– Code of Conduct and Ethics Administrative Guidelines –

Public Statements

Defining the Conflict

Speaking or writing publicly means doing so in some organized fashion, either at meetings open to the public or meetings where news media may be present, or through any public media.

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Authority to Disclose Information

Only the head of the public body or his delegate has the authority to disclose information under Part I of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Employees may release information which is designated as "routinely available" by the appropriate department personnel. If such information has not been designated, employees may refer the request for information to the Departmental FOIPP Coordinator.

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The Oath of Office

The oath of office requires employees to refrain from disclosing matters which come to their knowledge by reason of their employment. An employee risks prosecution and/or disciplinary action if the employee speaks publicly on a confidential matter, for example, releasing specific client information.

Employees are restricted from making confidential information or documents available to unauthorized persons, either directly or indirectly.

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Departmental Review

Each potential violation of the Code in this area should be reviewed based on the facts, considering among other things:

  • the content of the public statement

  • the confidentiality or sensitivity of the information

  • the manner in which the statement was made public

  • whether the statements were true or false

  • the extent to which the employer's reputation was damaged or jeopardized

  • the impact of the statement on the employer's ability to conduct its business

  • the interest of the public in having the information made public.

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About this Guideline

Authority:   Code of Conduct and Ethics Regulation
Application:   Organizations Under the Public Service Act
Effective Date:   March 18, 1998
Contact:   Labour Relations

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