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Procedures for Conflict of Interest and Managing the Employment of Related Persons

Submitted by kaelyn.mccombs on Tue, 04/18/2017 - 9:53am

Effective April 15, the University of Calgary has two new procedures to support the Code of Conduct - one relating to conflict of interest and the other to the employment of related persons. These procedures apply to all faculty, staff, appointees (adjunct faculty, clinical appointments, visiting researchers/scholars) and volunteers.

Conflict of Interest ProcedureThis procedure sets out the process for disclosing, documenting and managing a conflict of interest. 

Managing the Employment of Related Persons ProcedureThis procedure outlines the steps that must be followed to manage the conflict of interest that occurs when a faculty, staff, appointee or volunteer is involved in the hiring or ongoing employment of a related person.

Procedure for Conflict of Interest

Submitted by kaelyn.mccombs on Tue, 04/18/2017 - 9:30am

General

What is a Conflict of Interest?

A Conflict of Interest is defined in the University’s Code of Conduct policy and the Procedure for Conflict of Interest. Generally, a Conflict of Interest may be perceived or real. A Conflict of Interest occurs when a University representative has knowledge that a performance of a duty or function or exercise of power or influence may result in a personal benefit. 

Who does these procedures apply to?

The Procedure for Conflict of Interest applies to Academic Staff Members, Appointees, Employees, Volunteer Appointees and Researchers.

Why are the procedures being introduced?

The Alberta Public Agencies Governance Act requires public agencies (including the University) to implement a code of conduct that includes procedures relating to conflict of interest.  

Am I required to comply with these procedures?

If you are an Academic Staff Member, Appointee, Employee, Volunteer Appointee or Researcher the Procedure for Conflict of Interest applies to you. You are required to disclose any potential, real or perceived Conflict of Interest so that it can be assessed and managed in a fair, open and practical manner.  You have an ongoing obligation to disclose a potential real or perceived Conflict of Interest any time a situation or circumstance arises that may result in you having a real or perceived Conflict of Interest. 

What happens if I fail to report a Conflict of Interest?

Individuals who are subject to the Procedure for Conflict of Interest and who fail to disclose a real or perceived Conflict of Interest may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination (depending on the provisions of their applicable collective agreement

Why is there a separate procedure for the Management of Related Persons?

The Procedure for the Management of Related Persons outlines the steps that must be followed to manage a Conflict of Interest that occurs when an Academic Staff Member, Appointee, Employee or Volunteer Appointee is involved in the hiring or ongoing employment of a Related Person.

Submitted by kaelyn.mccombs on Tue, 04/18/2017 - 9:38am

Academic Staff Members

When am I required to disclose a Conflict of Interest?

Academic Staff Members have an ongoing obligation to disclose to their Dean, in writing, any time a Conflict of Interest arises.

How do I disclose a Conflict of Interest?

Academic Staff Members will disclose any potential real or perceived Conflict of Interest in writing to their Dean, and in accordance with the relevant provisions of the collective agreement between the University and the Faculty Association.

An Academic Staff Member may use the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form or provide a free format document to their Dean.

Academic Staff Members should note that they may have additional conflict of interest obligations and disclosure requirements in their role as Researchers.

To whom do I submit my Conflict of Interest disclosure?

You must disclose in writing to your Dean, however, there is no requirement for Academic Staff Members to use the Conflict Disclosure Form.

What information do I need to disclose?

The relevant information that needs to be disclosed is set out on the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form. At a minimum disclosure must include the following:

  • A description of the circumstances that may be considered a Conflict of Interest
  • A description of the Related Entity or Related Person if involved in the Private Benefit
  • A description of the Private Benefit(s) that may arise from a Conflict of Interest
  • In the case of managing the employment of a Related Person,  the name of the Related Person and relationship to them as well as details of the type of reporting relationship (formal or functional)

An Academic Staff Member will only be asked to disclose information that is necessary in order for the Dean to assess and manage a perceived or real Conflict of Interest.

Who gets to review the information I have provided and determine if I have a Conflict of Interest?

Your Dean will assess the situation or circumstances that may be considered a Conflict of Interest and determine whether:

  • there is a Conflict of Interest;
  • the Conflict of Interest may be managed as an allowed Conflict of Interest; or
  • the Conflict of Interest is not able to withstand reasonable and independent scrutiny.

If the Dean determines that there is no Conflict of Interest, the Dean will indicate in writing that there is no Conflict of Interest.

Who gets to review the Conflict of Interest disclosure?

