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Ask the Code for Leaders

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Ask the Code for Leaders

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ID: 272

ListCategory: Ask the code leaders

Title: Hotel Rates

Description: <div class="ExternalClass884E58A7CBA84FB6A7F8F0EE7A9225CA">I travel as part of my role at The City. When making hotel reservations for a personal holiday, the hotel reservation agent asked if I qualified for ‘government rates.’ Could I say yes if this is a personal trip?​</div>

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Hotel Rates

I travel as part of my role at The City. When making hotel reservations for a personal holiday, the hotel reservation agent asked if I qualified for ‘government rates.’ Could I say yes if this is a personal trip?​

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Political Candidates

​One of my employees is very active in federal politics. She successfully became a candidate for her party in an upcoming election and will be taking a leave to run. She asked me if she can identify herself as a City employee in her campaign materials? What do I need to know before I respond to her?

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​​​​Industry Parties

​I am a divisional manager. Several of the employees in my division have requested my approval to attend a party hosted by one of our business associates. People from across the industry are invited, it’s not a one-on-one hosting situation. What should I consider when deciding whose attendance I should approve and how many of my staff should attend?

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Second Jobs

An employee came to me to disclose that they have a second job. How do I decide whether this job presents a problem with respect to the revised Conflict of Interest Policy? What factors should I consider



H​otel Rates

Dear Code,

I travel as part of my role at The City. When making hotel reservations for a personal holiday, the hotel reservation agent asked if I qualified for ‘government rates.’ Could I say yes if this is a personal trip? 
                   - Wary F. Discounts

Dear Wary,
You need to the answer two questions to get the answer to this one. First, you need to know whether the hotel offers a government rate to a number of government employers. If the answer to that is “yes,” it may be okay to accept the discounted rate, subject to one more consideration. Does the hotel know that this is a holiday and you are not on City business? If they know that, and still offer you the discounted rate, you can to accept it.

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Political Candidates​

Dear Code,

One of my employees is very active in federal politics. She successfully became a candidate for her party in an upcoming election and will be taking a leave to run. She asked me if she can identify herself as a City employee in her campaign materials? What do I need to know before I respond to her? 
                   - Political Quandary

Dear Political Quandary,
I’m glad you asked. With the federal election coming up, more employees may show an interest in candidacy. In general, political activity by employees is allowed as long as it is conducted outside of the workplace, on their own time and no City resources are used. While at work, employees are expected to remain politically neutral when performing their roles.

Our Conflict of Interest Policy states that an employee who becomes a candidate for elected office cannot identify themselves as an employee of The City of Calgary in their campaign materials.

There are some differences regarding the leaves of absence provided to employees who run municipal or federal office so you may want to check sections 3.6.4 and 3.6.5 in the Conflict of Interest Policy.

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​​​​Industry Parties

Dear Code, 
I am a divisional manager. Several of the employees in my division have requested my approval to attend a party hosted by one of our business associates. People from across the industry are invited, it’s not a one-on-one hosting situation. What should I consider when deciding whose attendance I should approve and how many of my staff should attend?
                   - Checking before Wrecking 

Dear Checking,
There are valid reasons for City staff to build relationships in the industry and for The City of Calgary to have a presence so attendance at such an event may be permissible. If you are uncertain what constitutes reasonable attendance at the event, I would suggest you have a discussion with your Director. Your Director may, in turn, wish to consult with their General Manager. With their input, you should be able to develop a solution that works for this instance and may set a precedent for how such situations will be dealt with on an ongoing basis. Once a decision is made, document it so that it can be referred to in future years by you or your successors.

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Second Jobs
​​

Dear Code,
An employee came to me to disclose that they have a second job. How do I decide whether this job presents a problem with respect to the revised Conflict of Interest Policy? What factors should I consider? 
                   ​- Moonlighting

Dear Moonlighting,
It will depend on the type of secondary employment. Here are some of the considerations. An employee who has a second job cannot allow the demands of that position to interfere with, or interrupt, their City work. They cannot use any City assets, or information, in the course of their second job.

An asset would include, but is not limited to, information, technology resources, vehicles, equipment and work time. They cannot accept secondary employment with an organization that competes with The City i.e. offers services, on a commercial basis, that The City provides. Also, the employee cannot be seen to be providing an advantage to a secondary employer with respect to approvals or inspections. As you can see, this can be a complex situation.

Best to spend some time reviewing the policy and reach out for help and advice ​​​​​​​​​

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