Administrative Procedure 404

Conflict Of Interest

Background

The District believes in the highest level of ethical conduct and has a responsibility to ensure the protection and prudent use of resources in the District, for the betterment of students.

Definition

A conflict of interest is a situation where an individual (officer, staff member or volunteer “personnel” of the District), of the organization he or she represents or has an interest in, has a real, potential or perceived, direct or indirect competing interest with District activities. This competing interest may result in the individual, or others related to them or entities in which they have an interest, being in a position to benefit from the situation or in the District not being able to achieve a result which would be in the best interest of the District. Conflict under this Administrative Procedure shall be interpreted broadly.

Procedures

  1. In carrying out their duties, personnel of the District shall:
    1. Ethical Standard – act with honesty and uphold the highest ethical standards in order to honour and enhance public confidence in the District’s ability to act in the public interest for long term public good.
    2. Public Scrutiny – perform their official duties and arrange their private affairs in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny, an obligation that is not necessarily fully discharged by simply acting within the law.
    3. Decision Making – in fulfilling their official duties and responsibilities, make decisions in the interest of the District, with a view to the public interest, and with regard to the merits of each case.
    4. Private Interests – disclose fully any private interests that could be affected by District actions or that could put ethical practice at risk.
    5. Public Interest – arrange their private affairs in a manner that will prevent real, potential or apparent conflicts of interest from arising; but if such a conflict does arise between the private interests of an individual and the official duties and responsibilities of that individual, the conflict shall be disclosed and resolved in favour of the interest of the District.
    6. Gifts and Benefits – not solicit or accept transfer of economic benefit, other than incidental gifts, customary hospitality, or other benefits of nominal value form persons, groups or organizations having, or likely to have, dealings with the District unless the transfer is pursuant to an enforceable contract or property right of the individual.
    7. Preferential Treatment – not step out of their official roles to assist private entities or persons in their dealings with the District where this would result in preferential treatment to any person or organization.
    8. Insider Information – not knowingly take advantage of, or benefit from, material information that is not generally available to the public that is obtained in the course of their official duties and responsibilities.
    9. District Property – not directly or indirectly use, or allow the use of District property of any kind, for anything other than officially approved activities.
  2. Interpretation – Any conflict which may arise between an individual and the District shall be resolved in favour of the District’s best interest. In referencing below actions which must not be taken by personnel of the District, such actions may, in fact, be taken if, in the discretion of the Associate Superintendent, Business and Finance, the principles have been upheld and full disclosure has been made.
  3. Conflicts – Officers and staff of the District must not have a business, commercial or financial interest in any transaction or initiative which would conflict with the conduct of their duties within the District, the best interests of the District or the carrying out of District objectives.
  4. Obligations to Others – Personnel of the District must not be compromised by obligation to anyone who may benefit from the individual’s special consideration with respect to District matters.
  5. Commitments – Personnel of the District must ensure that their actions do not commit the District to unreasonable financial or other liabilities and that all commitments and actions on behalf of the District are made according to District By-Laws, policies and procedures.
  6. General Conflict Disclosure – All activities involving business, commercial or financial interests, whether real, potential or apparent, which may conflict with the interest of the District or the duties of the individual, must be promptly disclosed to the Associate Superintendent, Business and Finance or the Superintendent.
  7. Influence – Personnel of the District must not use his or her position or influence to secure employment, funding or special treatment for family members or business associates.
  8. Disclosure Procedure and Criteria
    1. Disclosure – of a conflict of interest, whether real, potential or apparent, must take place as soon as the individual becomes aware of the conflict. This may be, for example, in the case of a contract, at a meeting when an individual becomes aware that a contract is being proposed or considered, at the first opportunity after an individual becomes interested in an existing or proposed contract, or at the first possible moment when they become involved with the District and a contract pre-exists.
    2. General Notice – a written notice to the Associate Superintendent, Business and Finance or the Superintendent of the District shall be sufficient declaration of interest with respect to any contract.
    3. Confidential Notice – in the event that the matter to be disclosed is of a confidential or sensitive nature which would cause undue prejudice through open disclosure, then such matters may be disclosed in confidence to the Associate Superintendent, Business and Finance or the Superintendent. If after receiving such disclosure the Associate Superintendent, Business and Finance determines that such matters, in the discretion of the Associate Superintendent, Business and Finance, are not of a confidential or sensitive nature or that the principles or interests of the District would not be fulfilled without full and open disclosure, then the Associate Superintendent, Business and Finance shall notify the disclosing individual of same and give such individual the opportunity to make such full disclosure. If the affected individual fails to make such disclosure, it shall then be considered a breach of this Administrative Procedure.
    4. Final Determination – the Associate Superintendent, Business and Finance or designate, shall determine in each case whether or not a disclosed interest is acceptable and may continue. The criteria for acceptability may vary and may include, without limit, those principles considered relevant by the Associate Superintendent, Business and Finance.
    5. Remedy – where a disclosed interest is determined to be unacceptable by the Associate Superintendent, Business and Finance, the contract or other conflict shall be amended to remove the offending provisions or be terminated, such determination to be made by the Associate Superintendent, Business and Finance or designate.
    6. Relief – The following factors alone will not invalidate a relationship between the District and an individual (or an enterprise in which the individual has an interest):
      1. The fact that the individual has an interest in such relationship; or
      2. The fact that an individual with an interest in the contract or situation attended a meeting at which a decision about the relationship was made;
  9. Dissemination of this Policy
    1. Dissemination – personnel of the District shall be informed of this Administrative Procedure.
    2. Compliance by Others – personnel of the District must use reasonable efforts to ensure that the activities of other individuals in the District comply with the District’s policies and procedures.
  10. Consequences
    1. Reservation of Right – Where an individual fails to disclose a conflict or an interest according to this Administrative Procedure or according to other laws or regulations in Canada, the District reserves all rights which it may have to deal with the contract, grant, award, contribution, research project, or conflict and individual involved.
    2. Consequences – Failure to comply with these procedures may lead to disciplinary measures which may include removal from the position the individual holds in the District. In certain circumstances, conflicts of interest may lead to legal claims being made against the individuals involved.

Adopted:

December 1, 2009

Amended:

November 25, 2013, September 21, 2016

Reference:

Section 19, 20, 22, 60, 61, 92, 93, 95, 96, 97, 113, 116, 117, School Act

Alberta Human Rights Act

Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act

Employment Standards Code

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Labour Relations Code

Personal Information Protection Act

Teaching Profession Act

Cross References:

AP 420 Role of the Teacher

AP 422 Teacher Growth Supervision and Evaluation

AP 445 CUPE Code of Conduct

AP 446 CUPE Discipline