section 1.26 Conflict of Interest

Related References

1. Purpose

This administrative procedure has been developed to define conflicts of interest and provide direction to staff members on steps to avoid and resolve potential, apparent or actual conflict of interest situations.

2. Scope

This administrative procedure applies to all employees of the Avon Maitland District School Board.

3. Preamble

This Administrative Procedure is intended to facilitate employees’ ability to maintain the highest business and ethical standards, and to facilitate the protection of the integrity of employees in the course of their employment responsibilities to the Avon Maitland District School Board.

The fundamental principle underlying this administrative procedure is that employees must not permit relationships with others or external business activities to conflict, or appear to conflict, with the interests of the Board.

4. Definitions

4.1 Conflict of Interest: a potential, apparent, or actual conflict where an employee’s financial or other personal interest, whether direct or indirect, conflicts or appears to conflict with the employee’s responsibility to the Board, or with the employee’s participation in any area of their employment responsibilities.

4.2 Employee: permanent or temporary full-time or part-time employees of the Avon Maitland District School Board.

4.3 External Activity: any activity of an employee outside the scope of their employment with the Avon Maitland District School Board undertaken as part of a commercial or volunteer enterprise.

4.4 Relationship: any relationship of the employee to persons of their immediate family whether related by blood, adoption, marriage, or common-law relationship, and any relationship of an intimate and/or financial nature during the preceding five years, any student-supervisor relationship, or any other past or present relationship that may give rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias.

4.5 Supervisor: the person to whom an employee reports.

5. Specific Conflicts

5.1 Without restricting the generality of this administrative procedure, conflicts of interest may include, but are not limited to, circumstances whereby an employee:
    1. Is participating in, or influencing the outcome of the appointment, hiring, promotion, supervision or evaluation of a person with whom the employee has, or has had a relationship with;
    2. Is offering sale of products or services produced by employees of the board to the board, to employees of the board, to students in the board schools, and/or to parents of students in the board schools;
    3. Uses the Board’s equipment, work time, resources, materials, or facilities in any form whatsoever, in the pursuit of outside employment, including paid private practice;
    4. Is offering private services for students from an employee’s home school or work location for remuneration (i.e. tutorial, psychological, therapeutic, clerical, technical, financial, mechanical, etc.);
    5. Is offering private services during the instructional day or on school property unless appropriate permits have been secured through Community Use of Schools;
    6. Is involved in purchasing or other supply chain-related activities and accepts gifts or favours or provided preferential treatment to any bidders or suppliers and/or publicly endorses suppliers or products;
    7. Is involved in any business or other outside activity or interest that could create a potential, apparent, or actual conflict or could adversely affect the reputation of the Board in the community;
    8. Accepts a gift from any of the following persons or entities if a reasonable person might conclude that the gift could influence the employee when performing employment duties with the Board:
      1. a person, group, or entity that has dealings with the Board;
      2. a person, group, or entity to whom the employee provides services in the course of their duties to the Board;
      3. a person, group, or entity that seeks to do business with the Board.

6. Procedures for Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

6.1 All employees have an obligation to disclose to their supervisor or the Director of Education any conflict of interest. The employee must disclose in writing as soon as she/he could reasonably be aware that a conflict of interest exists. The existence of a conflict of interest does not necessarily preclude involvement in the issue which has given rise to the conflict. The employee must declare, in writing, the nature and extent of the conflict of interest no later than any meeting or process in which the employee participates and at which the conflict is to be considered. The employee must refrain from taking part in any discussion or decision-making in relation to the conflict, and withdraw from any meeting or process when the conflict is being discussed until a decision has been reached regarding the manner in which the conflict of interest will be addressed.

6.2 A conflict of interest involving an employee may also be reported to a supervisor by any other person. A report to a supervisor about the existence of a potential, apparent or actual conflict of interest shall be made in writing.

7. Procedures for Management of Conflicts of Interest

7.1 If the supervisor or Director of Education to whom the disclosure is made also has a conflict of interest, the disclosure should be made in writing to the person at the next highest level of authority.

7.2 The supervisor or Director of Education will investigate to determine if a conflict of interest exists. Where appropriate, the supervisor or Director of Education may consult with the employee and/or others.

7.3 If the supervisor or Director of Education determines there is a conflict of interest, the supervisor or Director of Education should resolve the matter and shall document, in writing, any remedies that have been applied.

8. Contraventions of this Administrative Procedure

8.1 Anyone who engages in activities that contravene this administrative procedure, including failing to disclose a conflict of interest, may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, and/or other appropriate measures.
Revised April 2021