VALUES AND ETHICS CODE FOR THE
OFFICE OF THE CORRECTIONAL INVESTIGATOR

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Statement of Public Service Values and Ethics

The Role of the Public Service of Canada

The Public Service of Canada is an important national institution, part of the essential framework of Canadian parliamentary democracy. Through the support they provide to the duly constituted government, persons employed by the Offce of the Correctional Investigator contribute in a fundamental way to good government, to democracy and to Canadian society.

The role of the Public Service is to assist the Government of Canada to provide for peace, order and good government. The Constitution of Canada and the principles of responsible government provide the foundation for Public Service roles, responsibilities and values. The democratic mission of the Public Service is to assist Ministers, under law, to serve the public interest.

Objectives of this Code

The Values and Ethics Code for the Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI) sets forth the values and ethics fo that will guide and support persons employed by the OCI in all their professional activities. It will serve to maintain and enhance public confidence in the integrity of the OCI. The Code will also serve to strengthen respect for, and appreciation of, the role played by the OCI within Canadian democracy.

The Code sets out OCI values as well as Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Measures.

The Code should be read in the context of the duties and responsibilities set out in A Guide for Ministers and Secretaries of State.

Ministers are responsible for preserving public confidence in the integrity of management and operations within their departments and for maintaining the tradition of political neutrality of the Public Service and its continuing ability to provide professional, candid and frank advice.

Values of the Office of the Correctional Investigator

Persons employed by the OCI shall be guided in their work and their professional conduct by a balanced framework of values: democratic, professional, ethical and people values.
These families of values are not distinct but overlap. They are perspectives from which to observe the universe of the OCI values. 

Democratic Values: Helping Ministers, under law, to serve the public interest.

  • shall give honest and impartial advice and make all information relevant to a decision available to the Minister.
  • shall loyally implement ministerial decisions, lawfully taken.
  • shall support both individual and collective ministerial accountability and provide Parliament and Canadians with information on the results of their work.

Professional Values: Serving with competence, excellence, efficiency, objectivity and impartiality.

  • must work within the laws of Canada and maintain the tradition of the political neutrality of the Public Service.
  • shall endeavour to ensure the proper, effective and efficient use of public money.
  • In the OCI, how ends are achieved should be as important as the achievements themselves.
  • Persons employed by the OCI should constantly renew their commitment to serve Canadians by continually improving the quality of service, by adapting to changing needs through innovation, and by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of its program and services offered in both official languages.
  • Persons employed by the OCI should also strive to ensure that the value of transparency is upheld while respecting their duties of confidentiality under the law.

Ethical Values: Acting at all times in such a way as to uphold the public trust.

  • Persons employed by the OCI shall perform their duties and arrange their private affairs so that public confidence and trust in the integrity, objectivity and impartiality of the OCI are conserved and enhanced.
  • Persons employed by the OCI shall act at all times in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny; an obligation that is not fully discharged by simply acting within the law.
  • Persons employed by the OCI, in fulfilling their official duties and responsibilities, shall make decisions in the public interest. If a conflict should arise between the private interests and the official duties of an oCI employee, the conflict shall be resolved in favour of the public interest.

People Values: Demonstrating respect, fairness and courtesy in their dealings with both citizens and fellow employees of the OCI.

  • Respect for human dignity and the value of every person should always inspire the exercise of authority and responsibility.
  • People values should reinforce the wider range of OCI values. Those who are treated with fairness and civility will be motivated to display these values in their own conduct.
  • The OCI should be led through participation, openness and communication and with respect for diversity and for the official languages of Canada.
  • Appointment decisions in the OCI shall be based on merit.
  • Public Service values should play a key role in recruitment, evaluation and promotion.

Application

This Code applies to all persons employed by the OCI and is a policy of the organization.

