I-13.3, r. 7.02 - Regulation respecting the standards of ethics and professional conduct applicable to the members of the board of directors of a French-language school service centre

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Updated to 1 August 2022
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chapter I-13.3, r. 7.02
Regulation respecting the standards of ethics and professional conduct applicable to the members of the board of directors of a French-language school service centre
Education Act
(chapter I-13.3, s. 457.8).
CHAPTER I
PURPOSE AND SCOPE
M.O. 2022-001, c. I.
1. The purpose of this Regulation is to determine the standards of ethics and professional conduct applicable to the members of the board of directors of a French-language school service centre in the performance of their duties.
It determines, in particular, the duties and obligations that board members must comply with after the expiry of their terms, and the rules governing declarations of interest. It establishes the procedure governing examinations and inquiries into conduct that may contravene the standards of ethics and professional conduct, prescribes appropriate penalties and determines the cases in and procedure according to which board members may be temporarily relieved of their duties.
The standards apply when members perform their duties for the board of directors, for any committee formed by the board, and for any committee on which they sit as a member of the board of directors of a school service centre.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 1.
CHAPTER II
DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS
M.O. 2022-001, c. II.
DIVISION I
GENERAL
M.O. 2022-001, Div. I.
2. A member must act with honesty, integrity, rigour, objectivity and moderation. A member must act with probity.
A member performs his or her duties with competence. To that end, a member develops and maintains his or her knowledge about the role of a school service centre’s board of directors.
A member performs his or her duties in good faith, with prudence and diligence and shows loyalty towards the school service centre.
A member acts in the interest of the school service centre, in particular so that he or she may guide his or her actions and direct his or her activities towards students’ educational success.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 2.
3. In the performance of his or her duties, a member is bound to comply with the standards governing his or her duties and powers set out in the Education Act (chapter I-13.3).
He or she must organize his or her personal business in such a way that it cannot interfere with the performance of his or her duties.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 3.
4. A member must know and understand the standards of ethics and professional conduct that apply to him or her and undertake to comply with them and promote compliance with them. A member must, not later than at the first sitting of the board of directors following his or her appointment, sign a declaration to that end.
The declarations must be filed with the board of directors.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 4.
5. The member must refrain from inciting any person to contravene the provisions of this Regulation.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 5.
DIVISION II
SITTINGS
M.O. 2022-001, Div. II.
6. A member is required to be present, unless he or she has a valid excuse, at the sittings of the board of directors or of a committee formed by the board or on which the member sits as a member of the board of directors of a school service centre, to be prepared for it and to take an active part in it. The member contributes to the mission of the school service centre by providing a constructive contribution to the deliberations.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 6.
7. A member must debate any issue in an objective and independent manner as well as in a clear and informed manner.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 7.
8. A member must act with courtesy and respect so as to encourage mutual trust and cohesive action within the board of directors or a committee of which the member is a member.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 8.
9. A member is in solidarity with the decisions made by the board of directors.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 9.
10. A member is required to vote, except if there is an impediment determined by this Regulation.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 10.
DIVISION III
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
M.O. 2022-001, Div. III.
11. A member must refrain from placing himself or herself in a situation entailing a conflict between the interest of the school service centre or the population it serves, or the public interest, and his or her personal interest or that of a person related to the member, such as the member’s child, spouse or relative, a person living under the same roof, or a partner or a legal person that the member manages or controls.
More specifically, a member may not
(1)  act, attempt to act, or refrain from acting, so as to further his or her private interests or those of person with whom the member is connected, or to improperly further another person’s private interests; or
(2)  use his or her position to influence or attempt to influence another person’s decision so as to further his or her private interests or those of a person with whom the member is connected, or to improperly further another person’s private interests.
A member must, at all times, retain his or her ability to perform his or her duties in an impartial, objective and independent manner.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 11.
12. Within 60 days after a member takes up his or her duties, and every year thereafter, the member must file with the board of directors a statement of any personal interest that he or she, or a person with whom the member is connected, has in immovables located in the territory of the school service centre on whose board of directors the member sits, and in legal persons, partnerships and enterprises liable to have contacts with the school service centre.
