Case Summaries 2015 - 2016


Allegation of contravention of the conflict of interest rules (Referral)

It was alleged that a public servant contravened the conflict of interest rules in the course of making hiring decisions. The Commissioner referred the matter for investigation to the appropriate Ethics Executive, who concluded that there had been no wrongdoing. After requesting additional information, the Commissioner was not satisfied with the investigation.  

However, the Commissioner determined that she would not be conducting her own investigation given the limited value of doing so in the circumstances of the case. Instead, the Commissioner made a number of recommendations, all of which were accepted and implemented. The Commissioner closed the file.


Allegation of gross mismanagement (Investigation)

It is alleged that public servants directed other public servants to engage in gross mismanagement by directing that ministry resources be used for a purpose unrelated to the business of the ministry. In accordance with the PSOA, the Commissioner referred the matter to two different officials within the government. In order to avoid multiple investigations, both officials referred the matter back to the Commissioner for investigation.

The Commissioner conducted an investigation and concluded that there was no wrongdoing because although the work in question could be used for multiple purposes, it was actually used in a way that related to the business of the ministry. Although no wrongdoing was found, the disclosure helped to clarify the appropriate use of ministry resources.

 

Allegation of gross mismanagement (Investigation)

It was alleged that a public servant engaged in gross mismanagement by acting in a manner contrary to acceptable practices and failing to report an incident, contrary to policy. It was further alleged that the public servant counselled another public servant to engage in wrongdoing by directing another public servant to misrepresent the facts as they related to the incident.

The Commissioner was not satisfied that the internal investigation previously conducted by the ministry sufficiently addressed the last allegation and, accordingly, commenced her own investigation. Following the investigation, the Commissioner substantiated the allegations listed above and found that the public servant had engaged in wrongdoing. Subsequently, the Commissioner made several recommendations, which the ministry accepted.

 

Allegation of contravention of the conflict of interest rules (Referral)

It was alleged that public servants contravened the conflict of interest rules set out in Ontario Regulation 381/07 under the PSOA by giving preferential treatment to an internal candidate during a job competition. The Commissioner referred the matter. The investigation found that the public servants did not give preferential treatment during the competition and therefore did not engage in wrongdoing as defined by the PSOA. The Commissioner was satisfied with the investigation report prepared by the ministry.

This disclosure highlighted the risk of preferential treatment being given, or to appear as though it is being given, to internal candidates during job competitions. As a result, both the ministry and the Office identified some changes that could be made to better manage these risks.

 

Allegation of contravention of the conflict of interest rules (Referral)

It was alleged that a public servant contravened the conflict of interest rules set out in Ontario Regulation 381/07 under the PSOA and engaged in gross mismanagement. The Commissioner referred the matter. The allegations were not substantiated by the investigation.

Although the Commissioner was not satisfied with the investigation, she determined that she would not be conducting her own investigation in order to protect the efforts currently in place to improve the workplace. Instead, the Commissioner made a number of recommendations, all of which were accepted by the ministry.

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