Procedure for Conflict of Interest


What is a Conflict of Interest?

Conflict of Interest is defined in the University’s Code of Conduct policy and the Procedure for Conflict of Interest. A Conflict of Interest may be actual or perceived. Generally, a Conflict of Interest occurs when, in the course of carrying out their university responsibilities, an individual takes any action that may result in an actual or perceived benefit to them or to a Related Person or Related Entity.

 

Who does these procedures apply to?

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

 

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 an actual 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, or Employee is involved in the ongoing employment of a Related Person.

 

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 an actual or perceived Conflict of Interest arises.

 

How do I disclose a Conflict of Interest?

Academic Staff Members will disclose any actual 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.

 

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)
  • Details of how you plan to manage the conflict

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 actual Conflict of Interest.

 

Who reviews 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 cannot be managed and steps need to be taken to eliminate the Conflict of Interest

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 reviews the Conflict of Interest disclosure?

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

 

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. 

 

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 actual Private Benefit as a result of a perceived or actual Conflict of Interest. The plan is prepared initially by the Academic Staff Member.  The Dean will then deem the plan acceptable, or not acceptable.  If the plan for dealing with the Conflict of Interest is not acceptable, revisions to the plan will be discussed with the individual who submitted the form, prior to finalizing the Conflict Management Plan, or the plan to eliminate the 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.

 

I am an Academic Staff Member or Appointee in the Cumming School of Medicine and we have separate obligations to report and manage potential conflicts of interest. Do I still have to follow this procedure?

We are working to create one reporting mechanism for CSM that covers both your faculty obligations and those under the University Code of Conduct. Until it is developed, you are required to complete a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form when required under this procedure.

 

Employees, Appointees and Volunteer Appointees

How do I report a Conflict of Interest?

All Employees, Appointees and Volunteer Appointees (other than members of the Board of Governors or committees of the Board) must submit a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form to their SLT member, with a copy to conflictofinterest@ucalgary.ca.

Members of the Board of Governors or committees of the Board will submit a Conflict of Interest Declaration Form to the Board Chair. Please contact the Secretariat for more information.

 

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, even if there is no conflict to declare.

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 perceived or actual 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)
  • Details of how you plan to manage the conflict

 

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 that cannot be managed

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 an actual 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 actual or perceived Private Benefit as a result of a perceived or actual Conflict of Interest.  The plan is prepared initially by the Employee, Appointee, or Volunteer Appointee.  The SLT Member or Volunteer Manager will deem the plan acceptable, or not acceptable.  If the plan for dealing with the Conflict of Interest is not acceptable, revisions to the plan will be discussed with the individual who submitted the form, prior to finalizing the Conflict Management Plan, or the plan to eliminate the Conflict of Interest. 

 

Can an SLT Member 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 an actual or perceived Conflict of Interest?

Persons who are subject to the Procedure for Conflict of Interest and who fail to disclose an actual 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.

I am an Academic Staff Member or Appointee in the Cumming School of Medicine and we have separate obligations to report and manage potential conflicts of interest. Do I still have to follow this one?

We are working to create one reporting mechanism for CSM that covers both your faculty obligations and those under the University Code of Conduct. We hope to have this developed by July 1, 2019 when the University Code becomes effective.