This website will change as a result of the dissolution of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Consult the new Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada home page or the new Indigenous Services Canada home page.
This website will change as a result of the dissolution of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Consult the new Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada home page or the new Indigenous Services Canada home page.
All public servants are required to adhere to the Value and Ethics Code for the Public Sector (VECPS) and the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment, which came into effect on April 2, 2012. In addition to these policies, each department is required to make additions that address the specific needs and risks affecting the department.
Indigenous and Northen Affairs Canada (INAC), has created a single document, in two chapters, that incorporates all of the above requirements. The INAC Values and Ethics Code (INAC Code) provides guidance to all INAC employees about their responsibilities and expected behaviours with regard to values and ethics in the workplace. Adherence to this Code is a condition of employment.
In the creation of the INAC Code, the VECPS and the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Policy have been used as the foundation. Specific INAC adaptations and additions have been made. These INAC-specific modifications are summarized below.
Text is adapted to INAC
|Family of values||Bullets added|
|Respect for Democracy||1.4 and 1.5|
|Respect for People||2.5 to 2.9|
|Integrity||3.5 to 3.7|
|Stewardship||4.4 to 4.6|
|Excellence||5.4 to 5.7|
Added guidance, INAC contacts, resources and process information.
As public servants, we all have an obligation to serve the public interest and ensure the public trust. To do that, we must not only meet our job goals and produce the best possible results for Canadians; we must also consider how we achieve those goals. Acting with honour, integrity and respect toward our clients, partners and each other is as important as the results we get.
As members of the Indigenous and Northen Affairs Canada (INAC) team, we value the cultures, traditions and beliefs of those with whom we interact. Through honesty, transparency and commitment we build an environment of trust, where common goals can be realized. Working collaboratively, we strive to ensure that the people we serve – First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Northern Communities – are healthy, safe, self-sufficient and prosperous.
The INAC Code articulates the attitudes and behaviours we expect from each other and offers guidance on how we can – collectively and individually – incorporate these values into our day–to–day lives. It is only by living and integrating these shared values that we can ensure success.
Indigenous and Northen Affairs Canada (INAC) supports Aboriginal peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) and Northerners in their efforts to:
Federal public servants have a fundamental role to play in serving Canadians, their communities and the public interest under the direction of the elected government and in accordance with the law. As professionals whose work is essential to Canada's well-being and the enduring strength of the Canadian democracy, public servants uphold the public trust.
The Constitution of Canada and the principles of responsible government provide the foundation for the role, responsibilities and values of the federal public sectorFootnote 1. Constitutional conventions of ministerial responsibility prescribe the appropriate relationships among ministers, parliamentarians, public servantsFootnote 2 and the public. A professional and non-partisan federal public sector is integral to our democracy.
Ministers are also responsible for preserving public trust and confidence in the integrity of public sector organizations and for upholding the tradition and practice of a professional non-partisan federal public sector. Furthermore, ministers play a critical role in supporting public servants' responsibility to provide professional and frank advice.Footnote 3
The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service (VECPS) was revisited and renewed as a result of the passing of the Resources on the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA). In response to this review two separate documents were created: the VECPS and the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment. In addition, departments and agencies were required to develop their own organizational codes of conduct to reflect their specific interests.
Even before these changes, Departmental employees, in 1990, developed a set of core values and expected behaviours to guide members of the INAC team in their day-to-day activities. During the consultation phase of the INAC Code, these core values were recognized by all (employees, partners and stakeholders) as still being important and as such requiring a place in the organizational code.
As established by the Treasury Board, this Code fulfils the requirement of section 5 of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA). In keeping with the legislated requirement, a single document - the INAC Values and Ethics Code (INAC Code) - has been developed incorporating the VECPS, the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Policy, and adding some Department specific language. The INAC Code reflects the culture, traditions and goals of both the public sector and the Department and provides guidance on the expected behaviours and actions of its employees. By committing to these values and adhering to the expected behaviours, public servants strengthen the ethical culture of the public sector and contribute to the public confidence in the integrity of all public institutions.
The Core values are listed below, while in brackets, is the information on where the value has been incorporated into the Code:
The values expressed in this document are a compass to guide INAC employees in everything they do and should not be considered in isolation from each other. Every INAC employee, regardless of rank or position, is responsible for promoting and integrating these values in their day-to-day activities. Organizations are expected to take steps to integrate these values into their decisions, actions, policies, processes and systems. Similarly, public servants can expect to be treated in accordance with these values by their organization.
