PPSC Code of Conduct
Table of Contents
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Scope
- 3. Purpose
- 4. Objectives
- 5. Public Sector Values
- 6. PPSC Values
- 7. Effective Date
- 8. Expected Behaviours
- 8.1 Care and Use of Government Property or Valuables
- 8.2 Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information
- 8.3 Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment
- 8.4 Contact with other Employees, the Public and External Partners
- 8.5 Consumption of Intoxicants
- 8.6 Disclosure of Information Concerning Wrongdoing in the Workplace
- 8.7 Electronic Network Access and Use
- 8.8 Financial Management including Contracting and Procurement and Fraud
- 8.9 Gifts, Hospitality and Other Benefits
- 8.10 Harassment, Discrimination and Resolving Workplace Issues
- 8.11 Hours of Work
- 8.12 Off-Duty Conduct and Arrests/Charges
- 8.13 Official Languages
- 8.14 Personal Appearance
- 8.15 Political Activities
- 8.16 Public Criticism of the PPSC, the Office of the Commissioner and the Federal Government
- 8.17 Publicly Commenting for the PPSC and for the Office of the Commissioner
- 8.18 Safety and Security
- 8.19 Staffing
- 8.20 Terms and Conditions of Employment, Collective Agreements and Unions
- 9. Roles and Responsibilities
- 10. Resolving Ethical Issues
- 11. Definitions
- 12. References
- 13. Approval
Message from the Director of Public Prosecutions
The mandate of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) is to prosecute offences under federal jurisdiction in a manner that is free of any improper influence and that respects the public interest. This mandate places PPSC employees in a unique position of trust requiring high standards of ethical behaviour.
As a result of changes to the Canada Elections Act adopted by Parliament in June 2014, the Commissioner of Canada Elections (Commissioner) occupies a position within the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Commissioner is responsible for ensuring that the Canada Elections Act and the Referendum Act are complied with and enforced.
Although the Commissioner and I exercise our respective statutory duties independently from one another, as Director of the PPSC and deputy head, I have an obligation under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act to establish a code of conduct applicable to all employees within the PPSC, which includes PPSC employees who occupy a position within the Office of the Commissioner.
This Code of Conduct establishes expectations for behaviour in the activities we perform to fulfil our respective mandates. It builds on the expectations for all public servants found in two Treasury Board documents, namely the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and the Policy on Conflict of interest and Post-Employment.
Your commitment to the values and ethics set out in this Code of Conduct and the related Treasury Board documents is essential to supporting the mandate of the PPSC and of the Commissioner and to protecting the reputation and integrity of both organizations.
Director of Public Prosecutions
The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) is an independent and accountable prosecuting authority whose main objective is to prosecute offences under federal jurisdiction in a manner that is free of any improper influence and that respects the public interest.
The PPSC serves the public interest by:
- prosecuting cases with diligence, in a manner that is fair, impartial and objective;
- seeking to protect the rights of individuals and to uphold the rule of law; and,
- working within the criminal justice system to help make Canada a safe and just society.
The Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections is housed within the PPSC. The Commissioner of Canada Elections (Commissioner) is an independent officer who serves the public interest by ensuring compliance with, and enforcement of, the Canada Elections Act and the federal Referendum Act. The Commissioner exercises his or her statutory duties independently from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), while operating within the PPSC.
The PPSC Code of Conduct (
“the Code”) contains rules and standards of conduct intended to help achieve both the PPSC’s and the Office of the Commissioner’s objectives and to provide direction to employees in situations where the right course of action may not always be clear.
Throughout the Code, reference to employees or to PPSC employees refers to all PPSC employees, including those who occupy a position within the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections, unless otherwise specified.
The Code applies to all employees of the PPSC. Managers and senior executives are expected to set an example by demonstrating high ethical and professional standards in their conduct. It should also be noted that due to the nature of their duties, certain employees are required to abide by standards of conduct set by their professional associations and by guidance documents such as the Public Prosecution Service of Canada Deskbook (PPSC Deskbook), the Compliance and Enforcement Policy of the Commissioner of Canada Elections and the Commissioner’s Investigators’ Manual.
The Code links the values established for the Public Service by Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada (TBS) with the PPSC’s organizational values of respect, integrity, excellence and leadership.
The Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA) requires that the DPP establish a code of conduct applicable to the organization. This organizational code of conduct will complement the code established by the TBS.
The Code incorporates the principles of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and the TBS Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment.
The Code sets out behaviours that must be observed by employees during their employment with the PPSC and, by incorporating elements of the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment, during and after their employment as a public servant.
PPSC employees strengthen the ethical culture of the public sector, and maintain public confidence in the administration of justice and the integrity of public institutions by adhering to the PPSC’s high ethical and professional standards, by demonstrating the organization’s commitment to the values of the Public Service, and by adhering to the behaviour outlined in this Code.
PPSC employees who do not abide by the values and expectations set out in this Code may be subject to administrative or disciplinary measures up to and including termination of employment.
Employees should read and apply this Code in conjunction with all other federal/provincial legislation and with PPSC policies, directives, and guidelines, as well as with all relevant professional codes of conduct and considering relevant ethical principles.
5. Public Sector Values
Employees are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the five core values set out in the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector. These values are:
- respect for democracy;
- respect for people;
- stewardship; and
6. PPSC Values
PPSC employees are further guided by the following organizational values in carrying out their functions and activities in support of the PPSC’s or the Commissioner’s mandate.
- Respect, which forms the basis of our relationship with our fellow employees and with the public.
- Integrity, which motivates us to apply the highest ethical and professional standards.
- Excellence, which inspires us in all aspects of our work.
- Leadership, which characterizes our efforts to improve the quality of criminal justice throughout Canada.
7. Effective Date
The PPSC Code of conduct is effective May 1, 2013.
8. Expected Behaviours
8.1 Care and Use of Government Property or Valuables
- This includes but is not limited to: computers (including laptops), smart phones, software, electronic and paper files, documents and data, office equipment and supplies, video equipment, telecommunication devices, government-issued identification and clothing, vehicles, and physical premises.
- This includes but is not limited to: taxi chits, government-issued credit cards, and telephone calling cards.
Employees are responsible for the care and proper use of government property and valuables in their possession or control. Employees are expected to report lost, stolen, or damaged property and valuables to their manager. The manager has a responsibility to report any losses of government property or valuables to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
While government property and valuables are intended for official purposes, limited personal use may be permitted as provided by this Code or other relevant policies.
8.1.1 Government-Owned or Government-Leased Vehicles
Government leased vehicles may only be used in accordance with the Directive on Fleet Management: Light Duty Vehicles
For liability reasons, employees may only transport passengers, when authorized by a manager, while engaged in government business, or when transport is needed for public safety reasons.
8.1.2 Returning Government Property and Valuables
All government property and valuables issued to employees must be returned to the PPSC when employees leave the PPSC, or when so requested by a manager or supervisor. This requirement does not apply to property provided to an employee as part of a reasonable accommodation under the TBS’s Policy on the Duty to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities in the Federal Public Service.
Organizational documents, including manuals, policy or procedural texts, and any publications that are not in the public domain, must be returned to the PPSC by employees on leaving the organization.
8.1.3 Travel Cards/Government-issued Credit Cards
Government of Canada-issued travel cards can only be used to pay for authorized government travel expenses, including accommodations, car rental, other travel expenses while on travel status (e.g., meals, taxis, local transportation costs, or purchase of travellers cheques), public and common carrier transportation costs when it is impossible to use the government-approved supplier, and pre-approved hospitality-related expenses while on travel status.
Cardholders must ensure that the travel card information is safeguarded at all times, in accordance with the Policy on Government Security.
The card must not be used for personal expenses. Employees must ensure that any amount owing is paid when the amount becomes due.
8.1.4 Acquisition Cards
Government of Canada-issued acquisition cards can only be used to make authorized official government purchases and payments and are not for personal use.
Cardholders must ensure that the acquisition card information is safeguarded at all times and ensure that the card is kept in a secure location at all times when not in use.
8.1.5 Care of Funds
Employees are expected to be diligent in accounting for, safeguarding, and spending government money, including petty cash and acquisition cards, in their possession or control. Employees are expected to follow established procedures and meet reasonable standards of care when entrusted with government money. If money in their care or control is misplaced, lost or stolen, employees must immediately report the matter to their manager, who will notify the PPSC Security Officer and the CFO.
8.1.6 Use of Government of Canada Identification
Employees must not represent themselves as being on official business when conducting personal matters.
Government identification cards are to be used for government business. However, they may be used for personal matters to obtain standard corporate discounts offered to government employees, for example at a fitness center, hotel chain, or car rental service.
Investigators of the Office of the Commissioner may only use their investigator’s identification card for business related to their functions as investigators.
8.2 Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information
Employees must keep in strict confidence all information, including policies, programs, practices and procedures that are not intended to be available to the general public, except when specifically allowed by the law (for example, the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act). This requirement applies to any personal information about individuals that employees have access to in the course of their duties. This requirement continues to apply to former employees of the PPSC.
Section 510.1 of the Canada Elections Act prohibits any person acting under the direction of the Commissioner from disclosing any information relating to an investigation. Only the Commissioner may authorize such disclosure where permitted by law.
8.2.1 Access to Information and Privacy
The Access to Information Act grants Canadian citizens, permanent residents or any other person present in Canada a general right of access to information that is held by federal government institutions. The Privacy Act grants Canadian citizens, permanent residents or any other person present in Canada a right of access to their personal information held by federal government institutions. The Privacy Act also protects and places limits on the disclosure of personal information. PPSC employees must comply with these acts and their related regulations, as well as with Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat policies, directives and guidelines relating to personal information.
8.2.2 Security of Information
Employees must follow all legislation, directives and procedures relating to the collection, use, sharing, storage, distribution and disposal of all protected or classified information. This includes appropriately classifying and safeguarding documents as well as immediately reporting any unauthorized access, loss, or theft of protected or classified material to managers.
8.2.3 Providing Information or Testimony
Employees must cooperate and assist in the conduct of administrative investigations including those carried out under the Canada Labour Code, harassment investigations and any investigations in relation to violence in the workplace. While employees are required to assist in any investigation under federal legislation, they must consult their managers before assisting a provincial or foreign authority. Employees are also expected to give testimony in court or before any administrative tribunal or panel if required.
Employees must provide information in the context of internal and external audit, in accordance with the policies and directives relating to such audits as well as in conformity with the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and the TBS Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment.
8.3 Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment
Employees must comply with the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment, which sets out the obligation to avoid and prevent situations that could give rise to a real, apparent, or potential conflict of interest.
- A real conflict of interest
- denotes a situation in which a public official has knowledge of a private economic interest that is sufficient to influence the exercise of his or her public duties and responsibilities.
- A potential conflict of interest
- incorporates a concept of foreseeability: when individuals can foresee that a private economic interest may someday be sufficient to influence the exercise of their duty, but has not yet, they are in a potential conflict of interest.
- An apparent conflict of interest
- exists when there is a reasonable apprehension, which reasonably well-informed persons could properly have, that a conflict of interest exists.
Conflicts of interest that arise between personal interests and official duties must be resolved in favour of the public interest.
Employees must not use their position to obtain any privilege or favour for themselves or others, or to do anything that is illegal, improper, or against the best interests of the PPSC.
Employees must report to their manager all circumstances that may place them in a situation of real, apparent, or potential conflict of interest, including those which may arise from outside employment or activities.
PPSC employees, other than employees who occupy a position within the Office of the Commissioner, who seek clarification of whether their actions, activities, or situation may constitute a conflict of interest or be incompatible with their duties should consult their manager or submit a confidential report to the Office of the Corporate Counsel. Employees who occupy a position within the Office of the Commissioner should consult their manager or submit a confidential report to the Senior Counsel and Director, Legal Services, Office of the Commissioner.
Before leaving employment, all PPSC employees are to disclose to their manager their intention regarding any future outside employment or activities that may pose a risk of real, apparent or potential conflict of interest with their current responsibilities and they must comply with the Measures to Prevent Post-Employment Conflict of Interest Situations.
8.3.1 Family and Personal Relationships
Employees must ensure that their family and personal relationships do not compromise or threaten to compromise their ability to act in the PPSC’s or the Office of the Commissioner’s best interests. Employees, other than the employees who occupy a position within the Office of the Commissioner, must declare any such situation to the Office of the Corporate Counsel before any conflict or potential conflict occurs. Employees who occupy a position within the Office of the Commissioner must declare any such situation to the Senior Counsel and Director, Legal Services, Office of the Commissioner before any conflict or potential conflict occurs.