Responsibilities, Authorities and Accountabilities

Overall Responsibility of all persons employed by the OCI

All activities should be consistent with the Values and Ethics Code for the OCI. Where questions arise about its application, see Chapter 4, "Avenues of Resolution."
In addition to the stipulations outlined in this Code, persons employed by the OCI are also required to observe any specific conduct requirements contained in the policies governing the organization and their profession, where applicable. They are also required to observe the relevant provisions of more general application including the following:

  • Access to Information Act;
  • Criminal Code of Canada;
  • Financial Administration Act;
  • Official Languages Act and Regulations;
  • Privacy Act;
  • Public Service Employment Act;
  • Public Service Staff Relations Act.

Related Treasury Board policies adhered to by the OCI:

  • Contracting Policy;
  • Policy on the Internal Disclosure of Information Concerning  Wrongdoing in the Workplace;
  • Policy on the Prevention and Resolution of Harassment in the Workplace.

Persons employed by the OCI

This Code forms part of the conditions of employment in the OCI. At the time of signing their letter of offer, persons employed by the OCI acknowledge that the Values and Ethics Code for the OCI is a condition of employment. All persons employed by the OCI are responsible for ensuring that they comply with this Code and that they exemplify, in all their actions and behaviours, the values of the OCI. In particular, they have the following obligations:

  1. Persons employed by the OCI must report, within 60 days of their first appointment or any subsequent appointment, transfer or deployment, all outside activities, assets, and direct and contingent liabilities that might give rise to a conflict of interest with respect to their official duties. To this end, a Confidential Report must be filed with the Correctional Investigator.
  2. Every time a major change occurs in the personal affairs or official duties of persons employed by the OCI, they must review their obligations under this Code. If a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest exists, they must file a new Confidential Report with the Correctional Investigator.
  3. When negotiating financial arrangements with outside parties, persons employed by the OCI must assure compliance with the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Measures in accordance with directives on this matter. When in doubt, persons employed by the OCI must immediately report the situation to their supervisors in order to seek advice or direction on how to proceed.

When faced with an ethical dilemma, persons employed by the OCI are encouraged to use the opportunities and mechanisms established by the Correctional Investigator to raise, discuss and resolve issues of concern related to this Code.

Persons employed by the OCI who feel they are being asked to act in a way that is inconsistent with the values and ethics set out in Chapter 1 of this Code should first attempt to raise the matter using the usual reporting relationship. Further avenues for resolution are contained in Chapter 4 of this Code.

Correctional Investigator

The Correctional Investigator and senior managers have a particular responsibility to exemplify, in their actions and behaviours, the values of the OCI. They have a duty to infuse these values into all aspects of the work of the organization. It is expected that they will take special care to ensure that they comply at all times with both the spirit and the specific requirements of this Code.

In particular, the Correctional Investigator has the following obligations:

  1. To ensure that the letter of offer, for an initial appointment, includes the following: "You will find enclosed a copy of the Values and Ethics Code for the Office of the Correctional Investigator. This Code is a key policy for the management of human resources and is part of your conditions of employment." The Correctional Investigator  must ensure that persons employed by the OCI are provided with a copy of the Code on any subsequent appointment. They must ensure that persons in their organization are informed of the requirements of this Code on an annual basis.
  2. To encourage and maintain an ongoing dialogue on OCI values and ethics in a manner that is relevant to the specific issues and challenges encountered by the organization.
  3. To ensure that mechanisms and assistance are in place to help persons employed by the OCI raise, discuss and resolve issues of concern related to this Code. This includes designating a senior official to assist persons employed by the OCI to resolve issues arising from the application of the Code.
  4. To determine the appropriate method for a person employed by the OCI to comply with the Code, as set out in Chapters 2 and 3, in order to avoid conflicts of interest. In doing so, the Correctional Investigator will try to achieve mutual agreement with the employee.
  5. To ensure that the personal information in Confidential Reports is secured in a central repository and treated in complete confidence, in accordance with the Privacy Act.

The Correctional Investigator may add compliance measures beyond those specified in this Code to reflect the OCI's particular responsibilities or the statutes governing its erations. The Correctional Investigator may delegate responsibilities and authorities for the implementation of the Code, but they may not delegate their accountability for ensuring that the Code is fully upheld and advanced within the organization or for the specific matters outlined in this section.