Adherence to this Code is a condition of employment and contravention is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
All INAC employees whether indeterminate, term, part-time, casual, volunteer, or on assignment are expected to comply with and respect this Code.
All employees are expected to review this Code annually.
Federal public servants are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the values of the public sector, which are:
The system of Canadian parliamentary democracy and its institutions are fundamental to serving the public interest. Public servants recognize that elected officials are accountable to Parliament, and ultimately to the Canadian people and, that a non-partisan public sector is essential to our democratic system.
Public servants uphold the Canadian Parliamentary democracy and its institutions by:
Treating all people with respect, dignity and fairness is fundamental to our relationship with the Canadian public and contributes to a safe and healthy work environment that promotes engagement, openness and transparency. The diversity of people and the ideas they generate are the wellspring of our spirit of innovation.
Public servants respect human dignity and the value of every person by:
Integrity is the cornerstone of good governance and democracy. By upholding the highest ethical standards, public servants conserve and enhance public confidence in the honesty, fairness and impartiality of the federal public sector.
Public servants serve the public interest by:
Federal public servants are entrusted to use and care for public resources responsibly, for both the short and long-term.
Public servants responsibly use resources by:
Excellence in the design and delivery of public sector policy, programs and services is beneficial to every aspect of Canadian public life. Engagement, collaboration, effective teamwork and professional development are all essential to a high-performing organization.
Public servants demonstrate professional excellence by:
Acceptance of these values and adherence to the expected behaviours is a condition of employment for every public servant in the federal public sector, regardless of their level or position. A breach of these values or behaviours may result in disciplinary measures being taken, up to and including termination of employment.
The PSDPA defines the "public sector" as: (a) the departments named in Schedule I to the Financial Administration Act and the other portions of the federal public administration named in Schedules I.1 to V to that Act; and (b) the Crown corporations and other public bodies set out in Schedule I of the PSDPA. However, "the public sector" does not include the Canadian Forces, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service or the Communications Security Establishment, which are subject to separate requirements under the Act.
The Indigenous and Northen Affairs Canada Values and Ethics Code - Our Values in Action (INAC Code) came into force on April 2, 2012.
The expected behaviours are not intended to respond to every possible ethical issue that might arise in the course of a public servant's daily work. When ethical issues arise, public servants are encouraged to discuss and resolve these matters with their immediate supervisor. They may also seek insight and support from respected sources including, but not limited to, their bargaining agent, labour relations, Elders, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), colleagues, as appropriate. Confidentiality and discretion are expected in all such consultations.
At INAC, advice and support regarding values and ethics is provided by the Senior Advisor for Values and Ethics at the Centre for Integrity Values and Conflict Resolution.
As well, to ensure their actions conform to the behavioural expectations outlined in this Code, they are expected to consult with the Centre for Integrity, Values and Conflict Resolution (the Centre) before acting.
Public servants at all levels are expected to resolve issues in a fair and respectful manner and consider informal processes such as dialogue or mediation.
At INAC, a number of informal conflict resolution services (e.g. coaching, mediation, facilitated discussion and ombudsman services) are available to employees to assist them in addressing issues as quickly as possible and at the lowest level in the organization. The use of these services is strictly voluntary and confidential, and does not in any way preclude access to rights-based processes (e.g. grievances, harassment complaints or investigations). Individuals may initiate a formal process and place it in abeyance while pursuing an informal resolution process, and may switch should the need arise. More information on these services is available at the Centre's website.
Individuals who become aware of a serious wrongdoing are encouraged to make a protected disclosure under the provisions of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA. If they are uncertain about the appropriateness of such a disclosure, they may seek advice from respected sources, such as: Centre for Integrity, Values and Conflict Resolution, their bargaining agent, labour relations, Elders, colleagues, etc. However, as provided by Sections 12 and 13 of the PSDPA, if a public servant determines that a disclosure is appropriate, they can bring the matter, in confidence and without fear of reprisal, to the attention of their immediate supervisor, the INAC Senior Officer for Disclosure or the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada. Making a disclosure to anyone other than the three aforementioned individuals may jeopardize their protections as described in the Act.
At INAC, the role of Senior Officer for Disclosure is held by the Director of the Centre for Integrity, Values and Conflict Resolution who can provide advice in these areas. Additional guidance can be obtained by contacting the Centre for Integrity Values and Conflict Resolution.
