Attending a Conference (M04-17/18)

A public servant wanted to attend a conference. A friend of the public servant works in a senior position for the organization hosting the conference. The public servant intended to pay the full conference fee and had no role in the conference other than as an attendee.

Section 6 of O. Reg. 381/07 prohibits a public servant, when performing his or her duties to the Crown, from giving preferential treatment to any person or entity. A public servant must endeavour to avoid creating the appearance that preferential treatment is being given. The ethics executive considered whether the public servant’s attendance at the conference would create the appearance of preferential treatment either to the friend or the friend’s employer.

The ethics executive was satisfied there was a legitimate business rationale for the public servant to attend the conference in issue.

The ethics executive reminded the public servant that the public servant must endeavour to avoid creating the appearance that the public servant is giving preferential treatment to the organization or anyone affiliated with the organization.

O. Reg. 381/07, s. 6.