Frequently asked questions
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.
City employees are expected to perform their roles in a way that sustains members of the public’s trust and confidence, but also creates opportunity to build and maintain critical business relationships, necessary to further the City’s interests. 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.
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
July 10, 2023
5. 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.
6. 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.
The most substantive change may be experienced by employees who work with external business associates. The following lists the changes we believe are most relevant to employees:
- A City employee can accept a gift, hospitality, or other benefit from a party external to The City as long as it doesn’t influence or isn’t perceived to influence their objectivity in the performance of their duties, or place them under obligation to the party providing the gift, hospitality, or benefit.
- Employees can accept gifts from a party external to The City in some circumstances, provided they never:
- accept cash or gift cards;
- accept a gratuity;
- accept any gift, hospitality or other benefit from potential suppliers or other parties, during or in anticipation of, a procurement process that they are involved in.
- 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. This template is available to document decisions, 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 to reflect what was discussed, and agreed upon, to address a conflict of interest issue.
9. 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.
10. 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 I filed this information?
One way to capture this information is by completing the Conflict of Interest Discussion Record Template. Whether you complete the document or capture the information in an email, and putting it should go on the employee’s HR file is necessary. That way, if the leader leaves or retires and their file is destroyed, we’ll still have a record of what was discussed. You can use the template under the Resource page on this site or create your own documentation.