City of Mississauga Corporate Conflict of Interest Policies (1993 and 2006-current) online

October 1st, 2010  

The text below is a re-creation of the Corporation of the City of Mississauga Corporate Policy concerning Conflict of Interest for City Staff. We have also made the Policy available in PDF format, as obtained directly from the Corporation of the City of Mississauga:

City of Mississauga Policy: Conflict of Interest (1993) pdf file

City of Mississauga Policy 01-03-02: Conflict of Interest (July 5, 2006 to current) pdf file)

Corporate Policy and Procedure [corporate logo] Policy No.
Page
Effective Date
Supersedes
01-03-02
1 of 7
2006 07 05
1993 02 10
TAB: HUMAN RESOURCES
SECTION: EMPLOYEE CONDUCT
SUBJECT: CONFLICT OF INTEREST
POLICY STATEMENT City of Mississauga employees must avoid conflict of interest situations where possible and, if a conflict of interest cannot be avoided, it must be declared.
PURPOSE This policy identifies the Corporation’s expectations of employees, and establishes guidelines for the appropriate conduct of employees regarding conflict of interest.
SCOPE This policy applies to all union and non-union employees. Elected officials are not subject to this policy, but must comply with the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
WHAT IS CONFLICT OF INTEREST? Conflict of interest is any situation in which an individual is in a position to exploit a professional or official capacity in some way for their personal benefit. Even if there is no evidence of improper actions, a conflict of interest can create an appearance of impropriety that can undermine confidence in the ability of that person to act properly.

Following are types of situations in which an employee may have a conflict of interest, whether or not any improper acts occur:

  • being in a position to make a decision or influence a decision that will affect, in either a positive or negative way, the personal, financial, or business interests of either the employee, or of a friend, relative or associate of the employee; or
  • being in a position to use information or resources, which are available to the employee solely through his or her employment, for the purpose of financial gain, either to the benefit of the employee or of a friend, relative or associate of the employee; or
Corporate Policy and Procedure [corporate logo] Policy No.
Page
Effective Date
Supersedes
01-03-02
2 of 7
2006 07 05
1993 02 10
  • engaging in employment outside the Corporation; or
  • soliciting or being offered gifts or favours of any kind from persons doing business with the City, or seeking to do business with the City, or seeking employment with the City; or
  • engaging in political activity which would bring into question the employee’s neutrality with respect to political issues or particular elected municipal officials.

A personal interest in common with all or most residents or taxpayers of the City of Mississauga, due to Mississauga residency, or a personal interest in common with all or a substantial number of employees, does not constitute a conflict of interest.

WHAT ARE THE CITY’S EXPECTATIONS? The public must have confidence in the integrity of City employees, and in their dedication to the City’s best interests. The Corporation expects employees to be, and to be seen by others to be, independent, impartial, and responsible to the public in carrying out their duties.

The Corporation’s expectations of its employees in common conflict of interest situations are outlined in the guidelines below.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST GUIDELINES The following guidelines represent the maximum level of tolerance with respect to conflicts of interest.

Individual departments or divisions may establish more stringent requirements (i.e. lower tolerance levels) based on operational needs and, if they do so, the department or division head is responsible for ensuring that all affected employees have been advised of their requirements.

In addition, from time to time by-laws may be enacted or policies adopted that will establish a lower tolerance level – in these cases, the requirements of the by-law or other policy will apply.

The employee is ultimately responsible and accountable for using good judgment in the course of the exercise of Corporate duties.

Corporate Policy and Procedure [corporate logo] Policy No.
Page
Effective Date
Supersedes
01-03-02
3 of 7
2006 07 05
1993 02 10
If an employee is in doubt about any of the following, or if the particular situation is not covered in this policy, the employee should ask his or her supervisor for assistance in determining whether a conflict of interest exists, and appropriate action to be taken with respect to disclosure.
Avoid/Disclose Conflicts of Interest Whenever possible, employees must avoid situations with the potential for conflict of interest. However, some conflicts of interest are unavoidable. These must be disclosed to the employee’s supervisor and department head, in writing, as soon as the employee is aware of the conflict. The department head will determine appropriate action to mitigate the conflict, which may include re-assignment of the employee.
Making or Influencing Decisions Employees must not allow their personal interests to influence their decisions, nor may they use their positions as City employees to influence the decisions of others.

Examples include:

  • Financial Interests in Another Organization An employee, or friends, relatives or associates of the employee, may have a financial interest in another organization. If the employee is in a position to make a decision or to influence a decision regarding the organization’s business dealings with the City (eg. the award of a licence, permit, contract etc.) there is a conflict of interest. In this case, the employee must not participate in discussions or processes related to the decision, and must immediately disclose the conflict of interest to the employee’s supervisor and commissioner. The commissioner will determine appropriate steps to mitigate the conflict.If the employee is in no position to make or influence decisions affecting the other organization, there is no conflict and the relationship need not be disclosed. At any time, if the employee is in doubt about how the relationship with the other organization would be viewed by an outside party, the employee should disclose the relationship.
Corporate Policy and Procedure [corporate logo] Policy No.
Page
Effective Date
Supersedes
01-03-02
4 of 7
2006 07 05
1993 02 10
  • Hiring Decisions
    The City’s recruitment processes must be, and must be seen to be, fair and impartial. Employees must not attempt to influence hiring decisions in favour of family members or associates.
Use of City Property or Confidential Information City property, including facilities, assets and supplies, and confidential information available to City employees by virtue of their employment, must not be used by employees for the purposes of benefiting in any way either themselves or anyone associated with them.
Engaging in Outside Employment An employee must not engage in any outside employment or business undertaking that interferes with the performance of his or her duties as a City employee, or from which an economic advantage may be derived solely as a result of information gained from employment with the City.