Senior Officers for Disclosure are responsible for supporting the Deputy Minister, also called the Chief Executive in meeting the requirements of the PSDPA. They help promote a positive environment for disclosing wrongdoings, and deal with disclosures of wrongdoing made by employees of the organization.
Further information on duties and obligations related to the disclosure of wrongdoing can be found in Annex 1 - Duties and Obligations.
Members of the public who have a concern that a public servant has not acted in accordance with this Code can bring the matter to INAC's Senior Officer for Disclosure, or to the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada.
The values identified in Chapter I speak to our goals, aspirations and obligations with regard to the ethical standards of the public sector. Public servants conserve and enhance public confidence in the honesty, fairness and integrity of the public service by taking special care when dealing with activities that may compromise or appear to compromise the integrity of the public service.
Chapter II identifies some areas of common concern and provides guidance on the required measures to be taken when presented with an ethical dilemma. Adherence to these requirements is a condition of employment. These measures also fulfill Canada's commitments as a signatory to international agreements on values and ethics.
A conflict of interest is a situation in which the public servant has private interests that could improperly influence the performance of his or her official duties and responsibilities or in which the public servant uses his or her office for personal gain. Conflicts of interest do not relate exclusively to financial transactions and the transfer of economic benefit. While financial activity is important, conflicts of interest in any area of activity can have a negative impact on the perceived objectivity of the public service. With the permanent and pervasive nature of information technology, public servants should be particularly sensitive to real, apparent or potential conflicts of interest that may arise from messages and information transmitted via the Internet and other media.
While it is impossible to foresee every situation that could give rise to a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest, preventing, managing or resolving such conflicts is one of the principal means of maintaining public trust and confidence in the impartiality and integrity of the public service.
INAC employees may sometimes find themselves torn between their roles within the workplace, their communities or affiliate / professional organizations. In all instances, the conflict should be resolved in favour of the public interest.
When in doubt, public servants should be guided by the requirements articulated in this Code. They may also seek insight and support from respected sources including, but not limited to, their bargaining agent, labour relations, Elders, colleagues, etc., as appropriate. However, to ensure their actions conform to the behavioural expectations outlined in this Code, they are expected to consult with the Centre for Integrity, Values and Conflict Resolution (the Centre) before acting.
Conflicts of interest, whether real, apparent or potential, must be avoided. Where a possible conflict is identified, employees are required to submit a Confidential Report to their Director or INAC's Senior Officer for Integrity. In some instances, an approved mitigation strategy, developed in consultation with the Centre, may be required.
Public servants are also required to observe any specific conduct requirements contained in the statutes governing the Department and their profession, where applicable.
When INAC employees are involved in outside activities or have assets and interests that might give rise to a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest in relation to their official duties, they are required to submit a Confidential Report to their Director. The Report is to be made within 60 days of their initial appointment or any subsequent appointment, transfer or deployment.
On an annual basis, and / or every time a major change occurs in their personal affairs or official duties, every public servant is required to review his or her obligations under the INAC Code. If a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest exists, he or she is to file a Confidential Report, in a timely manner.
When negotiating financial arrangements with outside parties, public servants are to comply with the requirements listed in this Code as well as other related legislation, regulations, directives or policies issued by the Treasury Board.
Even when dealing with outside entities, employees are required to adhere to the requirements of the Code. This would include avoiding business dealings with former employees who are subject to the post-employment measures. (For more information, see section 3.0)
When in doubt, public servants are to immediately report the situation to their managers to seek advice or direction on how to proceed.
Public servants are required to evaluate their assets, taking into consideration the nature of their official duties and the characteristics of their assets. If there is any real, apparent or potential conflict of interest between the carrying out of their official duties and their assets, they are to report this matter (in a Confidential Report to the Senior Integrity Officer in a timely manner.
Where the Senior Integrity Officer determines that any of these assets constitutes a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest in relation to their duties and responsibilities, public servants may be required to divest those assets, or take other measures as determined by the Department to resolve the conflict. Public servants may not sell or transfer assets to family members or anyone else for the purpose of circumventing the compliance requirements.
The types of assets that should be reported are listed in Annex 2 - Examples of Reportable and Exempt Assets and Liabilities. The procedures for reporting and managing such assets are set out in the Directive on Reporting and Managing Financial Conflicts of Interest.
Public servants may engage in employment outside the public service and take part in outside activities unless the employment or activities are likely to give rise to a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest or would undermine the impartiality of the public service or the objectivity of the public servant.
