Helping a Spouse’s Business (M03-17/18)

A public servant wanted to work part-time in the business of the public servant’s spouse. The outside employment would occur either on weekends, during vacation or when the public servant is on a leave of absence. There is no nexus between the public servant’s position in the OPS and the outside employment.

Section 8 prohibits a public servant from engaging in an outside business if the undertaking would interfere with the public servant’s ability to perform his or her duties to the Crown or if, in connection with the undertaking, any person would derive an advantage from the public servant’s employment as a public servant.

To mitigate the risk of a conflict, the ethics executive directed the public servant: not to use his or her position with the Crown to attempt to secure any benefit for the spouse’s business; not to use his or her position with the Crown to promote the spouse’s business; not to seek preferential treatment by or privileged access to public servants when carrying out duties for the spouse’s business; not to participate in any activity of the spouse’s business involving the potential or actual provision of goods and services by the spouse’s business to the Crown; and not to identify as an Ontario public servant or act in such a way as to give the impression that the public servant is representing the Crown, when carrying out duties for the spouse’s business.

O. Reg. 381/07, s. 8.