Code of Conduct

Preamble

WHEREAS:

i) members of the Forest Practices Board must fulfil their statutory duties in a fair and impartial manner free of personal considerations and interests;
ii) members of the Forest Practices Board, other than the Chair, are appointed on a part time basis;
iii) all members of the Forest Practices Board are appointed because of their expertise in areas covered by the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act;
iv) members of the Forest Practices Board may have on-going private interests related to matters covered by the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.

THEREFORE the Forest Practices Board, as master of its own procedure, adopts the following Code of Conduct:

Definitions

1. “Board” means the Forest Practices Board as defined and established in the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.”Chair” means the Chair of the Forest Practices Board.

Family” means the Board Member’s parents, siblings, children or spouse.

Friend” means a person with whom there is a close personal friendship based on social interaction and shared interests outside the work or professional environment and which usually involves entertainment or social activities in the home and other family members. For the purposes
of interpreting this Code of Conduct, “friend” does not include an individual with whom there is a personal relationship based only on shared professional or workplace related interests.

Member” means a member of the Forest Practices Board.

Private Interest” is any interest, financial or non-financial, direct or indirect, personal or pertaining to another – that is not a public interest.

Public Interest” is an interest arising from the exercise of an official power or the performance of an official duty or function that

(a) applies to the general public
(b) concerns the remuneration and benefits of a member or an officer or employee of the Forest Practices Board.

Statutory duty” means any duty, power or function granted to the members of the board under the
Forest and Range Practices Act or the Wildfire Act.

Conflict of Interest

2.(1) A Board Member has a conflict of interest when the member exercises a statutory power and at the same time knows, or with the exercise of reasonable diligence should know, that in the performance of the statutory duty there is the opportunity to further his or her private interest.

(2) A Board Member has an apparent conflict of interest where there is a reasonable perception, which a reasonably well informed person could properly have, that the member’s ability to exercise a statutory duty must have been affected by his or her private interest.

Conflict of Interest Prohibition

3. A Board Member shall not exercise a statutory duty if:

(a) the Board Member has a conflict of interest or an apparent conflict of interest;
(b) the Board Member’s family members or friends might receive or appear to receive preferential treatment.

Disclosure Statements

4. (1) A Board Member shall within 60 days of appointment of the board, and thereafter annually, file a disclosure statement with the board. The disclosure statement must be provided by the Board Member to the Executive Operations Coordinator to the Board.

(2) The disclosure statement shall include:

(a) any activity, including employment, carrying on a business, or holding an office or directorship, which is related directly, or indirectly, to the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act of which the Board Member is involved in or has been involved in during the last 12 months;
(b) a statement regarding the nature of assets, liabilities, and financial interests of the member and the member’s spouse which may relate to The Forest Practices Board;
(c) a list of organizations that the Board Member belongs to that are directly or indirectly related to matters covered under the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act;
(d) a list of the Board Member’s family members who are involved in any activity including employment, carrying on a business, or holding an office or directorship, which is related directly, or indirectly, to the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, along with a description of the activity including the name of the business involved; and,
(e) a statement of the steps that the Board Member has taken to eliminate conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts of interest.

(3) A Board Member must file an amended disclosure statement if there is a material change in circumstance with respect to any item listed in section 6(2)(a) through (e). The amended disclosure statement must be filed with the Executive Operations Coordinator within 60 days of the material change in circumstances.

(4) A Board Member’s disclosure statement may be made available to the public at the discretion of the Chair.

Acceptance of Gifts or Extra Benefits

5. (1) A Board Member shall not accept a fee, gift or personal benefit, except compensation authorized by law, that is connected directly or indirectly with the performance of his or her statutory duties.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a gift or personal benefit that is received as an incident of the protocol or social obligations. If a gift is received in such a situation, it becomes the property of the board and not the individual Board Member.

(3) A Board Member shall refrain from accepting any benefit, the acceptance of which might erode public confidence and trust in the integrity, objectivity impartiality of the Board Member.

(4) The board is responsible for paying all travel costs of a Board Member when such member is travelling on board business; however, it is not a contravention of this Code of Conduct for a member to accept the benefit of travel in cases where there is no reasonable alternative, and
there is no personal benefit to the member.

Insider Information

6. (1) A Board Member shall not use information that is gained in the execution of his or her statutory duty that is not available to the general public, to further, or seek to further, the Board Member’s private interest.

(2) A Board Member must at all times maintain the confidentiality of information and records obtained in the course of fulfilling his or her statutory duties until such time as it becomes a matter of general public knowledge.

Conflicting Activities

7. A Board Member shall take all reasonable steps to limit his or her activities which may conflict with his or her statutory duties under the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. If a conflict or perceived conflict does arise, the Board Member must follow the steps outlined in section 8 of this Code of Conduct.

Procedure on conflict of interest

8. (1) Where, during the exercise of any statutory duty, a matter arises with respect to which a Board Member has reasonable grounds to believe that he or she has a conflict of interest, he or she shall immediately disclose, in writing, to the Board Chair and the Executive Director, the general nature of the conflict of interest and shall withdraw from all participation in the matter including, but not limited to:

(a) participation in discussions with other Board Members concerning the matter;
(b) review of any written material with respect to the matter;
(c) attendance of any meeting, or portion of a meeting, in which the matter is discussed;
(d) voting on a resolution in any way connected with the matter; and
(e) attempting, in any way, to influence the other Board Members.

(2) If a Board Member is at a meeting of the board and a matter arises which gives a Board Member reasonable grounds to believe that he or she has a conflict of interest, the Board Member shall:

(a) disclose the general nature of the conflict of interest; and
(b) withdraw from the meeting without voting or participating in the consideration of the matter.

(3) Where a Board Member has complied with subsection (2), the following shall be recorded in the minutes:

(a) the Board Member’s name and disclosure,
(b) the general nature of the conflict of interest disclosed, and
(c) the time of the withdrawal of the Board Member from the meeting.

(4) Where a Board Member declares a conflict of interest, the Executive Director will ensure that Board Members do not receive information which may create a conflict of further interest with their activities.

Duty of Board Members to Resolve and Refrain from Conflicts of Interest

9. (1) A Board Member shall make all reasonable efforts to resolve any conflict of interest or apparent conflict of interest in favour of the public interest.

(2) A Board Member shall arrange his or her private affairs in conformity with the provisions of this Code of Conduct and shall make every reasonable effort to prevent conflicts of interest from arising.

Non-Compliance With the Code of Conduct

10. (1) The Chair may rule on whether there has been compliance with this Code of Conduct including whether a Board Member is in a conflict of interest.

(2) If the Chair finds that the provisions of this Code of Conduct have been violated by a Board Member, he or she may:

a) require discontinuance of the private activity creating the conflict;
b) make recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor in Counsel with respect to actions that should be taken.

(3) If the Board Members find that the provisions of this Code of Conduct have been violated by the Chair, they may make recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor in Counsel with respect to actions that should be taken.