Public servants are required to provide a Confidential Report to their Director when outside employment or activities might subject them to demands incompatible with their official duties, or cast doubt on their ability to perform their duties in a completely objective manner. INAC's Senior Integrity Officer may require that the outside activities be modified or terminated if it is determined that a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest exists.
Public servants who receive a benefit or income either directly or indirectly from a contract with the Government of Canada are required to report to their Deputy Minister on such contractual or other arrangements. The Deputy Minister will determine whether the arrangement presents a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest, and may require that the contract be modified or terminated.
Special attention is required when the activity or outside employment:
Any INAC employee who currently sits on or intends to join a Board of Directors of an organization, corporation or association outside of the government of Canada, must complete a Confidential Report. They must also refrain from:
Social behaviours and actions of employees outside of the workplace are, of course, a matter of personal choice. That said, as public servants, with a responsibility to maintain the public trust, we are expected to be discreet and appropriate with respect to our workplace activities. As such, privileged information, opinions, discussions and concerns must not be expressed in public settings. This may include conversations at social gatherings or on a bus or postings on a social network. As a general rule, employees need to avoid topics that may harm the reputation of their employer or that put into question the neutrality of the public service.
Given the popularity and easy accessibility of on-line social networks, it is important to consider how we use these networks and what we post on them. The Guideline on Acceptable Network and Device Use can provide guidance on appropriate use.
Any public servant considering involvement in political activities should seek the advice of their manager, a human resources advisor, the INAC Designated Political Advisor, or the Public Service Commission (PSC) before acting.
Public servants are required to obtain permission from the PSC to seek nomination for or be a candidate in a federal, provincial, territorial or municipal election, in accordance with Part 7 of the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA).
"Political activities" are defined in Part 7 of the PSEA as "any activity in support of, within or in opposition to a political party; carrying on any activity in support of or in opposition to a candidate before or during an election period; or, seeking nomination as or being a candidate in an election before or during the election period."
Any public servant who wishes to engage in a political activity not covered by Part 7 of the PSEA that could constitute a conflict of interest is required to report the proposed activity, in a Confidential Report, to their Director. This includes involvement in Band Councils or other Aboriginal governance activities.
Similarly, any public servant who is subject to this Policy but who is not subject to Part 7 of the PSEA, who wishes to engage in any political activity that could constitute a conflict of interest, is to report the proposed activity, in a Confidential Report, to their Director. This includes students appointed within Student Employment Programs, seasonal, casual and part-time workers.
Public servants are expected to use their best judgment to avoid situations of real, apparent or potential conflict of interest by considering the following criteria on gifts, hospitality and other benefits while keeping in mind the full context of this Code.
Public servants are not to accept any gifts, hospitality or other benefits that may have a real, apparent or potential influence on their objectivity in carrying out their official duties or that may place them under obligation to the donor. This includes activities such as free or discounted admission to sporting and cultural events, travel or conferences. For additional information see the Criminal Code.
The acceptance of gifts, hospitality and other benefits is permissible if they are infrequent and of minimal value, within the normal standards of courtesy or protocol, arise out of activities or events related to the official duties of the public servant concerned, and do not compromise or appear to compromise the integrity of the public servant concerned or of his or her organization.
At INAC, we are mindful of the traditions and culture of many of our clients with regards to the giving and acceptance of gifts. While we respect and acknowledge this tradition, we must also consider the public service requirement to avoid this practice.
Public servants are to seek written direction, through the use of a Confidential Report, from the Department's Senior Integrity Officer, where it is impossible to decline gifts, hospitality or other benefits that do not meet the principles set out above, or where it is believed that there is sufficient benefit to the organization to warrant acceptance of certain types of hospitality. When INAC employees feel that it would be inappropriate to decline the gifts, benefit or hospitality, it is permissible to accept, noting that they are accepting on behalf of the Department. The employee is expected to submit a Confidential Report, after the fact, addressed to the Department's Senior Officer for Integrity and seeking direction for mitigating any conflict of interest, be it real, apparent or potential.
The federal government - including INAC - supports fundraising for three charitable organizations:
With the exception of fundraising for these charitable organizations, public servants may not solicit gifts, hospitality, other benefits or transfers of economic value from a person, group or organization in the private sector who has dealings with the government. When fundraising for charitable organizations, public servants should ensure that they have prior written authorization from the Deputy Minister to solicit donations, prizes or contributions-in-kind from external organizations or individuals.
