– Code of Conduct and Ethics for the Public Service of Alberta –

Part 4

Employee Responsibilities Under The Code

General Employee Responsibilities
 
6 Impartiality
 
Employees are expected in all regards to conduct their duties with impartiality.
 

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7 Disclosure
 
Employees are required to disclose to their Deputy Head or designate any situation involving them which is a conflict or an apparent conflict of interest.
 

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8 Furthering Private Interests
 
(1) Employees are in conflict of interest and in violation of this Code if they:
 
(a) take part in a decision in the course of carrying out their duties, knowing that the decision might further a private interest of the employee, their spouse or minor child, or
 
(b) use their public role to influence or seek to influence a Government decision which could further a private interest of the employee, their spouse or minor child, or
 
(c) use or communicate information not available to the general public that was gained by the employee in the course of carrying out their duties, to further or seek to further a private interest of the employee, their spouse or minor child.
 

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Specific Employee Responsibilities
 
9 Dealings with Others
 
(1) Employees who exercise regulatory, inspection or other discretionary authority over others shall disqualify themselves from dealing with anyone with whom the relationship between them may bring the employee's impartiality into question, with respect to those functions. In situations where this would impair service delivery, employees must advise the Deputy Head or designate of the details before exercising their authority. Once the Deputy Head or designate has been notified the employee shall only exercise their authority in accordance with instructions received. In emergency situations the employee shall act impartially and notify the Deputy Head or designate immediately after exercising their authority.
 
(2) Relatives of an employee may work in the same Branch, Division, Institution or Department provided there is no opportunity to exercise favouritism and no conflict of interest exists for the employees involved. An employee may not supervise a relative unless there are extenuating circumstances and the Deputy Head or designate approves an exemption from this section of the Code.
 
(3) In the staffing process, selection panel members shall disqualify themselves from competitions where applicants include relatives or other individuals where the continued participation of the panel member could raise a question as to their impartiality. When recruiting wage staff or persons to special employment programs, the selection shall also be done impartially in accordance with section 6 of the Code.
 
(4) Employees shall, so far as it is known to them, disclose and discuss with the Deputy Head or designate situations which may be or may appear to be conflicts of interest under this section.
 

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10 Outside Employment
 
(1) Employees may take supplementary employment including self employment unless such employment:
 
(a) causes an actual or apparent conflict of interest, or
 
(b) is performed in such a way as to appear to be an official act, or to represent a Government opinion or policy, or
 
(c) interferes through telephone calls, or otherwise, with regular duties, or
 
(d) involves the use of Government premises, equipment or supplies, unless such use is otherwise authorized.
 
(2) Prior to accepting any supplementary employment where it appears or where they believe that a conflict of interest might arise, employees are required to notify the Deputy Head or designate in writing about the nature of such supplementary employment.
 
(3) Employees shall not accept additional compensation for duties which they perform in the course of their public service employment.
 
(4) Employees shall not allow the performance of their official duties to be influenced by offers of future employment or the anticipation of offers of employment.
 

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11 Teaching
 
Employees may with the consent of their Deputy Head or designate, teach courses at institutions for a fee during normal working hours provided that (a) acceptable arrangements can be made for the employee to perform all regular duties, and (b) course preparation and marking is done on the employee's own time, and (c) no other conflict arises. Where the teaching duties infringe upon normal duties, the Deputy Head or designate may deny the request or may require that all or part of the fee received be paid to the Provincial Treasurer.
 

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12 Volunteer Activities
 
Employees are encouraged to participate in volunteer activities however the restrictions as listed in section 10(1) also apply to volunteer activity. Employees who are actively associated on a volunteer basis with any organization shall disclose to the Deputy Head or designate their interest in such an organization where a conflict of interest may arise. Such employees shall disqualify themselves from participating in any Government decision which could impact the organization.
 

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13 Investment and Management of Private Assets
 
(1) Where an actual or proposed business or financial interest of an employee, or of the employee's spouse or minor children is affected, appears to be affected or may be affected by actions taken or decisions made in which the employee participates in the course of their employment, the employee shall disclose the business or financial interest to the Deputy Head or designate.
 
(2) If an actual or apparent conflict of interest situation exists under this section, the Deputy Head or designate shall determine the method of resolution of the situation. Options for resolution include requiring the use of a blind trust, divestment of the asset, or employment action ranging from transferring the employee to termination of employment.
 
(3) The Deputy Head or designate may require financial disclosure of employees in specific positions where, in the opinion of the Deputy Head or designate, conflict could likely occur.
 
(4) Information which is disclosed to the Deputy Head or designate under this section shall be maintained on a confidential basis by the Deputy Head or designate.
 

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14 Acceptance of Gifts
 
(1) Employees shall not accept fees, gifts or other benefits that are connected directly or indirectly with the performance of their public service duties, from any individual, organization or corporation, other than:
 
(a) the normal exchange of gifts between friends;
 
(b) the normal exchange of hospitality between persons doing business together;
 
(c) tokens exchanged as part of protocol;
 
(d) the normal presentation of gifts to persons participating in public functions.
 

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15 Political Activity
 
(1) There is no restriction upon participation in political activity by employees except that:
 
(a) They must not participate directly in soliciting contributions.
 
(b) Senior Officials and those employees who occupy positions in the executive manager classes of the management compensation plan may not seek nomination as a candidate in a federal or provincial election, nor hold office in a political party or constituency association. They may become candidates in a municipal election with the prior approval of their Deputy Head or Executive Council as appropriate, who will consider the general principles of the Code when reviewing such a request.
 
(c) Employees who run as candidates in a provincial or federal election must take a leave of absence without pay commencing on the day after the writ for the election is issued or on the day that their candidacy is publicly announced, whichever is later. The restriction of soliciting contributions shall not apply to such employees once the leave of absence commences.
 
(2) Employees who are elected to federal or provincial office shall resign their employment effective the day of the election.
 
(3) Employees who seek election and are not elected, are entitled to return to the same or similar employment, effective the day after the election.
 
(4) Employees who are candidates for municipal office shall, if elected, be subject to the provisions of this Code regarding outside employment.
 

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16 Public Statements
 
(1) Employees who speak or write publicly shall ensure that they do not release information in contravention of the oath of office set out in section 20 of the Public Service Act.
 
(2) The responsibility for maintaining the confidentiality of information or documents includes the responsibility for ensuring that such information or documents are not directly or indirectly made available to unauthorized persons.
 
(3) Employees must adhere to the requirements of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
 

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17 Trade Knowledge and Intellectual Property
 
(1) Any product or technology developed by employees in the course of their employment with the Government of Alberta is the property of the Government of Alberta.
 
(2) An employee shall not sell, trade, market or distribute any such product or technology unless otherwise authorized by the Deputy Head or designate.

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Last Review / Update: 2011-08-04

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