The information disclosed by the Academic Staff Member is collected in accordance with the University of Calgary’s Code of Conduct. Your Dean will use the form for the purposes of assessing, reviewing and managing a real or perceived Conflicts of Interest. 

I have discovered that I am in a Conflict of Interest with someone on a committee struck under the Collective Agreement or the Appointment, Promotions and Tenure Manual, what can I do?

Conflicts of Interest pertaining to the appointment, assessment, promotion and tenure will be governed by the Collective Agreement or the Appointment, Promotions and Tenure Manual.  

I have discovered that I am in a Conflict of Interest with my Dean, what can I do?

If a Dean has a financial or personal interest in the potential Conflict of Interest, the Conflict of Interest disclosure will be assessed by the next appropriate senior reporting officer.    

What happens if your Dean determines a Conflict of Interest exists?

If your Dean determines that there is a Conflict of Interest that may be managed, they will work with you to determine an appropriate conflict management plan.

Details of the conflict management plan will be documented and signed by the Dean and the Academic Staff Member and forwarded to the Executive Director, Office of the Vice-President (Finance and Services).

If your Dean determines that there is a Conflict of Interest that cannot be appropriately managed, your Dean will instruct you on the steps to take to eliminate the Conflict of Interest.

The steps taken to eliminate the Conflict of Interest will be documented and signed by the Dean and the Academic Staff Member and placed on your central personnel file. 

What is a conflict management plan and who prepares it?

A conflict management plan sets out steps you have to take to eliminate any perceived or real Private Benefit as a result of a perceived or real Conflict of Interest. 

Can my Dean delegate the review of Conflict of Interest disclosures to someone else?

The review can be delegate only if the Dean has a financial or personal interest in the potential Conflict of Interest being assessed. In those circumstances, the next appropriate senior reporting officer will complete the review.

The Dean may administer or delegate the implementation and ongoing monitoring of the conflict management plan.

I am a Departmental Representative or Member of the Board of Directors of the Faculty Association, do I have to disclose a Conflict of Interest on the basis of my association activity?

No, Academic Staff Members who are authorized representatives of the Faculty Association in accordance with the collective agreement do not have to disclose a Conflict of Interest on the basis of their activities, or roles, with the Faculty Association.  Association membership does not create a Conflict of Interest within the scope of the Procedure for Conflict of Interest.

Submitted by kaelyn.mccombs on Tue, 04/18/2017 - 9:45am

Employees, Appointees and Volunteer Appointees

How do I report a Conflict of Interest?

All Employees, Appointees and Volunteer Appointees will submit a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form to conflictofinterest@ucalgary.ca.  Your SLT Member or Volunteer Manager will receive a copy of the form within five (5) business days and will assess the potential Conflict of Interest.

When am I required to submit a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form?

All Employees and Appointees who have authority to approve expenditures or contracts or to approve hiring are required to complete an annual Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form and submit it by January 31 each year. In addition, all Employees, Appointees and Volunteer Appointees are required to complete a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form at any time a situation or circumstance arises that may result in a real or perceived Conflict of Interest.

Employees and Appointees may have additional conflict of interest obligations and disclosure requirements in their roles as Researchers

What information do I need to disclose?

The relevant information that needs to be disclosed is set out on the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form, namely:

  • A description of the circumstances that may be considered a Conflict of Interest
  • A description of the Related Entity or Related Person if involved in the Private Benefit
  • A description of the Private Benefit that may arise from a Conflict of Interest
  • In the case of managing the employment of a Related Person, the name of the Related Person and relationship to them as well as details of the type of reporting relationship (formal or functional)

Who gets to review the information provided in the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form?

Your SLT Member or Volunteer Manager will assess the situation or circumstances that may be considered a Conflict of Interest and determine whether:

  • there is a Conflict of Interest;
  • the Conflict of Interest may be managed as an allowed Conflict of Interest; or
  • the Conflict of Interest is not able to withstand reasonable and independent scrutiny.

If the SLT Member or Volunteer Manager determines that there is no Conflict of Interest, the SLT Member or Volunteer Manager will sign the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form indicating that there is no Conflict of Interest.

What happens if my SLT Member determines that I have a Conflict of Interest?

If your SLT Member or Volunteer Manager determines that there is a Conflict of Interest that may be managed, you and your SLT Member or Volunteer Manager they will work with you to determine an appropriate conflict management plan.

Details of the conflict management plan will be documented and signed by the SLT Member or Volunteer Manager and the Employee/ Appointee/ Volunteer Appointee on the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form and forwarded to the Executive Director, Office of the Vice-President (Finance and Services).

If your SLT Member or Volunteer Manager determines that there is a Conflict of Interest that cannot be appropriately managed,  they will instruct you on the steps to take to eliminate the Conflict of Interest. 

The steps taken to eliminate the Conflict of Interest will be documented and signed by the SLT Member or Volunteer Manager and the Employee/ Appointee/ Volunteer Appointee on the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form.

Who gets to review the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form?

The information disclosed in the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form is collected in accordance with the University of Calgary’s Code of Conduct. Your SLT Member or Volunteer Manager will use the form for the purposes of assessing, reviewing and managing a real or perceived Conflict of Interest. 

What is a conflict management plan and who prepares it?

A conflict management plan sets out steps you have to take to eliminate any real or perceived Private Benefit as a result of a perceived or real Conflict of Interest.

Can an SLT Member, Dean or Volunteer Manager delegate the review of a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form to someone else?

The review can be delegated only If your SLT Member or Volunteer Manager has a financial or personal interest in the potential Conflict of Interest being assessed. In those circumstances, the next appropriate senior reporting officer will complete the review.

Your SLT Member or Volunteer Manager will administer or delegate the implementation and ongoing monitoring of the conflict management plan.

What if I fail to disclose a real or perceived Conflict of Interest?

Persons who are subject to the Procedure for Conflict of Interest and who fail to disclose a real or perceived Conflict of Interest may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination (depending on the provisions of their applicable collective agreement).   

I am an authorized AUPE union steward or committee representative, do I have to disclose a Conflict of Interest on the basis of my union or association activity?

No, employees who are authorized AUPE union stewards or representatives do not have to disclose a Conflict of Interest on the basis of their activities, or roles, with the union.  Union membership does not create a Conflict of Interest within the scope of this Procedure.

Procedure for Managing the Employment of Related Persons

Submitted by kaelyn.mccombs on Tue, 04/18/2017 - 9:50am

General

Does the Procedure for Managing the Employment of Related Persons apply to me?

It applies to any Academic Staff Members, Appointees, Employees and Volunteer Appointees.  

Who is a “Related Person”?

A “Related Person” is an individual who is directly associated with another individual and includes:

  • a parent, sibling and child of the individual;
  • a spouse or domestic partner of the individual; and
  • any other person who is directly associated with an individual.

What is the difference between a “Formal Reporting Relationship” and a “Functional Reporting Relationship”

A Formal Reporting Relationship means a reporting relationship involving decision-making authority over the formal terms of employment, including performance reviews, discipline, compensation and benefits. 

A Functional Reporting Relationship means a reporting relationship involving the supervision of day-to-day work tasks and does not automatically create a Conflict of Interest.

When does a Conflict of Interest arise when a Related Person is working or volunteering at the University?

A Conflict of Interest may occur either at the time of hire, at a change in employment or when there has been a change in the personal relationship during an existing employment relationship.  

I have discovered that I am in a Conflict of Interest with the hiring of a Related Person, what do I do?

As soon as you discover that you are in a Conflict of Interest with the hiring of a Related Person, you must recuse yourself from the hiring process. 

Conflicts of Interest pertaining to the appointment, promotion and tenure of Academic Staff Members will be governed by the process set out in the APT Manual or the Faculty Association Collective Agreement.  

The hiring process and the decision to employ any Related Person must be documented and it is your responsibility to recuse yourself from involvement in the hiring process of a Related Person.

I have discovered that I am in a Conflict of Interest with the Formal Reporting Relationship of a Related Person, what do I do?

As soon as you discover that you are in a Conflict of Interest with the Formal Reporting Relationship of a Related Person you must submit a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form to conflictofinterest@ucalgary.ca. Your SLT member or Volunteer Manager will receive a copy of the form within 5 business days and will assess the potential Conflict of Interest. This includes when a Related Person is hired or when there is a change in the employment or personal relationship that results in a Conflict of Interest.

If there is a Conflict of Interested with a Related Person, what happens?

When a Conflict of Interest can be appropriately managed, you and your SLT Member, Dean or Volunteer Manager will create a detailed conflict management plan that outlines steps to prevent any real or perceived Conflict of Interest. The conflict management plan will ensure the Academic Staff Member/Employee/Appointee or Volunteer Appointee will not have a Formal Reporting Relationship with the Related Person but may have a Functional Reporting Relationship if the circumstances warrant such a relationship.