The statement must include a list of the employments and administrative positions held by the member or the person with whom the member is connected, and of any loan of which the member or a person connected with the member is the creditor or debtor towards a person other than a financial institution, the member or a person connected with the member on which the balance in principal and interest is over $2,000.
The statement does not indicate the value of the interests listed or the extent of the interests of the member in legal persons, partnerships or enterprises. No mention shall be made of any sum of money deposited with a financial institution or of any bonds issued by a government, a municipality or any other public body.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 12.
13. Except for goods and services provided by the school service centre, a member may not enter into a contract with the school service centre, except with authorization from the board of directors warranted, in particular, by a special competence necessary to the school service centre.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 13.
14. A member who has an interest in property, a body, an enterprise, an association or a legal entity likely to place the member in a situation of conflict of interest must declare, without delay and in writing, that interest to the chair of the board of directors of the school service centre or, where the chair is concerned, to the member designated to perform the duties of the chair in the case of an impediment or absence of the latter.
Such a declaration may be made at the sitting and is then recorded in the minutes of the sitting of the board of directors at which the decision is made.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 14.
15. The member must refrain from taking part in any deliberation or any decision involving his or her personal interest. The member must withdraw from the sitting without exercising his or her right to vote or participating in deliberations on the matter.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 15.
16. A member may not give any undertaking to third parties nor grant them a guarantee with regard to a vote that the member may be called upon to make or a decision that the board of directors may be called upon to make.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 16.
17. A member may not treat the property of the school service centre as if it were his or her own and may not use it for his or her own benefit or for the benefit of a third party, unless an authorization from the board of directors is obtained.
A member may not, directly or indirectly, grant, solicit or accept a favour, gift, hospitality or other advantage offered or given because of the member’s duties.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 17.
18. A member must refrain from associating the school service centre, however remotely, with
(1)  a personal endeavour, and in particular an endeavour involving political activities; or
(2)  a public position that reflects his or her personal positions, in particular on a website, blog or social network.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 18.
19. A member sitting as a staff representative must, on pain of removal from office, abstain from voting on any matter relating to his or her employment status, remuneration, employee benefits and other conditions of employment or those of the employee category to which he or she belongs. The member must, after having had an opportunity to submit observations, withdraw from the sitting while the matter is discussed or voted on.
In addition, he or she must abstain from voting on any matter relating to the remuneration, employee benefits and other conditions of employment of other employee categories.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 19.
DIVISION IV
CONFIDENTIALITY AND DISCRETION
M.O. 2022-001, Div. IV.
20. A member must exercise discretion in regard to anything that comes to his or her knowledge in the performance of his or her duties and is at all times bound to maintain the confidentiality of information placed at the member’s disposal or that have come to his or her knowledge without being generally available to the public.
A member must take reasonable measures to preserve the confidentiality of information obtained in the performance of his or her duties.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 20.
21. A member must refrain from commenting on the decisions made by the board of directors, in particular on a website, blog or social network.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 21.
22. A member may not use for his or her own benefit or for the benefit of a third party information obtained in the performance of his or her duties that is not generally available to the public.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 22.
DIVISION V
RELATIONS WITH EMPLOYEES OF THE SCHOOL SERVICE CENTRE
M.O. 2022-001, Div. V.
23. A member must act with courtesy and respect in his or her relations with employees of the school service centre.
A member may not, in that capacity, contact an employee of the order to give him or her instructions, interfere in the employee’s work or obtain confidential information, unless the member is acting within the mandate of a committee of which he or she is the chair and is expressly authorized by the board of directors to do so.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 23.
DIVISION VI
POST-TERM RULES
M.O. 2022-001, Div. VI.
24. A member who has ceased to perform his or her duties must
(1)  refrain from disclosing confidential information obtained in the performance of his or her duties or use for his or her own benefit or for the benefit of a third party information not available to the public concerning the school service centre that was obtained in the same conditions;
(2)  exercise discretion in his or her comments about the decisions made by the board of directors of the school service centre during his or her term of office, in particular on a website, blog or social network; and
(3)  conduct himself or herself in such a manner as not to derive undue advantages from his or her previous duties on the board of directors of the school service centre.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 24.