Similarly, if an outside individual or entity, with whom the organization has past, present or potential official dealings, offers a benefit to the organization, such as funding for an event or a donation of equipment, public servants are to consider whether any real, apparent or potential conflict of interest exists and obtain the consent in writing of the Deputy Minister prior to accepting any such benefit.
For a comprehensive summary of what is or is not allowed in relation to the GCWCC Campaign see the Campaign Management and Operations Manual.
The Deputy Minister may require that the activities be modified or terminated where it is determined that there is a real, potential or apparent conflict of interest or an obligation to the donor. These provisions are designed to ensure that this policy is consistent with paragraph 121(1) (c) of the Criminal Code.
While employees are free to get involved in fundraising outside of the workplace, they must consider the following rules of common sense:
Public servants are responsible for demonstrating objectivity and impartiality in the exercise of their duties and in their decision-making, whether related to staffing, financial awards or penalties to internal or external parties, transfer payments, program operations or any other exercise of responsibility.
This means that they are prohibited from granting preferential treatment or advantages to colleagues, family, friends or any other person or entity. They are not to offer extraordinary assistance to any entity or persons already dealing with the government without the knowledge and support of their supervisor. They also are not to disadvantage any entity or persons dealing with the government because of personal antagonism or bias.
Providing information that is publicly accessible is not considered preferential treatment.
INAC programs and services are often delivered in small isolated communities and this can sometimes create difficult situations where people who are related or have close personal relationships (herein referred to as associates) have to work together. While such situations are not expressly prohibited, we must recognize that they can lead to conflicts of interest both real and apparent. Therefore, special care must be taken in such circumstances. For example, staffing processes must be conducted in strict accordance with appropriate directives and INAC's Guidelines - Employment of Relatives and Associates.
Members of a hiring board must declare any familial or associate relationships with prospective candidates and should recuse themselves from any decision-making responsibilities related to that competition.
Managers must ensure that they are not involved in:
Measures which can be taken to avoid these situations include, but are not limited to:
In all instances, individuals must ensure that decisions are transparent, clear and defensible.
All situations should be dealt with on a case by case basis; parties should consult with their managers or the Centre for advice.
In managing INAC financial, human and program resources, managers and employees exercise their duties fairly, diligently and efficiently. In doing so, they are expected to evaluate cost, value and operational requirements and ensure responsible and appropriate application of resources. As well, workload, leave, overtime, training opportunities and the reasonable application of flexible work arrangements ought to be distributed equitably.
Employees are expected to respect the appropriate chain-of-command and to provide expert and honest advice - without fear of reprisal - even when that advice may be unwelcome. Employees acknowledge and accept that resulting decisions, even when not in keeping with the advice given, are the purview of the delegated authority, who is ultimately accountable for those decisions.
Where a dispute or conflict arises, managers and employees are encouraged to deal with these issues informally and in good faith - at the lowest possible level and in a timely manner. Parties may discreetly seek insight and support from respected sources including, but not limited to, their bargaining agent, labour relations, Elders, EAP, or colleagues. Support and services related to informal conflict resolution are available from the Centre for Integrity, Values and Conflict Resolution.
If an informal resolution cannot be found, employees have the right to responsibly avail themselves of all approved processes and tools at their disposal (e.g. grievance, harassment complaint, etc). Reprisals against those who choose to exercise those rights cannot and will not be tolerated.
Decision-makers are expected to consider the facts and risks of any situation in a fair and open manner. Those with the appropriate delegated authority are responsible for making informed and timely decisions that will lead to the best possible results - even when those decisions may be unpopular. Decisions must be timely, appropriate, transparent and defensible.
All public servants have a responsibility to minimize the possibility of real, apparent or potential conflict of interest between their most recent responsibilities within the federal public service and their subsequent employment outside the public service.
Before leaving their employment with the public service, all public servants are to disclose, in a Confidential Report, their intentions regarding any future outside employment or activities that may pose a risk of real, apparent or potential conflict of interest with their current responsibilities and discuss potential conflicts with their Director or INAC's Senior Integrity Officer.
The Deputy Minister is responsible for designating positions of risk for post-employment conflict of interest situations as per sections 6.1.2.f) i. of the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Policy. At INAC, the designated positions are:
Public servants in these designated positions are subject to a one-year limitation period after leaving office. Before leaving office and during this one-year limitation period, these public servants are to report to their Director, through the use of a Confidential Report, all firm offers of employment or proposed activity outside the public service that could place them in a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest with their public service employment.