8.4 Contact with other Employees, the Public and External Partners
Employees are reminded that, in the eyes of the public, they represent not only the PPSC but also the entire federal public service. Courteous, prompt, sensitive, and professional service to the public and external partners in official capacities reflects positively on the PPSC.
8.5 Consumption of Intoxicants
Employees must not report to work while impaired by any substance.
Except for special events, the PPSC does not permit the consumption of alcohol in the workplace. For special events, a Deputy Director at headquarters, the Commissioner with respect to events in his or her Office or a Chief Federal Prosecutor in a regional office may approve the reasonable consumption of alcohol. Following these activities, employees must be able to carry out their responsibilities effectively.
8.6 Disclosure of Information Concerning Wrongdoing in the Workplace
When employees have reasonable grounds to believe that a public servant has committed a wrongdoing in the workplace, they should inform their manager. If this is not appropriate in the circumstances, employees may approach the PPSC’s Senior Officer for Internal Disclosure in confidence with the certainty that they will be treated fairly. If the matter is not appropriately addressed at this level, or if there is reason to believe it could not be disclosed in confidence within the PPSC, the employee may refer the matter to the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada.
- Wrongdoing is:
- the contravention of an act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province, or of any regulations made under any such act;
- the misuse of public funds or a public asset;
- gross mismanagement in the federal public sector;
- a serious breach of a code of conduct;
- an act or omission that creates a substantial and specific danger to the life, health or safety of persons or to the environment; and
- knowingly directing or counselling a person to commit a wrongdoing of the nature set out above.
Employees have the responsibility to immediately report allegations or evidence of wrongdoing. Employees are also expected to respect the reputation of individuals by not making frivolous or vexatious disclosures of wrongdoing, disclosures in bad faith, or disclosures outside of the appropriate channels.
8.7 Electronic Network Access and Use
Employees must follow the policies, directives and guidelines concerning the use of electronic devices that apply to the network they are using, including:
- The Policy on Acceptable Network and Device Use of the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada
- The Department of Justice Directive on Acceptable Network and Device Use,
- Elections Canada Information Technology Infrastructure Acceptable Use Policy and
- any other DOJ or PPSC directive concerning the use of electronic devices.
Employees who access or use PPSC or the Commissioner’s office computer systems, equipment, or software, must make every effort to protect the PPSC or the Commissioner’s office from any possible threat to security and guard against:
- disclosure of sensitive information or loss of removable media containing PPSC or the Commissioner’s office files (e.g. CDs or USB keys);
- theft and corruption; and
- exposure to electronic viruses.
Employees are expected to inform managers of any breach of computer security, policies, or standards. Employees are not to disclose passwords or details that might compromise the PPSC’s or the Commissioner’s system or network to anyone.
While the organization’s computer systems and electronic networks are intended for authorized business purposes, limited personal use of the Internet, intranet, and e-mail is acceptable after hours, or during an authorized break, as long as the use complies with all relevant legislation, policies and guidelines. Personal use of systems and networks must not be allowed to affect the employee’s productivity or that of colleagues, or to impose a storage or bandwidth burden on the PPSC’s computer system or servers. Examples of acceptable use include writing a brief e-mail to friends or family members, accessing the news, or conducting routine banking transactions.
PPSC-issued mobile devices and other handheld technology devices are intended for business purposes and must be safeguarded. Although limited personal use is acceptable, employees are expected to assume any costs associated with the personal use of these devices.
All information obtained, stored, sent, or received using the government’s electronic networks is subject to routine monitoring at the network level and may be reviewed at the individual level to ensure compliance with all applicable policies and directives on the use of electronic networks. As a result, employees should not expect privacy when visiting websites or sending e-mails while using the government’s electronic network resources.
8.8 Financial Management including Contracting and Procurement and Fraud
Employees may be responsible for collecting, receiving, managing, or distributing public funds. In doing so, employees are expected to comply with applicable laws, regulations, and policies.
8.8.1 Contracting and Procurement
All procurement and contracting must be conducted in accordance with the PPSC’s Contracting Directive for the Acquisition of Goods and Services and be conducted in a manner that will:
- stand the test of public scrutiny, demonstrate prudence and probity, facilitate access, encourage competition, and reflect fairness in the spending of public funds;
- ensure pre-eminence of operational requirements;
- support long-term industrial and regional development and other appropriate national objectives, including Aboriginal economic development; and
- comply with the government’s obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Government Procurement, Aboriginal land claims, and other relevant legal obligations.
Employees are expected to ensure that their actions and activities are practiced in good faith and with honesty.
Examples of fraudulent actions include:
- attempting to obtain leave to which the employee is not entitled;
- falsely reporting overtime, travel time, expense accounts, or taxi expenses;
- conspiring or colluding to defraud the Crown, or providing the opportunity for someone else to do so.
8.8.3 Overpayment of Public Funds
Employees who become aware that they have been paid monies to which they are not entitled are obligated to report this overpayment to their manager. The PPSC will recover any monetary advance paid to employees where the amount is not repaid or accounted for, and will recover any amount paid in error to the employee such as overpaid salary or benefits, as well as any public money lost through any misconduct on the employee’s part.
8.9 Gifts, Hospitality and Other Benefits
Conflicts of interest may arise from seemingly innocuous situations. Employees should decline gifts, hospitality, or other benefits that could influence or appear to influence their judgment, or call into question their integrity or that of the PPSC or of the Office of the Commissioner. The section of the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment dealing with gifts, hospitality, and other benefits contains information about accepting or refusing gifts, including the strict conditions and limitations that apply when accepting gifts.
If an employee is offered a gift, hospitality, or other benefit, the employee must advise his or her manager, regardless of whether the gift, hospitality, or benefit is accepted or refused.
8.10 Harassment, Discrimination and Resolving Workplace Issues
- Any improper conduct by an individual that is directed at and offensive to another person or persons in the workplace, and that the individual knew or ought reasonably to have known would cause offence or harm. It comprises any objectionable act, comment, or display that demeans, belittles, or causes personal humiliation or embarrassment, and any act of intimidation or threat. It includes harassment within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA).
The PPSC is guided by the TBS’s Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution and is committed to providing a respectful work environment where diversity is valued. While management is responsible for fostering a work environment free from harassment and discrimination, it is everyone’s responsibility to treat colleagues fairly, respectfully, and with dignity.
- The Canadian Human Rights Act defines discrimination as treating people differently, negatively or adversely because of their race, national or ethnic origin, colour, age, religion, sex (including pregnancy and childbearing), sexual orientation, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability (including dependence to alcohol or drugs), and /or pardoned criminal convictions.
Employees must avoid any improper conduct that is directed at and offensive to another person or persons in the workplace, and that they know or ought to reasonably have known could cause offence or harm. Likewise, employees must not engage in discriminatory or harassing behaviour.
As workplace issues and conflict can severely damage the workplace environment, employees are encouraged to address these issues with their manager and/or bargaining agent as soon as is possible.
Employees should refrain from filing frivolous or vexatious harassment or discrimination complaints.
8.11 Hours of Work
All PPSC employees are expected to maintain their scheduled hours of work and follow established processes for the approval of leave, as allowed under collective agreements or terms and conditions of employment.
8.12 Off-Duty Conduct and Arrests/Charges
While an employee’s off-duty conduct is a private matter, employees are expected to ensure that it does not negatively affect the image of the public service, their performance as a PPSC employee, or the public’s confidence in the administration of justice. Employees are therefore expected to refrain from engaging in off-duty conduct that:
- is harmful to the PPSC’s or to the Office of the Commissioner’s reputation, impartiality, or independence;
- renders employees unable to perform their duties in a satisfactory manner;
- leads other employees to refuse, be reluctant, or be unable to work with the employee;
- renders the employee guilty of a breach of the Criminal Code or other federal legislation and thus renders the employee’s conduct injurious to the general reputation of the organization and its employees; or
- makes it difficult for the PPSC or the Office of the Commissioner to manage its operations efficiently or to direct its workforce.
Employees are expected to report to their manager as soon as possible if they are arrested, detained, or charged with a violation, either in Canada or outside Canada, of the laws (including the Criminal Code), statutes, or regulations of Canada or another country. This is true for offences committed off and during working hours. Any charges under traffic or highway legislation must be reported to the manager only if the charges arose while the employee used a government-owned or leased vehicle.
