Case Summaries 2012 - 2013
Alleged gross mismanagement and conflict of interest in relation to procurement and other contravention of conflict of interest rules
It was alleged that senior public servants at a public body were responsible for gross mismanagement and/or conflicts of interest in relation to specific procurement projects. It was also alleged that another public servant at the public body had acted contrary to the Conflict of Interest Rules.
The matter was referred for investigation to the deputy minister of the ministry responsible for the public body. The deputy minister engaged a neutral third party to conduct the investigation.
The investigation concluded that there was no gross mismanagement or conflicts of interest in relation to procurement issues. The deputy minister advised that prior to the referral the public body had already taken steps to improve procurement practices. The investigation confirmed that there were serious issues with procurement practices at the public body. Notwithstanding the changes already underway, the deputy minister was committed to take further steps for improvement.
The Commissioner made recommendations, including a recommendation that the deputy minister cause a review of a number of other procurements commenced prior to the changes. The deputy minister accepted the Commissioner’s recommendations. The further review was completed and no wrongdoing was identified.
Other Alleged COI contravention
Regarding the other alleged contravention of the Conflict of Interest Rules, the investigation concluded that there had been no contravention. The Commissioner recommended that the deputy minister seek a determination from the Conflict of Interest Commissioner about the particular matter. The determination was completed and the finding of the deputy minister was confirmed.
The Commissioner followed the file for several months after the initial report and was satisfied with the investigation and conclusions. The Commissioner closed the file.
Allegation of Contravention of the Conflict of Interest Rules (Referral and Investigation)
It was alleged that a public servant contravened the conflict of interest rules by supervising a family member who worked in the same office. The matter was referred for investigation to an ethics executive within the OPS. The ethics executive concluded that there was no contravention of the rules and therefore no wrongdoing. The Commissioner was not satisfied with the investigation because it failed to address certain issues related to the disclosure, including whether the public servant contravened section 65(3) of the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006. Section 65(3) requires public servants to make timely disclosures of personal and pecuniary interests to their ethics executive.
A new investigation was conducted by the Integrity Commissioner. The Commissioner concluded that the public servant did not contravene the conflict of interest rules or the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006.