Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Conflict of Interest Policy?

The City’s Conflict of Interest Policy is a resource for employees and leaders to help identify when a conflict of interest may arise and how it should be addressed.​​

2. Why did the Conflict of Interest Policy need to be changed?

City employees are expected to perform their roles in a way that sustains citizen trust and confidence. As such, we need clear guidelines so employees know what they can, and cannot, do to comply with the policy and protect our collective reputation. In addition to clarifying expectations, the policy now spells out the people and business areas that can be contacted for support. When implemented, the revised policy will better protect The City’s reputation and that of its employees.

3. How did Labour Relations decide on the changes?

Representatives from Labour Relations engaged with multiple stakeholders across the organization, conducted best practice reviews within the broader public sector and updated the policy to be consistent with changing legislation. It then sought advice and approval from ELT.

4. What kinds of behaviour does the Conflict of Interest cover?

The Conflict of Interest Policy has six sections: 

  • Political Activity 
  • Using Confidential Information 
  • Using City Assets 
  • Gifts, Hospitality and other Benefits 
  • Outside Interests 
  • Furthering Private Interests

5. When will the new policy come into effect?

June, 1, 2019.

6. Does this revised Conflict of Interest Policy apply to Council or the staff in Council’s offices?

No. The policy applies only to individuals who are employed by The City of Calgary, including those on contract.

7. Is it possible to go further than what the policy prescribes in terms of disclosure and limitations on social engagements?

Yes. Some Business Units may determine that they need more stringent measures. Management within the business unit will be responsible for communicating any measures specific to their business to relevant staff.

8. What are the big changes that employees need to know?

While many aspects of the policy have been amended, the most substantive changes may be experienced by employees who work with external business associates. The following lists the changes we believe are most relevant to employees:

  • It has long been acceptable for a City employee to accept hospitality from business associates external to The City but this has changed. A City employee can no longer be hosted by a business associate in most circumstances. Hosted activities include meals, invitations to sporting or social events or attendance at conferences.
  • If an employee incurs expenses as a result of this change in policy (i.e. paying for their own meal and those of other City employees who attend a luncheon meeting with a business associate), they will be reimbursed in accordance with the Reimbursement of Employee Business Expenses Policy.
  • Employees can no longer accept gift cards from people outside of The City. A gift card given by one City employee to another, as a form of recognition for example, continues to be acceptable.
  • Employees can accept small gifts valued under $25 such as a box of chocolates, cookies or token promotional item from a member of the public or a business associate.
  • It has been clarified that an employee cannot participate in, or influence, human resources decisions such as hiring, compensation, performance evaluation with someone with whom they have a family or personal relationship.

9. What are the big changes that leaders need to know?

  • In addition to making new employees aware of this policy at the time of their hire, there is a new expectation that leaders check in with their employees regularly to ensure their circumstances have not changed in a way that means a conflict of interest might now arise.
  • If their Business Unit has any additional requirements over and above the Conflict of Interest Policy, they need to ensure their employees know about them.
  • If they can’t effectively respond to a question or issue raised by an employee, the leader should seek guidance from their leader, HR Business Partner or Labour Relations.
  • Leaders must document the actions and/or decisions they have made in response to requests from employees related to the Conflict of Interest Policy. A template will be made available through Human Resources for such documentation, or the leader may choose to use their own method to record the actions taken. The important point is that a record must be kept in the employee’s personal file that reflects what was discussed, and agreed upon, to address a conflict of interest issue.
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10. If someone has a question about what is now included in the Conflict of Interest Policy, what should they do?

Employees with questions can also ask their exempt Supervisor, Director or General Manager, the City Auditor’s Office, Corporate Security, Law – Legal Services, their HR Business Partner or Labour Relations in Human Resources.​

11. As a leader I’m supposed to document the actions and decisions I have made related to the Conflict of Interest policy, where should this document be filed?

This document should go on the employee’s HR file. That way, if the leader leaves or retires and their file is destroyed, we’ll still have record of what was discussed. You can use the template under the Resource page​ on this site or create your own documentation.​​
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