Facilitating Courses for Professional Body (M05-16/17)

A public servant is a member of a professional body. The professional body offers courses that are hosted by organizations for their in-house professionals. The public servant wanted to facilitate courses offered by the professional body. The public servant proposed to do so on the public servant’s own time, using only materials prepared by the professional body.

Section 3 of O. Reg. 381/07 prohibits a public servant from using or attempting to use his or her employment by the Crown to benefit themselves. Section 8 prohibits a public servant from engaging in an outside business or undertaking if, in connection with the business or undertaking, any person would derive an advantage from the public servant’s employment as a public servant. Section 9 prohibits a public servant from participating in decision-making by the Crown with respect to a matter that the public servant is able to influence in the course of his or her duties if the public servant could benefit from the decision.

To mitigate any risk that the public servant could be seen to benefit from employment by the Crown, the ethics executive directed the public servant not to take any assignment where the Ontario government is the host organization if the public servant would be paid for the assignment. The ethics executive also directed the public servant not to promote the professional body’s services within government and not to participate in decision-making as to what training courses professionals in the public servant’s ministry should take. This direction is to mitigate both the risk the professional body could derive an advantage from the public servant’s employment and the risk the public servant could be seen to benefit from decision-making by the Crown in which the public servant participates.

O. Reg. 381/07, s. 3, 6 & 8.