Conflict of Interest Policy
Policy on Conflict of Interest for Board Members
As advisors to the Ontario Government, the Chair and members of the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board must adhere to the conflict of interest guidelines established by the government. In addition, Management Board guidelines for public appointees state that:
Members of the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board are expected to avoid conflicts or the appearance of conflicts between their duties as a public appointee and their personal or business interests.
Definition of Conflict of Interest
An actual or potential conflict of interest arises when a member is placed in a situation in which his or her personal interests, financial or otherwise, or the interests of an immediate family member or of a person with whom there exists, or has recently existed, an intimate relationship, conflict or appear to conflict with the member's responsibilities to the Board, the Minister, and the public interest. No Board member shall knowingly participate in any decision that directly or preferentially benefits the member or any individual with whom the member has an immediate family, intimate or commercial relationship.
Disclosure of Conflict of Interest
Should any member of the Board have any interest in a proposal by virtue of a past or current connection to either the applicant institution or private sector partner, that member will declare such interest to the Chair in writing prior to any discussion or decision-making with respect to an application. To assist in determining whether a potential conflict exists, a Board member shall make full disclosure to the Chair in writing of any past affiliation with an applicant as soon as the member knows the applicant's identity.
Board Response to Conflict of Interest Disclosure
In consultation with the Board member, and in the light of the specific nature of the conflict, the Chair and member may determine the appropriate response to the circumstance, as follows:
In all cases the Chair will advise Board members of the conflict and of the outcome above, with reasons.
Should the Chair of the Board have any interest in a proposal by virtue of connection to either the applicant institution or private sector partner, the Chair will either (a) withdraw from any discussion or decision-making process leading to a recommendation on the proposal, or (b) ask the Board to decide whether the Chair may remain in the meeting, participate in the discussion while refraining from voting, or remain in the meeting, participate in the discussion and in the voting.
Policy on Conflict of Interest for Assessors and Applicants
This guideline is intended for Organization Reviewers, Quality Assessors
and any other expert assessor selected by the Board, and for Applicants
wishing to declare a conflict of interest with an individual appointed
by the Board.
External experts must not reveal or divulge confidential information
received in the course of their duties. Confidential information must
not be used for any purpose outside the Board's mandate, and external
experts must not make public comments concerning any application.
Definition of Conflict of Interest
External experts appointed by the Board should not have any connection
to the applicant or program partner(s) under review within the previous
five years, or for a period of up to six months following the completion
of their duties in connection with the assessment/review process. Some
examples of an unacceptable connection include:
Disclosing a Conflict of Interest
To assist in determining whether a potential conflict exists, all expert
assessors shall make full disclosure to the Board of any potential conflict
of interest, within the terms of this policy, with an Applicant as soon
as the individual knows the Applicant's identity. Similarly, if an Applicant
has evidence of a conflict of interest between itself and an individual
appointed by the Board, then the Board will require the Applicant to make
full written disclosure to the Board through the Secretariat, as soon
as the Applicant knows the Assessor's identity. In its disclosure to the
Board, the Applicant must state clearly the nature and details of any
past affiliation of a nature described in these guidelines between the
Applicant and the individual.
Policy last updated September 15, 2009
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