CHAPTER III
EXAMINATION AND INQUIRY PROCEDURE AND PENALTIES
M.O. 2022-001, c. III.
25. The chair of the board of directors sees that the members comply with the standards of ethics and professional conduct determined by this Regulation.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 25.
26. A committee of inquiry in ethics and professional conduct is formed within the school service centre for the purpose of examining and inquiring into any information concerning behaviour likely to contravene this Regulation.
The committee is composed of 3 persons, appointed by the board of directors by a vote of at least two thirds of its members, who belong to one of the following categories:
(1)  a person having notable experience and expertise in, sensitivity to and interest for matters of education;
(2)  a former member of the board of directors of a school service centre or a former commissioner of a school board;
(3)  a person having experience or expertise in matters of ethics and professional conduct.
The committee must be composed of members from at least 2 of the 3 categories.
The members of the committee may not be members of the board of directors, employees of a school service centre or persons connected with such members or employees.
The members of the committee designate one of their number as the chair.
The secretary general of the school service centre acts as the committee’s secretary.
The committee may, with the authorization of the board of directors, call on experts to assist the committee.
The duration of the term of office of the members of the committee is determined by the board of directors. On the expiry of their term of office, they remain in office until they are replaced or reappointed.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 26.
27. Before taking up their duties, the members of the committee take the following oath before the secretary general:
“I, A. B., declare under oath that I will not reveal or make known, without being authorized therefor by law, anything whatsoever of which I have taken cognizance in the performance of my duties.”.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 27.
28. The members of the committee are entitled to receive, from the school service centre, an attendance allowance and the reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred under the same standards as those enacted by the government pursuant to section 175 of the Education Act (chapter I-13.3) for the members of a school service centre’s board of directors, with the exception of the maximum amount that a member may receive as an attendance allowance which does not apply.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 28.
29. The committee adopts an internal by-law that the school service centre makes available to the public, in particular on its website, and publishes in its annual report.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 29.
30. A member of the board of directors must disclose without delay to the committee any behaviour liable to contravene this Regulation that has come to his or her knowledge or of which the member suspects the existence.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 30.
31. The committee receives the disclosure from any person concerning behaviour liable to contravene this Regulation.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 31.
32. The committee may, upon summary examination, dismiss any disclosure if, in the committee’s opinion, it is abusive, frivolous or clearly unfounded.
It makes its decision on the admissibility of the disclosure within 15 days of receipt and so informs the informant and the member covered by the disclosure.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 32.
33. If it does not dismiss the disclosure, the committee launches an inquiry without delay. It conducts the inquiry in such a manner as to preserve its confidentiality, diligently and in keeping with the duty to act fairly. It must allow the member to submit written observations after the member has been informed of the behaviour under scrutiny.
The committee may obtain from the school service centre any document relevant to its inquiry other than those covered by professional secrecy. The school service centre must cooperate with the committee.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 33.
34. The committee releases its conclusions within 30 days of its decision to launch an inquiry. If the inquiry is not completed within that time limit, the committee so informs the informant and the member covered by the disclosure.
Where the committee comes to the conclusion that the member under inquiry has not contravened this Regulation, the committee so informs the member and the informant.
Where the committee comes to the conclusion that the member under inquiry has contravened this Regulation, the committee sends without delay a report giving the reasons for its conclusions and its recommendations to the secretary general, and to the member under inquiry. The report must be drafted in a manner that ensures the confidentiality of personal information and protects the informant’s identity.
The secretary general sends the report to the school service centre’s board of directors at the first sitting after it is received.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 34.
35. At the sitting following the sitting at which the report is tabled, the board of directors votes on the report.
A penalty specified in the report applies after the board of directors adopts the report by a two-thirds vote of its members.
The member concerned by the report may not take part in the deliberations or vote. He or she may, however, present written observations to the board of directors. He or she may also be heard on the facts in support of his or her claims before the decision is made.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 35.
