The Return of a Former Public Servant (C08-13/14)

H was a former public servant. The public body where H had worked issued an RFP. H wanted to work on responding to the RFP for his new employer. While still a public servant, H had advised the Crown on a similar project. H’s new employer had been involved in that project. There was no indication that H was seeking preferential treatment or using confidential information improperly. The public body asked the Commissioner to make a determination about whether H could assist his new employer to respond to the RFP.

Under the post-service conflict of interest rules, a former public servant who previously held a “designated senior position” may not take a job with certain employers. However, this only applies if the person had “substantial” involvement with the new employer in his or her last 12 months as a public servant.   In similar cases, the Commissioner indicated that activities like merely sharing information or overseeing staff do not reach the “substantial” involvement level. In this case, H had not had decision-making authority with respect to the RFP and had not managed the public body’s relationship with his future employer. The Commissioner determined that H had not been substantially involved with his new employer while he was still a public servant, and was therefore was able to assist his new employer to respond to the RFP.

 O. Reg. 381/07, s. 19.