An employee may be permitted to provide his or her expertise to another government body, on the approval of the City Manager. For example, the provision of consulting services to another municipality on an established City of Mississauga program may be approved.

Acceptance of Gifts, Benefits, or Favours Employees must avoid being influenced, and they must avoid the appearance of being influenced. An employee should not accept any gifts, benefits or favours from any person or organization whose business or financial interests may be impacted in any fashion by the employee in the course of the exercise of the employee’s Corporate duties.

The City will tolerate the acceptance of gifts, benefits or favours only when they can be viewed to be within the boundaries of generally accepted business practices. Employees may not solicit gifts, benefits or favours, except in conjunction with donations or sponsorship as outlined in the next section of this policy.

Acceptable practices are outlined below. (With respect to acceptable practice during an acquisition process, refer to the Purchasing By-law.)

Corporate Policy and Procedure [corporate logo] Policy No.
Page
Effective Date
Supersedes
01-03-02
5 of 7
2006 07 05
1993 02 10
An employee who is in doubt about whether he or she should accept a gift, benefit or favour should politely decline, or pay for his or her own entertainment. Legitimate business expenses will be reimbursed in accordance with the City’s policies dealing with expense reimbursement.

  • Business Meals:
    From time to time, it may be necessary to conduct a business meeting over lunch. Employees may accept occasional business meals from a person doing business with the City or seeking to do business with the City.
  • Social/Sporting/Charity Events:
    Employees may accept tickets to social or sporting events from a business contact, provided:

    1. acceptance of such tickets is infrequent, and
    2. the business contact attends the event with the employee, and
    3. the employee’s immediate supervisor has approved.

    Where the event is a tournament involving prizes, and the employee’s supervisor has approved attendance, the employee may keep any prizes won.

  • Gifts of a Nominal Value:
    Individual employees may accept an occasional gift, provided the gift has a nominal value only. A gift that exceeds a nominal value should be refused. Gift baskets, boxes of chocolates, and the like may be accepted on behalf of all employees within a work group, even if the gift exceeds a nominal value, provided that appropriate action is taken to ensure that no individual employee can be seen to have a conflict of interest. For example, the gift may be opened and shared with all members of the work group, or used in support of a charitable cause.
  • Speaking Engagements:
    Employees may accept a gift or honorarium given in return for a speaking engagement.
Corporate Policy and Procedure [corporate logo] Policy No.
Page
Effective Date
Supersedes
01-03-02
6 of 7
2006 07 05
1993 02 10
Donations and Sponsorship Employees must avoid situations in which they could be viewed as providing preferential treatment in exchange for a gift or favour.

  • Donations and Sponsorship of City Programs and Charities:
    Employees may solicit and accept donations or sponsors in support of City facilities, programs or services, through City- sanctioned sponsorship programs and/or in accordance with the City’s policies and procedures on donations. Employees may solicit and accept donations for charitable events (e.g. the United Way Campaign, charity golf tournaments, etc.) provided the event has been sanctioned by the commissioner of the department organizing the event, or the City Manager.
  • Sponsorship of Staff Teams:
    Employees may solicit and accept sponsors for staff teams (such as staff baseball teams). Where the team will be identified as a “City of Mississauga” team, the commissioner’s approval is required prior to obtaining a sponsor.
Political Activity City City employees must be impartial and must be seen by the public as being impartial. City employees must take steps to ensure that no personal bias interferes, or appears to interfere, with the performance of their official duties.

  • Election Campaigns: An employee may campaign for an election candidate provided the campaigning does not interfere with the employee’s normal duties and the campaigning is done without reference to the fact that the employee is a City employee. Specifically, an employee who chooses to work on an election campaign:
    • may work on the campaign only when not at work for the City; and
    • must not use City resources, assets, or equipment of any kind for campaign purposes; and
    • must not campaign while wearing a City uniform, badge, crest or any other item that would identify the employee as City staff.
Corporate Policy and Procedure [corporate logo] Policy No.
Page
Effective Date
Supersedes
01-03-02
7 of 7
2006 07 05
1993 02 10
  • Political Issues:
    City employees may not publicly state an opinion which is in opposition to an official City position on an issue.
DISCIPLINARY ACTION Any employee who fails to act in accordance with the provisions of this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action including termination of employment.
REFERENCE: GC-0485-2006 – 2006 07 05
CONTACT: For more information, contact the departmental Human Resources Manager or your supervisor.

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