Conflict of Interest Guidelines for BC Public Service Employees
The Standards of Conduct define a conflict of interest as a situation where an employee’s private affairs or financial interests are in conflict, or could result in the perception of conflict, with the employee’s duties or responsibilities in such a way that:
- the employee’s ability to act in the public interest could be impaired; or
- the employee’s actions or conduct could undermine or compromise:
- the public’s confidence in the employee’s ability to discharge work responsibilities; or
- the trust that the public places in the BC Public Service.
Conflict must not exist between employees’ private interests and the discharge of their BC Public Service duties. BC Public Service employees must arrange their private affairs in a manner that will prevent real, perceived, or potential conflicts of interest from happening.
Perceived conflict of interest
A perceived conflict of interest exists where an employee’s private interests would appear to a reasonable person to conflict with their job duties even though there may not be an actual conflict.
Potential conflict of interest
A potential conflict of interest exists where an employee has private interests such that, while no conflict has yet arisen, a conflict would arise were the employee to become involved in discharging workplace responsibilities in the future that could be influenced by the private interest.
Duty to report
If you have questions about your duty to report
- Read Conflict of Interest Guidelines – Questions and Answers (PDF, 115KB)
- Read the Standards of Conduct
- Talk with your supervisor, manager or ministry ethics advisor
Once an employee becomes aware of a possible conflict of interest, they should disclose this within 30 days to their supervisor, manager or ethics advisor. That person decides if a possible conflict of interest issue exists and if the conflict must be resolved or mitigated.
Learn more about the disclosure process
- Disclosing a Conflict of Interest: Employee Guideline & Disclosure Form (PDF, 272KB)
- Assessing & Addressing Conflicts of Interest: Guidelines for Managers, Ethics Advisors and Deputy Ministers (PDF, 321KB)
- Disclosing a Conflict of Interest: Political Staff Guideline & Disclosure Form (PDF, 271KB)
- Assessing and Addressing Conflicts of Interest: Guidelines for Managers and the Chief of Staff to the Premier (PDF, 308KB)
Using the disclosure form and documenting actions
When an employee comes forward with a possible conflict of interest concern, the employee’s manager (or ethics advisor) makes a preliminary judgement whether a conflict of interest issue exists based on the available facts.
When the issue is straightforward, the manager may direct the employee to take steps to resolve or mitigate the conflict. For more complex issues, the manager directs the employee to complete the Conflict of Interest Employee Disclosure Form.
What to do
a. If requested by your manager (or ethics advisor), fill out and sign Appendix C of the Disclosing a Conflict of Interest: Employee Guideline & Disclosure Form (PDF, 272KB)
b. Submit the form to your manager or ethics advisor.
a. Review the submitted form and use it as the basis for assessing the employee’s disclosure and determining next steps. You may also wish to review Assessing & Addressing Conflicts of Interest: Guidelines for Managers, Ethics Advisors and Deputy Ministers (PDF, 321KB) for more information.
b. When a decision is made, give the employee a written copy of the reasons for the decision including any steps the employee must take to resolve or mitigate the conflict.
c. Submit the employee disclosure form through an AskMyHR service request to be added to the employee’s personnel file. Choose My Team/Organization >Employee & Labour Relations > Employee Personnel File.
Also document the reasons for the conclusion reached and what steps, if any, were taken to address the conflict. Include that documentation on the personnel file.