FedDev Ontario Code of Conduct

Chapter 1: Values and Ethics

Values and Expected Behaviours

These values are a compass to guide public servants in everything they do. They cannot be considered in isolation from each other, as they will often overlap. This Code, the Public Sector Code and the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment are important sources of guidance for public servants at FedDev Ontario in choosing a course of action. These values will guide decisions, actions, policies, processes, and systems. Similarly, public servants can expect to be treated in accordance with these values by their organization.

FedDev Ontario employees are expected to act in accordance with the values of the public sector and these expected behaviours.

The values for the public sector are as follows:

  • Respect for democracy
  • Respect for people
  • Integrity
  • Stewardship
  • Excellence

Respect for Democracy

The system of Canadian parliamentary democracy and its institutions are fundamental to serving the public interest. Public servants recognize that elected officials are accountable to Parliament, and ultimately to the Canadian people, and that a non-partisan public sector is essential to our democratic system.

Public servants shall uphold the Canadian parliamentary democracy and its institutions by

  1. 1.1 Respecting the rule of law and carrying out their duties in accordance with legislation, policies and directives in a non-partisan and impartial manner.
  2. 1.2 Loyally carrying out the lawful decisions of their leaders and supporting ministers in their accountability to Parliament and Canadians.
  3. 1.3 Providing decision-makers with all the information, analysis and advice they need, always striving to be open, candid and impartial.
FedDev Ontario–specific expectations
  1. 1.4 Exercising due diligence in the assessment of project proposals for potential funding through evaluation that presents a complete and balanced view of any proposed opportunity, identifying both its strengths and weaknesses to enable Agency staff to make fully informed decisions.
  2. 1.5 Delivering programs and services by providing honest and impartial advice, as well as relevant information to support decision-making.

Respect for People

Treating all people with respect, dignity and fairness is fundamental to our relationship with the Canadian public and contributes to a safe and healthy work environment that promotes engagement, openness and transparency. The diversity of people and the ideas they generate are the source of our spirit of innovation.

Public servants shall respect human dignity and the value of every person by

  1. 2.1 Treating every person with respect and fairness.
  2. 2.2 Valuing diversity and the benefit of combining the unique qualities and strengths inherent in a diverse workforce.
  3. 2.3 Helping to create and maintain safe and healthy workplaces that are free from harassment and discrimination.
  4. 2.4 Working together in a spirit of openness, honesty and transparency that encourages engagement, collaboration and respectful communication.
FedDev Ontario–specific expectations
  1. 2.5 Valuing and respecting diversity in our workplace by promoting harmonious working relationships.
  2. 2.6 Integrating people values into the different facets of working life, such as in-house communications, health and safety, well-being and staffing, in an environment free of harassment.
  3. 2.7 Providing public servants the opportunity for growth by creating coaching and leadership development learning opportunities.
  4. 2.8 Refraining from any form of bullying (for example any acts of coercion, intimidation or aggressive behaviour whether emotional, verbal or physical).


Integrity is the cornerstone of good governance and democracy. By upholding the highest ethical standards, public servants conserve and enhance public confidence in the honesty, fairness and objectivity of the federal public sector.

Public servants shall serve the public interest by

  1. 3.1 Acting at all times with integrity and in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny, an obligation that may not be fully satisfied by simply acting within the law.
  2. 3.2 Never using their official roles to inappropriately obtain an advantage for themselves or to advantage or disadvantage others.
  3. 3.3 Taking all possible steps to prevent and resolve any real, apparent or potential conflicts of interest between their official responsibilities and their private affairs in favour of the public interest.
  4. 3.4 Acting in such a way as to maintain their employer's trust.
FedDev Ontario–specific expectations
  1. 3.5 Acting in a way that is above reproach in order to maintain the public's trust and confidence.
  2. 3.6 Bringing any ethical matters to the attention of managers.
  3. 3.7 Ensuring that behaviour, both on and off duty, reflects positively on FedDev Ontario and on the public sector as a whole. Also, reporting to management any arrest, detention, charge or conviction of any criminal offences under the Criminal Code that may impact the ability to carry out duties.
  4. 3.8 Ensuring off-duty conduct does not
    1. 3.8.1 Detrimentally affect FedDev Ontario's reputation, programs or services;
    2. 3.8.2 Render you unable to properly perform a requirement of your duties;
    3. 3.8.3 Render you guilty of a serious breach of the Criminal Code, thus rendering your conduct injurious to the general reputation of FedDev Ontario and its employees; or
    4. 3.8.4 Inhibit FedDev Ontario's ability to manage its operations efficiently or to direct its workforce.


Federal public servants are entrusted to use and care for public resources responsibly, for both the short term and the long term.

Public servants shall responsibly use resources by

  1. 4.1 Effectively and efficiently using the public money, property and resources managed by them.
  2. 4.2 Considering the present and long-term effects that their actions have on people and the environment.
  3. 4.3 Acquiring, preserving and sharing knowledge and information as appropriate.
FedDev Ontario–specific expectations
  1. 4.4 Exercising appropriate due diligence, efficiency and transparency when performing duties and in the management of public funds.
  2. 4.5 Respecting established safety and security rules and standards, as well as administrative rules and regulations of the workplace.
  3. 4.6 Respecting the integrity of protected, classified and personal information.
  4. 4.7 Being accountable for the appropriate and efficient use of government assets.


Excellence in the design and delivery of public sector policy, programs and services is beneficial to every aspect of Canadian life. Positive engagement, collaboration, effective teamwork and professional development are all essential to a high-performing organization.

Public servants shall demonstrate professional excellence by

  1. 5.1 Providing fair, timely, efficient and effective services that respect Canada's official languages.
  2. 5.2 Continually improving the quality of policies, programs and services they provide.
  3. 5.3 Fostering a work environment that promotes teamwork, learning and innovation.
FedDev Ontario–specific expectations
  1. 5.4 Providing the best advice, service, quality and efficiency in all business operations.
  2. 5.5 Communicating respectfully with all stakeholders whether through conventional means or social media.

Avenues for Resolution

The expected behaviours are not intended to respond to every possible ethical issue that might arise in the course of a public servant's daily work. When these issues arise, public servants are encouraged to discuss and resolve these matters with their immediate supervisor. You can also seek advice and support from other appropriate sources (see Appendix C).

Public servants at all levels are expected to resolve issues in a fair and respectful manner and consider informal processes such as dialogue or mediation.

As provided by sections 12 and 13 of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, if you have information that could indicate a serious breach of this Code, you can bring the matter, in confidence and without fear of reprisal, to the attention of your immediate supervisor, the Senior Officer for Disclosure or the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner. Further information on the duties and authorities of the Senior Officer for Disclosure can be found in Appendix A.

For more information on the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, visit the Human Resources web page.

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