As well, they are to disclose immediately, in a Confidential Report, the acceptance of any such offer. In addition, these public servants may not do the following during the one-year period, without the Deputy Minister's authorization:
Post-Employment measures apply specifically to employment with external entities. Individuals who have left the public sector, may be re-engaged within the public sector (contracts, casual, etc.), so long as the rules governing such employment are met. For additional information contact HR & Contracting.
A public servant or former public servant may apply to the Deputy Minister for a written waiver or reduction of the limitation period. The public servant is to provide sufficient information, in writing, to assist the Deputy Minister in making a determination as to whether to grant the waiver, taking into consideration the following criteria:
As well, individuals who are in breach of the post-employment measures will be restricted in their access to departmental resources for the duration of the limitation period. INAC employees, to avoid conflict of interest, are required to avoid business dealings with any individuals who are subject to post-employment measures.
With respect to the arrangements necessary to prevent real, apparent or potential conflict of interest, or to comply with the requirements set out above, it is expected that situations will be resolved through discussion and agreement between the public servant and the Deputy Minister or delegate. When a public servant and the Deputy Minister or his/her delegate disagree on the appropriate arrangements to resolve a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest, the disagreement will be resolved through established resolution procedures.
A public servant who does not comply with the requirements set out in this Code may be subject to disciplinary measures, up to and including termination of employment.
Every INAC employee is a valued contributor to the attainment of our common goals. And each of us has a responsibility to lead by example. This means "walking the talk", and taking actions in a way that upholds the values we embrace.
To do this, we must constantly and consistently act with integrity, respect and commitment toward our clients and colleagues.
Adhering to and demonstrating these principles is critical to ensuring a values-based environment where individuals work collaboratively to achieve our mandate. Managers and employees are expected to demonstrate these behaviours in all their day-to-day activities.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Public servants are expected to abide by this Code and demonstrate the values of the public sector in their actions and behaviour. Furthermore, public servants must also adhere to the behavioural expectations set out in their respective organizational codes of conduct. If a public servant does not abide by these values and expectations, he or she may be subject to administrative or disciplinary measures up to and including termination of employment.
Public servants who are also managers are in a position of influence and authority that gives them a particular responsibility to exemplify the values of the public sector.
As provided by Sections 12 and 13 of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA), if a public servant has information that could indicate a serious breach of this Code they can bring this matter, in confidence and without fear of reprisal, to the attention of their immediate supervisor, their senior officer for disclosure or the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner.
Chief executivesFootnote 5 of public sector organizations have specific responsibilities under the PSDPA, including establishing a code of conduct for their organization, and an overall responsibility for fostering a positive culture of values and ethics in their organization. They ensure that employees are aware of their obligations under this Code and their specific organizational code of conduct. They also ensure that employees can obtain appropriate advice within their organization on ethical issues, including possible conflicts of interest.
Chief executives ensure that the VECPS, their organizational code of conduct and their internal disclosure procedures are implemented effectively in their organization, and are regularly monitored and evaluated. Chief executives of Crown corporations may rely on their boards of directors for support in this duty.
Chief executives are responsible for ensuring the non-partisan provision of programs and services by their organizations.
Chief executives are subject to this Code and to the Conflict of Interest Act.
The senior officer for disclosure helps promote a positive environment for disclosing wrongdoing, and deals with disclosures of wrongdoing made by public servants of their organization. Senior officers are responsible for supporting the chief executive in meeting the requirements of the PSDPA.
The senior officer's duties and powers within his or her organization also include the following, in accordance with the internal disclosure procedures established under the PSDPA:
In support of the Treasury Board President's responsibilities under section 4 of the PSDPA, the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) is responsible for promoting ethical practices in the public sectorFootnote 6. The OCHRO will work with all relevant partner organizations to implement and promote this Code, and will provide advice to chief executives and designated departmental officials with respect to its interpretation.
The Chief Human Resources Officer may issue directives, standards and guidelines related to this Code.
OCHRO will monitor the implementation of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector with a view to assessing whether the stated objectives have been achieved.
The Public Service Commission is responsible for conducting staffing investigations and audits to safeguard the integrity of the public staffing system and administering certain provisions related to political activities to maintain the non-partisanship of the public service in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act.
The assets for the private use of public servants and of their family members, as well as assets that are not of a commercial character, are exempt assets that are not required to be disclosed in a report. For example, such assets would include the following: