Government appointees are expected to meet high
standards of conduct which enhance and maintain public confidence
in the operation of BC's public agencies, boards and commissions.
They must act to instil public confidence in their actions
Who is affected?
These guidelines apply to anyone appointed by
the provincial government to any agency, board or commission
operating in BC, unless they are already subject to ethical
guidelines specifically created by government specifically for
their particular agency, board or commission, or are appointed
to act as a consequence of being a government employee.
How do the guidelines work?
The provincial government respects the independence
of its agencies, boards and commissions. It appreciates the
efforts and willingness to serve of dedicated individuals.
It also expects all government appointees to agencies,
boards and commissions to work within these guidelines.
Specific agencies, boards or commissions may have
their own explicit needs, guidelines or standards. If no such
standards yet exist, public bodies are encouraged to design
The chair or registrar of an agency, board or
commission, or government itself may take action if these guidelines
are breached. Such action may include dismissal, suspension,
reprimand, warning or other sanction.
When and where possible, appointees or their chair
or registrar may seek the opinion of provincial government staff
with whom their particular board works, for clarification or
resolution of any matter.
Conflict of Interest
Appointees must avoid any conflict of interest
that might impair or impugn the independence, integrity or impartiality
of their agency, board or commission. There must be no apprehension
of bias, based on what a reasonable person might perceive.
Appointees who are in any doubt must disclose
their circumstances and consult with their chair or registrar.
In practical terms, appointees should ensure that:
All personal financial interests, assets and holdings
are distinct from and independent of any decision, information
or other matter that may be heard by or acted upon by
their particular agency, board or commission.
Activities undertaken as a private citizen are kept separate
and distinct from any responsibilities held as a member
of an agency, board or commission.
Activities undertaken as a member of an agency, board
or commission are kept separate and distinct from any
activities undertaken as a private citizen.
They remain impartial at all times toward individuals
who deal with their agency, board or commission and as
a member avoid taking any action that may result in preferential
treatment for any individual.
Personal employment is not dependent on any decision,
information or other matter that may be heard by or acted
upon by the agency, board or commission.
Other memberships, directorships, voluntary or paid positions
or affiliations remain distinct from work undertaken in
the course of performing their duties as public appointees.
Actions taken in the course of performing duties as public
appointees neither cause nor suggest the reality or perception
that their ability to perform or exercise those duties
has been or could be affected by private gain or interest.
While acting as a member of an agency, board or
commission, appointees are expected to abide by the following:
Appointees are expected to act at all times in
good faith and with honesty and due diligence, for the public
Appointees are expected to regularly attend meetings
and to adequately prepare for the duties expected of them.
The conduct and language of appointees must be
free from any discrimination or harassment prohibited by the
Human Rights Code.
Appointees' conduct should reflect social
standards of courtesy, respect and dignity.
Appointees must not reveal or divulge confidential
information (defined as that which cannot be obtained from other
sources) received in the course of their duties.
Confidential information must not be used for
any purpose outside that of undertaking the work of the agency,
board or commission to which they have been appointed.
Appointees must comply with the public comment
protocols established by their particular agency, board or commission.
If none exist, appointees must refer to the chair
for guidance before making public comment on agency, board or
Agency, board or commission work should not result
in any personal or private financial or other substantive gain
for public appointees. (Private gain does not include honouraria
for service on an agency, board or commission.)·
Appointees must inform the chair of their agency,
board or commission of any circumstance that may have a negative
or harmful effect on their respective abilities to perform the
duties required of their appointments.
For more information please
read our Conduct
for Ethical Standards (PDF 200KB)