8.13 Official Languages
The Official Languages Act, regulations, and related policies guide employees’ behaviour with respect to the use of the two official languages in the workplace. The PPSC and the Office of the Commissioner provide and maintain a work environment that is conducive to the effective use of both official languages.
Employees are expected to actively offer communications and services to the public in both official languages without delay where the demand for services in the language of the minority is significant. The communications and services must be of equal quality regardless of the official language spoken.
8.14 Personal Appearance
Employees are expected to dress appropriately for their duties and present themselves in a manner that will convey a professional image of the PPSC.
Employees should demonstrate consideration and respect for other employees. This includes not wearing or using fragrances in the workplace if concerns are raised.
8.15 Political Activities
As Canadian citizens, employees are entitled to express themselves freely and to participate in political activities, but as public servants, employees are expected to use discretion and judgement in doing so. For instance, when taking part in political activities as described below, employees are expected to exercise restraint, relative to their position and visibility, so as not to jeopardize the political neutrality of the public service and the independence of the PPSC or of the Office of the Commissioner.
Under the Public Service Employment Act, employees have important rights and obligations related to their involvement in political activities. If employees are considering becoming involved in any political activities, they may contact the Public Service Commission, PPSC management, PPSC Corporate Counsel or the Senior Counsel and Director, Legal Operations, Office of the Commissioner in the case of employees in that office, for information about those rights and obligations.
- Political activity is:
- any activity in support of, within, or in opposition to a political party;
- any activity in support of or in opposition to a candidate before or during an election period; and
- seeking nomination or standing as a candidate in a municipal, provincial, territorial, or federal election before or during an election period.
For employees who occupy a position within the Office of the Commissioner, it is a term and condition of their employment that they do not work for or on behalf of any federal, provincial or territorial political party, for or on behalf of a candidate for a federal, provincial or territorial elective office, for any person, body, agency or institution with partisan political purposes or objectives, or for any federal, provincial or territorial referendum committee. In addition, those employees must not, during the term of the appointment, actively or publicly support or oppose the election of any federal, provincial or territorial political party or candidate for federal, provincial or territorial elective office, nor actively or publicly support or oppose any option in a federal, provincial or territorial referendum.
As public servants, employees, other than those who occupy a position within the Office of the Commissioner, are expected to engage only in political activities that do not impair, or are not perceived to impair, their ability to perform their duties in an impartial manner.
Employees who have received approval to participate in a municipal, provincial, territorial or federal election, will be subject to the appropriate
“cooling off” period as determined by the Public Service Commission.
8.16 Public Criticism of the PPSC, the Office of the Commissioner and the Federal Government
Public servants’ duty of loyalty to the federal government as employer includes a commitment to be discreet and to refrain from public statements critical of the federal government. Employees must avoid making, through a public medium such as radio, television, blog or social networking sites (such as Facebook or Twitter), and either directly or through a third party, any public pronouncement critical of the federal government’s policies, programs, or officials, or on matters of current political controversy, where the statement or actions may give the appearance of a conflict with the employee’s position and duties.
The duty of loyalty is not absolute and a balance must be reached between an employee's right to freedom of expression and the legitimate interest of the Government to maintain a public service characterized by professionalism, neutrality, and impartiality. As a result, public criticism may be justified in certain circumstances, including circumstances where:
- the government is engaged in illegal acts;
- the government’s policies jeopardize life, health, or safety; or
- the public servant’s criticism has no impact on his or her ability to perform effectively the duties of a public servant, or on the public’s perception of that ability.
When in doubt, employees are expected to discuss the matter with their manager and to use internal means, including disclosure of wrongdoing, to bring any criticisms to the attention of the management, without fear of reprisal.
8.17 Publicly Commenting for the PPSC and for the Office of the Commissioner
Only authorized spokespersons may issue statements or comments on the PPSC’s position on a given subject. PPSC prosecutors are authorized to act as spokespersons on cases for which they are responsible.
If asked for the PPSC’s or the Office of the Commissioner’s position, employees who are not spokespersons must refer the inquiries to their manager or to their Communications Group.
8.18 Safety and Security
The PPSC values the safety and security of its employees; employees are expected to contribute by observing safety and security standards, rules, and procedures established for their work sites. As well, any work-related accidents or injuries, or any unsafe or hazardous conditions at work, must be reported immediately to managers.
Employees are also expected to immediately report to their manager and to the PPSC Security Officer any real or potential security incidents – threats, stalking, assault, verbal abuse or negligent or criminal acts – in order to permit the application of appropriate risk mitigation strategies.
The Public Service Employment Act, regulations, the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Employment Equity Act, and the Official Languages Act and related policies guide all staffing processes. Hiring managers are expected to ensure that all staffing actions are consistent with the core values of fairness, access, transparency, and representativeness, as identified by the Public Service Commission. Managers must ensure that appointments are based on merit, are non-partisan, and are free from personal bias.
Employees who present themselves as applicants for a staffing process are expected to accurately portray their identity, experience, education, skills, and abilities. Employees must not mislead a hiring manager or selection board regarding any aspect of the selection process.
8.20 Terms and Conditions of Employment, Collective Agreements and Unions
Employees, including managers, are expected to respect the terms and conditions set out in their collective agreements or in the relevant Terms and Conditions of Employment.
The Public Service Labour Relations Act sets out procedures for employee participation in employee organizations (unions). The Act also contains provisions that prohibit:
- intimidating employees in the creation or administration of employee organizations;
- preventing or discouraging employees from becoming members of an employee organization; and
- discriminating against a member of an employee organization.
9. Roles and Responsibilities
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is responsible for the implementation and management of this Code.
The Commissioner is responsible for the management of this Code in respect of employees who occupy a position within the Commissioner’s Office.
The Office of the Corporate Counsel is responsible for:
- ensuring oversight of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector;
- ensuring that employees are informed on a regular basis of the requirements of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector;
- ensuring that the operational risks of conflicts of interest or of conflict of duties related to the mandate of the PPSC are identified, addressed and managed efficiently;
- ensuring that appropriate management action is taken to investigate and manage known or suspected violations of either or both of the Codes; and
- providing training regarding values and ethics and political activities to PPSC employees.
The Senior Counsel and Director, Legal Services, Office of the Commissioner, in respect to employees who occupy a position within the Commissioner’s office, is responsible for:
- ensuring oversight of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector
- ensuring that employees are informed on a regular basis of the requirements of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector;
- ensuring that the operational risks of conflict of interest or of conflict of duties related to the Commissioner’s mandate are identified, addressed and managed efficiently;
- ensuring that appropriate management action is taken to investigate and manage known or suspected violations of either or both codes; and
- providing training regarding values and ethics and political activities.
The Human Resources Directorate is responsible for:
- ensuring oversight of this Code;
- ensuring that appropriate management action is taken to investigate and manage known or suspected violations of either or both of the Codes;
- ensuring that current and new employees and students/interns understand their responsibilities under the Codes and comply with them; and
- ensuring that all employees are adequately trained and informed of this Code and other relevant directives and regulations.
Managers are responsible for:
- carrying out their duties ethically and with integrity;
- ensuring that their employees, contractors, and students under their supervision or responsibility understand their responsibilities under the Codes and are in compliance;
- taking appropriate management action to investigate and address known or suspected violations of either Code;
- being a concerned, knowledgeable, and reliable resources to whom employees can comfortably go for advice on values and ethics without fear of reprisal; and
- protecting employees from reprisal when disclosing a violation in good faith.
Employees are responsible for:
- signing a declaration form acknowledging that they have read this Code and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector;
- seeking advice from their manager and/or the Office of the Corporate Counsel or the Senior Counsel and Director, Legal Services, Office of the Commissioner, as appropriate, when uncertain about the appropriate ethical decision; and
- abiding by other standards of conduct as set out by their particular professional associations and by any other instrument such as the PPSC Deskbook, the Compliance and Enforcement Policy of the Commissioner of Canada Elections and the Commissioner’s Investigators’ Manual.
10. Resolving Ethical Issues
Employees should first contact their manager for guidance when they are faced with an ethical dilemma.
Employees, other than those who occupy a position within the Office of the Commissioner, can also contact the Office of the Corporate Counsel. Employees who occupy a position within the Office of the Commissioner can contact the Senior Counsel and Director, Legal Services in the Commissioner’s Office.
The PPSC Corporate Counsel and the Senior Counsel and Director, Legal Services in the Commissioner’s Office are responsible for assessing ethical issues.
The following definitions apply to this Code:
A person employed at or by the PPSC, including those persons who occupy a position within the Office of the Commissioner. This includes indeterminate and term employees, individuals on leave without pay, students participating in student employment programs, as well as casual, seasonal, and part-time workers. Unless otherwise specified, a reference to
“PPSC employees”or to
“employees”is a reference to all PPSC employees, including those who occupy a position within the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections.
Although they are not employees of the PPSC, individuals on incoming Interchange Canada assignments are also expected to comply with the Code.
- Family Members:
The following are the members of a PPSC employee’s family for the purposes of this Code:
- his or her spouse or common-law partner; and
- his or her dependent children and the dependent children of his or her spouse or common-law partner.
- Gift or other advantage:
- an amount of money if there is no obligation to repay it;
- a loan of money at less than commercial rates; or
- a service or property, or the use of property that is provided without charge or at less than its commercial value.
- Private interest:
Does not include an interest in a decision or matter
- that is of general application;
- that affects a PPSC employee holder as one of a broad class of persons; or
- that concerns the remuneration or benefits received by virtue of being a PPSC employee.
- Public Sector:
The Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act defines the
- the departments named in Schedule I of the Financial Administration Act and the other organizations and agencies of the federal public administration named in Schedules I.1 to V of that Act; and
- the Crown corporations and other public bodies set out in Schedule I of the PSDPA. However,
“the public sector”does not include the Canadian Forces, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service or the Communications Security Establishment.
- Persons who are related to a PPSC employee by birth, marriage, common-law partnership, adoption, or affinity are the PPSC employee’s relatives for the purpose of this Code unless the DPP determines, either generally or in relation to a particular PPSC employee, that it is not necessary for the purposes of this Code that a person or a class of persons be considered a relative of a PPSC employee.
Care and Use of Government Property or Valuables, and Taxpayer Property held by the PPSC
- Directive on Fleet Management: Light Duty Vehicles
- Policy on the Duty to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities in the Federal Public Service
- Policy on Government Security
Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information
- Access to Information Act
- Privacy Act
- Security of Information Act
- Policy on Access to Information
- PPSC Privacy Breach Protocol
- Oath or Affirmation
- Public Prosecution Service of Canada Deskbook
Contact with the Public and External Partners
Electronic Network Access and Use
- Policy on Acceptable Network and Device Use
- Directive on Acceptable Network and Device Use (DOJ)
Financial Management and Fraud
- Contracting Directive for the Acquisition of Goods and Services
- Financial Administration Act
- Federal Accountability Act
- Criminal Code
- Contracting Policy
- Directive on Acquisition Cards
- Public Service Employment Act
- Public Service Employment Regulations
- Values of the Public Service Employment Act
- PPSC Staffing Policies
- Official Languages Act
- Official Languages (Communication with and Services to the Public) Regulations
- Policy on Official Languages
- Directive on the implementation of the Official Languages Regulations
- Directive on Official Languages for Communications and Services
- Directive on Official Languages for People Management
Hours of Work
- Collective Agreements
- Policy on Terms and Conditions of Employment
- Directive on Terms and Conditions of Employment
- Directive on Terms and Conditions of Certain Excluded/Unrepresented Employees
Harassment, Discrimination and Resolving Workplace Issues
- Canadian Human Rights Act
- Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution
- PPSC’s Policy on Informal Conflict Management in the Workplace
- Employee Assistance Program
Safety and Security
- Canada Labour Code, Part II
- Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
- PPSC Occupational Health and Safety
- Procedure in case of accident
Terms and conditions of employment, collective agreements and Unions
- Public Service Labour Relations Act
- Collective Agreements
- Policy on Terms and Conditions of Employment
- Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students
- Directive on Terms and Conditions of Employment
- Directive on Terms and Conditions of Employment for Certain Excluded/Unrepresented Employees:
- Directive on Executive Compensation
Public criticism of the PPSC
Disclosure of wrongdoing in the workplace
- Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada
- Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act
- Resources on the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act
- Public Prosecution Service of Canada Deskbook
Conflict of interest and post-employment
Gifts, hospitality and other benefits
Director or Public Prosecutions
- Date modified: