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001c - Conflict of Interest - Outside Employment

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Contents

Introduction

  1. Employees take part in a wide range of activities outside of GNWT employment including volunteer activities, self-employment, outside employment and service (either volunteer or paid) on boards, councils or committees.
  2. To ensure continued public confidence in the impartiality and integrity of the public service the Code of Conduct Respecting Conflict of Interest and Oath of Office and Secrecy for the Employees of the Government of the Northwest Territories identifies standards of conduct for GNWT public service employees in the execution of their duties, and in specific areas once an employee terminates their employment. It also outlines what steps employees should take to ensure they do not place themselves in a situation that can be perceived as a conflict of interest.

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Application

  1. These guidelines apply to all employees, except those employed by the NWT Power Corporation.

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Definitions

  1. Code means the Code of Conduct Respecting Conflict of Interest and Oath of Office and Secrecy for the Employees of the Government of the Northwest Territories.
  2. Conflict of interest exists where there is an actual or perceived incompatibility between an employee’s duties and responsibilities of office and the private interests of the employee or an immediate family member which can include but is not limited to pecuniary interests including investments and business involvements; outside employment; service, whether voluntary or otherwise, on a board, council or committee or other organization; and personal relationships, including immediate family and spouse.
  3. Outside activities includes outside employment, self-employment, service (with or without remuneration) on boards, councils or committees and volunteer activities.

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Guidelines

  1. Employees must perform official duties and arrange private affairs so public trust in the integrity and objectivity of the Government is conserved and strengthened.
  2. Employees must arrange their personal affairs so there is no contravention of the Code. It is not the GNWT’s intention to prevent employees from engaging in outside employment, service or volunteer activities. However, where employees engage in outside employment, service or volunteer activities, employees must ensure outside activities do not:
    1. cause a conflict of interest;
    2. be performed in such a way as to appear to be an official act on the GNWT’s behalf, or to represent a GNWT opinion or policy;
    3. interfere with regular duties;
    4. involve the use of Government premises, equipment or supplies; or
    5. place the employee in a position where the employee has confidential knowledge or information that the employee can exploit for personal gain.
  3. Deputy Head approval in writing is required before employees start any outside activities that may create a real or perceived conflict of interest. A Deputy Head must obtain approval from the Secretary to Cabinet. Employees should also notify their Deputy Head if their outside activity changes (i.e., different employment or volunteer for a another organization) or when previous approval is several years old.
  4. An employee who contravenes any section of the Code may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
  5. Employees shall disclose and discuss with their Deputy Head, any situation, which may be a conflict of interest.
  6. Complaints from the public about employees' conflicts (i.e., outside activities) will be referred to the appropriate Deputy Head.

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Procedures

  1. All employees shall receive a copy of the Code when hired.
  2. When an employee wishes to carry on any outside employment, service or volunteer activities outside of regularly scheduled hours of duty, the employee shall notify the Deputy Head in writing of the nature of such outside activity. This can be done by sending the Deputy Head a letter explaining the outside activity with a copy to the supervisor.
  3. When the Deputy Minister makes a determination to prohibit or places conditions on an employee’s engagement in an outside activity due to a possible conflict of interest, the employee shall be notified in writing together with the reason for withholding such permission. A copy of this information is placed on the employee's personnel file.
  4. Where a Deputy Head seeks to prohibit an employee’s actions under the provisions of the Code, the employee has the right to request a review of that decision to the Deputy Minister of Human Resources. In the case of employees of the Department of Human Resources, a review request can be made to the Secretary to Cabinet.
  5. Should an employee not agree with any decisions or actions taken as a result of the application of the Code, the employee may access the grievance process contained in the appropriate collective agreement or the Public Service Act.

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Authorities and References

Public Service Act

Public Service Regulations
Section 41-47, Grievances
Section 48, General
Section 50, Mayor of Municipality
Section 51 (Schedule A), Oath of Office

Collective Agreement with UNW
Article 8, Restriction on Outside Employment

Collective Agreement with NWTTA
Article 24, Extraneous Duties and Outside Employment

Senior Managers' Handbook
Conflict of Interest

Excluded Employees' Handbook
Conflict of Interest

Code of Conduct Respecting Conflict of Interest and Oath of Office and Secrecy for the Employees of the Government of the Northwest Territories

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