A public servant for whom the commissioner is the ethics executive sought the commissioner’s advice upon receiving a one-time payment of approximately $900 in connection with attendance at an event on behalf of the Ontario government.
The commissioner advised that the rules prohibiting the acceptance of gifts of greater than nominal value did not apply because the sum was not received from a prohibited person, group, or entity. However, the public servant received the payment while on government business, for which he/she was already receiving a salary. Thus, the payment would represent a benefit if the public servant were to keep it, which would likely contravene section 3. Accordingly, the commissioner advised that, unless the payment was used to compensate the public servant for any non-reimbursed, authorized expenses incurred while attending the event, retaining the payment would contravene conflict of interest rules.
O. Reg. 381/07, s. 3 & 4.