A public servant was retiring but would remain a public servant for ten months after their last day in the office. Their last position with the Ontario Public Service was as a manager in a branch responsible for providing contract advice and negotiations. This role involved negotiating contracts after the minister had made the decision to approve funding, resolving issues that arose after a contract had been signed, and supporting the design and implementation of business support programs. The public servant indicated interest in pursuing work in the areas of economic development and business support programs, and sought a determination regarding a possible in-service conflict of interest.
The public servant indicated that the work sought might be of a general nature, such as delivering presentations on Ontario’s business support programs and processes, or editing or contributing to the development of business plans for potential applicants to transfer payment programs. It was also indicated that work might be sought from one of the ministry’s financial due diligence providers, or from an economic development organization. While details regarding possible job opportunities were not provided, there could have been potential conflict given the public servant’s role with the ministry.
It was determined that based on the information provided, a potential conflict of interest could arise. The public servant was given the following direction: that confidential information obtained in the course of OPS employment must not be disclosed; that no person should derive an advantage from the public servant’s employment as a public servant in connection with the outside activity; that in the course of their outside activity, the public servant must not identify him/herself as an Ontario public servant or act in such a way as to give the impression that the public servant was representing the Crown. The public servant was also reminded that the ethics executive for former public servants who worked in a ministry is the Public Service Commission and that in the event that the outside employment opportunities should continue beyond the last day of service, the commission would have to make a determination regarding any post-service conflicts of interest.
O. Reg. 381/07, s. 5 & 8.