36. Depending on the nature, gravity and persistence of the violation or misconduct, one or more of the following penalties may be imposed on the member:
(1)  a reprimand;
(2)  a suspension of the member’s term for not more than 90 days;
(3)  a revocation of the member’s term.
Where a member is suspended, he or she may not sit on the board of directors of the school service centre or on any other committee formed by the board or on which the member sits as a member of the board of directors of the school service centre, or receive an allowance or any other amount in that connection.
The member may also be compelled to reimburse or remit to the school service centre, donor or charity that is not related to the school service centre, any sum of money or any gift, hospitality or other advantage received in contravention of the standards of ethics and professional conduct applicable to the member.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 36.
37. The member is informed, without delay and in writing, of the decision of the board of directors.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 37.
38. A member against whom proceedings concerning an act involving collusion, corruption, malfeasance, breach of trust, fraud or influence peddling and any proceedings concerning improper gestures or remarks of a sexual nature are instituted, or a member prosecuted for an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment of 5 years or more must, within 10 days from the day on which the member is so informed, notify the chair of the board of directors.
The chair of the board of directors sends without delay that information to the committee of inquiry in ethics and professional conduct.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 38.
39. The board of directors may, on the recommendation of the committee and by a vote of at least two thirds of its members, temporarily relieve of his or duties a member against whom proceedings concerning an act involving collusion, corruption, malfeasance, breach of trust, fraud or influence peddling or proceedings concerning improper gestures or remarks of a sexual nature are instituted or who has been prosecuted for an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment of 5 years or more.
It may also, on the recommendation of the committee and by a vote of at least two thirds of its members, temporarily relieve of his or her duties a member whose behaviour is likely to contravene this Regulation where justified by the urgency or gravity of the situation.
It must, before deciding to temporarily relieve a member of his or her duties, allow the member to submit written observations and to be heard on the facts in support of his or her claims, before the decision is made.
The director general of the school service centre informs the Minister of a decision made by the board of directors to temporarily relieve a member of his or her duties.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 39.
40. A member is relieved of his or her duties, in the cases referred to in the first paragraph of section 39, until the prosecutor decides to stay or withdraw all charges in the proceedings on which the board of directors’ decision was based to temporarily relieve the member of his or her duties or until the decision to acquit the member or to stay all charges in the proceedings is made or, in the cases referred to in the second paragraph of section 39, until the board of directors makes a decision pursuant to section 35.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 40.
41. The member is informed without delay, in writing, of the decision to temporarily relieve him or her of his or her duties, and of the reasons for the decision.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 41.
CHAPTER IV
TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL
M.O. 2022-001, c. IV.
42. An examination or inquiry into alleged or actual conduct that may be contrary to standards of ethics or professional conduct according to the code of ethics and professional conduct that applied before the coming into force of this Regulation and for which the examination or inquiry has not ended at that time is to be carried out in accordance with the procedure set out in Chapter III of this Regulation. The appropriate penalties, if any, are the penalties set out in this Regulation.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 42.
43. The person responsible for determining if the code has been contravened or for imposing a penalty who is in office at the coming into force of this Regulation is to remain in office until the first committee of inquiry in ethics and professional conduct referred to in section 26 of this Regulation is set up. Until that date, that person exercises the functions and powers that this Regulation confers on the committee.
He or she remains, after that date, competent to continue and end the examination or inquiry into alleged or actual conduct that may be contrary to standards of ethics or professional conduct that began before the first committee was set up.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 43.
44. If the board of directors has not set up the first committee of inquiry in ethics and professional conduct 6 months after the coming into force of this Regulation, the Minister may appoint the members.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 44.
45. The declaration referred to in section 4 must be signed not later than the sitting of the board of directors 30 days after the coming into force of this Regulation.
The statement referred to in section 12 must be filed with the board of directors within 60 days of the coming into force of this Regulation.
M.O. 2022-001, s. 45.
46. (Omitted).
M.O. 2022-001, s. 46.
REFERENCES
M.O. 2022-001, 2022 G.O. 2, 551