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Public Administration

and Ethics
Week 10

McCallions conflict of
Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion
engaged in a very real conflict of interest
when she secretly promoted a land deal that
could have put millions of dollars into her
sons pocket.

Ethics and Public


In Canada, and other liberal democracies, the

1970s saw the rise of concerns about public
sector ethics.

Ethics and Public

New Public Management raises new concerns.
Civil servants responsible for results not
process, has led to focus on values rather
than rules.
Alternative service delivery raises question of
whether private partners share public sector

Complex Responsibilities
The public service has many responsibilities
and commitments:
to the public
to the laws that govern its powers and
to the Ministers who are the political heads of

Conflicting responsibilities
These multiple responsibilities can create
tensions between the duty of the public
service to serve the government and its
ethical obligation to promote the public

Ethical issues

conflicts of interest
confidentiality of information
political partisanship

How can we, or should

we, encourage ethical
behaviour in the
public service?

Strengthening public sector


codes of conduct
training and education
role models
an attentive public (citizens, NGOs, mass
However, it is clear that rules and guidelines
about process still will need to play a role.

Tait Report: A Strong

Task Force on Public Service Values and
Ethics, 1996

called for development of public service code of


Values and Ethics Code for the

Public Service
In 2003 a Values and Ethics Code for the
Public Service was prepared by the Treasury
Board, and it came into force on September
1, 2003.
The Code sets out Public Service values as
well as Conflict of Interest and PostEmployment Measures.

Values and Ethics Code for the

Public Service
Public Service Values
Democratic Values
Professional Values
Ethical Values
People Values

A Public Servants Commitment
Institute of Public Administration of Canada
strong Commitment to Personal Integrity
A strong Commitment to Democratic Governance
A strong Commitment to Respectfulness
A strong Commitment to Continual Learning and
A strong Commitment to Critical Reflection on Ethics
and Values

Sponsorship Scandal

What was the sponsorship scandal?

How was it uncovered?

CBC Archives, May 8, 2002

CBC News In-depth:
Federal Sponsorship Scandal

Sponsorship Scandal

then former Prime Minister Jean Chrtien, his chief

of staff, Jean Pelletier, the deputy minister of public
works and government services Canada, Ranald
Quail, a hands-on minister of public works and
government services Canada (hereafter PWGSC),
Alfonso Gagliano, and a middle-level
entrepreneurial manager in charge of advertising in
that same department, Charles (Chuck) Guit, were
all responsible for allowing the sponsorship program
to be run irresponsibly and without proper
accountability safeguards (Greene and Shugarman,
2006: 220).

Gomery Final Report

Recommendation: The Government should

adopt legislation to entrench into law a Public
Service Charter.
statement of the essential values that all
public servants could be expected to
a charter of the rights and obligations of
public servants and as a symbol of the
Governments undertaking to give new
respect to the public service

Federal Ethics Counselor

First appointed 1994

To report to Prime Ministers Office

Federal Ethics Commissioner

Appointed in 2004
Greater independence from Prime Minister
Reported directly to Parliament
Bernard Shapiro appointed as first
Commissioner in 2004, resigned in 2007.

Office of the Conflict of Interest

and Ethics Commissioner

Created in 2007, replacing the Ethics

Commissioner created in 2004.
Mary Dawson was appointed as the first
Commissioner in 2007.
Office administers the Conflict of Interest Act
and the Conflict of Interest Code for Members
of the House of Commons.

Conflict of Interest Act

Passed in 2006, coming into force in 2007.

A summary of the Act for public office holders including ministers,
parliamentary secretaries, ministerial staff and all full-time
Governor in Council appointees such as deputy ministers, heads
of Crown corporations and members of federal boards.
Conflict of Interest: public office holders are in a conflict of
interest when they exercise an official power, duty or function that
provides an opportunity to further their private interests or those
of their relatives or friends, or that improperly furthers another
persons private interests.

Public Servants Disclosure

Protection Act

Passed in 2005, came into force in 2007.

The Act provides a means for employees in the
federal public sector to disclose information that
they believe could show that a wrongdoing has been
committed or is about to be committed in the federal
public sector, or that they were asked to commit a
wrongdoing. The Act protects public servant
disclosers against reprisal.
Created the Office of the Public Sector Integrity
Commissioner of Canada (replacing the former
Public Service Integrity Officer created in 2001).

Public Sector Integrity


The Commissioner is an Agent of Parliament

appointed by resolution of the Senate and
House of Commons. He/she reports directly
to Parliament.
Under investigation by the Auditor General,
Public Sector Integrity Commissioner
Christiane Ouimet resigned in 2010.
December 2010, AG released her report
critical of Integrity Commissioner.

Controversy over the Integrity

Former Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet modeled many
of the behaviours that she was charged with driving out of the
public service:
abusing her staff, taking reprisals against a former employee, and
demonstrating 'reluctance' to find wrongdoing;
failing to do her job. The Auditor General reported that Ouimet failed
to fulfill her mandate: in three years she found zero cases of
wrongdoing and failed to protect a single whistleblower from
when the Auditor General's investigation into her conduct was
nearing completion, Ouimet negotiated a $500,000 settlement,
including a gag order seemingly designed to protect her (and the
government) from criticism or consequences;
displaying a disregard for our democratic institutions by refusing for
months to respond to a Parliamentary committee as it tried to
summon her to explain her actions.

Protection for

Despite the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act and the

creation of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, many
complain that there is still not sufficient protection for
whistleblowers in the civil service.
Critics include:
FAIR (Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform)
Canadians for Accountability

For a critique of the act, see:

One example of the lack of protection:

Conservative Government
and Ethics

Corruption Rankings

Transparency International
Corruption Perceptions Index

Global Integrity Global Integrity Report