The Office of the Correctional Investigator (Employer)

The Office of the Correctional Investigator as the employer will ensure through its Champion of Values and Ethics that information and educational materials related to the Values and Ethics Code for the OCI are widely available. It will also maintain an advisory support service for the Correctional Investigator and for designated officials on the interpretation and promotion of the Code.

The Champion of Values and Ethics will monitor the implementation of the Code in the OCI. On a regular basis, the Champion will review the performance of the organization in the implementation of the Code.

The Values and Ethics Code for the OCI will be subject to a review five years after it comes into effect.

Public Service Integrity Officer

The role of the Public Service Integrity Officer is to receive, record and review disclosures of wrongdoing in the workplace, including breaches to the Code, and to make recommendations where warranted to the Correctional Investigator for resolution. Further, the Public Service Integrity Officer may report on any cases dealing with breaches of the Code as part of his or her annual report to the President of the Privy Council that is tabled in Parliament.

Effective Date

The effective date of the Values and Ethics Code for the OCI is September 1, 2009.

 

Chapter 2: Conflict of Interest Measures

Objective

The objective of these measures is to establish rules of conduct respecting conflict of interest and to minimize the possibility of conflicts arising between private interests and public service duties of persons employed by the OCI. These measures serve to uphold the OCI Values set out in Chapter 1, as well as the Post-Employment Measures in Chapter 3.

Measures to Prevent Conflict of Interest

Avoiding and preventing situations that could give rise to a conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest, is one of the primary means by which a person employed by the OCI maintains public confidence in the impartiality and objectivity. These Conflict of Interest Measures are adopted both to protect persons employed by the OCI from conflict of interest allegations and to help them avoid situations of risk. Conflict of interest does not relate exclusively to matters concerning financial transactions and the transfer of economic benefit. While financial activity is important, it is not the sole source of potential conflict of interest situations.

It is impossible to prescribe a remedy for every situation that could give rise to a real, apparent or potential conflict. When in doubt, persons employed by the OCI should seek guidance from their manager, from the senior official designated by the Correctional Investigator, and refer to the OCI Values stated in Chapter 1 as well as the following measures as benchmarks against which to gauge appropriate action.

Persons employed by the OCI have the following overall responsibilities:

  1. In carrying out their official duties, persons employed by the OCI should arrange their private affairs in a manner that will prevent real, apparent or potential conflicts of interest from arising.
  2. If a conflict does arise between the private interests and the official duties of a person employeed by the OCI , the conflict should be resolved in favour of the public interest.

Persons employed by the OCI also have the following specific duties:

  1. They should not have private interests, other than those permitted pursuant to these measures, that would be affected particularly or significantly by OCI actions in which they participate.
  2. They should not solicit or accept transfers of economic benefit.
  3. They should not step out of their official roles to assist private entities or persons in their dealings with the OCI where this would result in preferential treatment to the entities or persons.
  4. They should not knowingly take advantage of, or benefit from, information that is obtained in the course of their official duties and that is not generally available to the public.
  5. They should not directly or indirectly use, or allow the use of, OCI property of any kind, including property leased to the government, for anything other than officially approved activities.

Methods of Compliance

For a person employed by the OCI to comply with these measures, it will usually be sufficient to submit a Confidential Report to the Correctional Investigator. The Confidential Report outlines the employee's ownership of assets, receipt of gifts, hospitality or other benefits, or participation in any outside employment or activities that could give rise to a conflict of interest.

There will be instances, however, where other measures will be necessary. These include the following:

  1. avoiding or withdrawing from activities or situations that would place the person employed by the OCI in real, potential or apparent conflict of interest with his or her official duties; and
  2. having an asset sold at arm's length or placed in a blind trust where continued ownership would constitute a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest with the person employed by the OCI's official duties.

In such cases, the Correctional Investigator will make the decision and communicate it to the employee of the OCI. In determining appropriate action, the Correctional Investigator will try to achieve mutual agreement with the employee in question and will take into account such factors as:

  1. the employee's specific responsibilities;
  2. the value and types of assets and interests involved; and
  3. the actual costs to be incurred by divesting the assets and interests, as opposed to the potential that the assets and interests represent for a conflict of interest.

Assets

The types of assets and interests that should be included in a Confidential Report, those that need not be declared, as well as procedures for divesting assets are all set out in Appendix A.

It is to be noted that a person employed by the OCI may not sell or transfer assets to family members or others for purposes of circumventing the compliance measures.

Outside Employment or Activities

Persons employed by the OCI may engage in employment outside the OCI and take part in outside activities unless the employment or activities are likely to give rise to a conflict of interest or in any way undermine the neutrality of the OCI and Public Service.

Where outside employment or activities might subject persons employed by the OCI to demands incompatible with their official duties, or cast doubt on their ability to perform their duties in a completely objective manner, they shall submit a Confidential Report to the Correctional Investigator. The Correctional Investigator may require that the outside activities be curtailed, modified or terminated if it is determined that real, apparent or potential conflict of interest exists.

Gifts, Hospitality and Other Benefits

Persons employed by the OCI are called upon to use their best judgment to avoid situations of real or perceived conflict. In doing so, persons employed by the OCI should consider the following criteria on gifts, hospitality and other benefits, keeping in mind the full context of this Code.

Persons employed by the OCI shall not accept or solicit any gifts, hospitality or other benefits that may have a real or apparent influence on their objectivity in carrying out their official duties or that may place them under obligation to the donor. This includes free or discounted admission to sporting and cultural events arising out of an actual or potential business relationship directly related to the employee's official duties.

The acceptance of gifts, hospitality and other benefits is permissible if they

  1. are infrequent and of minimal value (low-cost promotional objects, simple meals, souvenirs with no cash value);
  2. arise out of activities or events related to the official duties of the person employed by the OCI concerned;
  3. are within the normal standards of courtesy, hospitality or protocol; and
  4. do not compromise or appear to compromise in any way the integrity of the person employed by the OCI concerned or his or the OCI.

Where it is impossible to decline gifts, hospitality and 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, an employee shall seek written direction from the Correctional Investigator. The Correctional Investigator will then notify the employee in writing whether the gifts, hospitality and other benefits are to be declined or retained by the organization, donated to charity, disposed of, or retained by the employee concerned.

Solicitation

At no time should persons employed by the OCI 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 OCI or the public service.

In the case of fundraising for charitable organizations, persons employed by the OCI should ensure that they have prior authorization from the Correctional Investigator to solicit donations, prizes or contributions in kind from external organizations or individuals. The Correctional Investigator may require that the activities be curtailed, modified or terminated where it is determined that there is a real or apparent conflict of interest or an obligation to the donor.

Legal framework

The above provisions are designed to ensure the Values and Ethics Code for the OCI is consistent with paragraph 121(1)(c) of the Criminal Code, which states the following:

... every one commits an offence who, being an official or employee of the government, demands, accepts, or offers or agrees to accept, from a person who has dealings with the government, a commission, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind directly or indirectly, by himself or through a member of his family or through any one for his benefit, unless he has the consent in writing of the head of the branch of government that employs him or of which he is an official, the proof of which lies on him.

Avoidance of Preferential Treatment

When participating in any decision making related to a staffing process, persons employed by the OCI shall ensure that they do not grant preferential treatment or assistance to family or friends.

When making decisions that will result in a financial award to an external party, persons employed by the OCI shall not grant preferential treatment or assistance to family or friends.

Persons employed by the OCI should not offer any assistance to entities or persons that have dealings with the government, where this assistance is not part of their official duties, without obtaining prior authorization from their designated superior and complying with the conditions for that authorization.

Providing information that is easily accessible to the public to relatives or friends or to entities in which persons employed by the OCI or their family members or friends have interests is not considered preferential treatment.

 

Chapter 3: Post-Employment Measures

Objective

The objective of these measures is to establish rules of conduct respecting post-employment. These measures complement the OCI Values set out in Chapter 1, as well as the Conflict of Interest Measures in Chapter 2.

Overall Responsibility of persons employed by the OCI

Without unduly restricting their ability to seek other employment, former persons employed by the OCI should undertake to minimize the possibility of real, apparent or potential conflicts of interest between their new employment and their most recent responsibilities within the OCI. Before leaving employment, persons employed by the OCI should disclose their intention of future employment and discuss potential conflicts with the Correctional Investigator.

Application

The overall responsibility cited above applies to all persons employed by the OCI covered by the Code. The measures that follow apply specifically to those Persons employed by the OCI in executive positions (EX) or their equivalent as well as EX minus 1 and EX minus 2 positions and their equivalent (e.g., WP-06,WP-05, AS-07, EC-07).

The Correctional Investigator may designate other positions as being subject to these measures (where the position involves official duties that raise post-employment concerns), or exclude positions from the application of the post-employment measures (when the official duties of these positions do not raise concerns for post-employment).

Before Leaving Office

Persons employed by the OCI must disclose, in a Confidential Report to the Correctional Investigator, all firm offers of employment that could place them in a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest situation. They must also disclose immediately the acceptance of any such offer.

Limitation Period

Former persons employed by the OCI shall not, within a period of one year after leaving office

  1. accept appointment to a board of directors of, or employment with, entities with which they personally, or through their subordinates, had significant official dealings during the period of one year immediately prior to the termination of their service;
  2. make representations for, or on behalf of, persons to any department or organization with which they personally, or through their subordinates, had significant official dealings during the period of one year immediately prior to the termination of their service;  
  3. give advice to their clients using information that is not available to the public concerning the programs or policies of the departments or organizations with which they were employed or with which they had a direct and substantial relationship; or
  4. discuss or provide information on the internal management of the organization as well as all information related to financial, contracting, security and HR activities.

Reduction of Limitation Period

The Correctional Investigator has the authority to reduce or waive the limitation period of employment for a person employed by the OCI former person employed by the OCI. Such a decision should take into consideration the following:

  1. the circumstances under which the termination of their service occurred;
  2. the general employment prospects of the person employed by the OCI or former person employed by the OCI;
  3. the significance to the OCI of information possessed by the person employed by the OCI or former person employed by the OCI by virtue of that individual's position in the organization;
  4. the desirability of a rapid transfer of the person employed by the OCI's or former person employed by the OCI's knowledge and skills from the OCI to private, other governmental or non-governmental sectors;
  5. the degree to which the new employer might gain unfair commercial or private advantage by hiring the former person  employed by the OCI or former person employed by the OCI; and
  6. the authority and influence possessed while in the OCI, and the disposition of other cases.

A decision by the Correctional Investigator to waive or reduce the limitation period will be recorded in writing.

Exit Arrangements

The Correctional Investigator must ensure that an employee who is intending to leave the OCI is aware of these post-employment measures.

Reconsideration

A person employed by the OCI or former person employed by the OCI may apply to the Correctional Investigator for reconsideration of any determination respecting his or her compliance with the post-employment measures.

 

Chapter 4: Avenues of Resolution

Public Service Values and Ethics

Any person employed by the OCI who wants to raise, discuss and clarify issues related to this Code should first talk with his or her manager or contact the senior official designated by the Correctional Investigator under the provisions of this Code, according to the procedures and conditions established by the Correctional Investigator.

Any person employed by the OCI who witnesses or has knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace may refer the matter for resolution, in confidence and without fear of reprisal, to the Senior Officer designated for the purpose by the Correctional Investigator under the provisions of the Policy on the Internal Disclosure of Information Concerning Wrongdoing in the Workplace.

Furthermore, any person employed by the OCI who believes that he or she is being asked to act in a way that is inconsistent with the values and ethics set out in Chapter 1 of this Code can report the matter in confidence and without fear of reprisal to the Senior Officer, as described above.

If the matter is not appropriately addressed at this level, or the person employed by the OCI has reason to believe it could not be disclosed in confidence within the organization, it may then be referred to the Public Service Integrity Officer, in accordance with the Policy on the Internal Disclosure of Information Concerning Wrongdoing in the Workplace.

It is expected that most matters arising from the application of this Code can and should be resolved at the organizational level.

Measures on Conflict of Interest and Post-employment

With respect to the appropriate arrangements necessary to prevent conflict of interest or to comply with the post-employment measures described in Chapters 2 and 3 of this Code, it is expected that most situations will be addressed by discussing the matter with the employee of the OCI, identifying avenues of resolution and taking appropriate action. When an employee of the OCI and the Correctional Investigator disagree on the appropriate arrangements to prevent conflict of interest or to comply with the post-employment measures in this Code, the disagreement shall be resolved through the established grievance procedures.

Failure to Comply

An employee of the OCI who does not comply with the requirements of this Code is subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Enquiries

Enquiries about this Code should be referred to the OCI's Champion of Values and Ethics.

Form

Confidential Report

This form can be accessed through the OCI Web site at www.oci-bec.gc.ca.

 

Appendix A - Assets, Liabilities and Trusts

Assets and Liabilities Subject to a Confidential Report

Persons employed by the OCI must carefully evaluate on a regular basis whether their assets and liabilities need to be included in a Confidential Report. In doing so, they must take into consideration the nature of their official duties and the characteristics of their assets and liabilities. If there is any real, apparent or potential conflict between the carrying out of their official duties and their assets and liabilities, a Confidential Report must be filed. If there is no relationship, no report is required.

The following is a list of examples of assets and liabilities that must be reported in a Confidential Report if they do, or could, constitute a conflict of interest. This list is not exhaustive.

  1. publicly traded securities of corporations and foreign governments, and self-administered Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), and self-administered Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) that are composed of these securities, where these securities are held directly and not through units in mutual funds;
  2. interests in partnerships, proprietorships, joint ventures, private companies and family businesses, in particular those that own or control shares of public companies or that do business with the government;
  3. commercially operated farm businesses;
  4. real property that is not for the private use of persons employed by the OCI or their family members;
  5. commodities, futures and foreign currencies held or traded for speculative purposes;
  6. assets placed in trust or resulting from an estate of which the person employed by the OCI is a beneficiary;
  7. secured or unsecured loans granted to persons other than to members of the person employed by the OCI's immediate family;
  8. any other assets or liabilities that could give rise to a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest due to the particular nature of the person employd by the OCI's official duties; and
  9. direct and contingent liabilities in respect of any of the assets described in this section.

Assets Not Requiring a Confidential Report

Assets and interests for the private use of persons employed by the OCI and of their family members, as well as non-commercial assets, are not subject to the compliance measures.

For example, such assets include the following:

  1. residences, recreational properties and farms used or intended for use by persons employed by the OCI or their families;
  2. household goods and personal effects;
  3. works of art, antiques and collectibles;
  4. automobiles and other personal means of transportation;
  5. cash and deposits;
  6. Canada Saving Bonds and other similar investments in securities of fixed value issued or guaranteed by any level of government in Canada or agencies of those governments;
  7. Registered Retirement Savings Plans and Registered Education Saving Plans that are not self-administered;
  8. investments in open-ended mutual funds;
  9. guaranteed investment certificates and similar financial instruments;
  10. annuities and life insurance policies;
  11. pension rights;
  12. money owed by a previous employer, client or partnership; and
  13. personal loans receivable from members of persons employed by the OCI immediate families and small personal loans receivable from other persons where persons employed by the OCI have loaned the moneys receivable.

Divestment of Assets

Persons employed by the OCI must divest assets where the Correctional Investigator determines that such assets constitute a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest in relation to their duties and responsibilities. Divestment, where required, must take place within 120 days of appointment, transfer or deployment. Divestment of assets is usually achieved by selling them through an arm's-length transaction or by making them subject to a blind trust arrangement.

Where divestment is by means of sale, confirmation of the sale, such as a broker's sales receipt, shall be provided to the Correctional Investigator.

Where divestment is by means of a blind trust, the Office of the Ethics Counsellor will assist the Correctional Investigator and the employee of the OCI to set up a blind trust and to determine whether a specific blind trust meets the requirements of the Conflict of Interest Measures. The Ethics Counsellor will also make recommendations to the Correctional Investigator on the reimbursement of certain trust costs to the employee of the OCI by the home organization.