By Lyonel Doherty
A code of conduct for Town of Oliver employees is undergoing some changes.
On Tuesday, council reviewed the draft document that outlines what behaviour is expected of staff members.
Chief Administrative Officer Cathy Cowan said they researched different codes of conduct in other municipalities to help fashion the one in Oliver. (A code of conduct already exists for council members and the Oliver Fire Department.)
Cowan said the policy speaks to the ethical standards of employees, compliance with the law, gifts and favours, conflict of interest and use of public resources.
For example, employees must not accept any money, property or favour of any kind from anyone who has dealings with the Town. Furthermore, they must not disclose confidential information concerning Town affairs.
In addition, employees must declare any direct or indirect interest in any enterprise that proposes to do business with the Town.
And employees are not permitted to use Town resources such as equipment, supplies or facilities for private gain or profit.
After reviewing the document, Councillor Dave Mattes raised a couple of concerns, which staff will address with possible changes to the policy.
See Also: Firefighters update code of conduct
He said employees should disclose to the Town if they have “outside jobs,” noting that staff should be aware of this.
“If employees have a second or part-time employment, it should be disclosed to ensure there is no conflict with their employment at the Town,” Mattes told the Chronicle.
His other suggestion is to ensure that all employees, particularly non-union, have representation if they happen to break the code.
“If you’re brought forward for discipline, you should be represented,” Mattes said.
Cowan said if anyone wants representation during a proceeding, they usually have a lawyer with them.
Councillor Larry Schwartzenberger said Mattes’ concern is an easy fix by simply adding his suggestion to the policy. He noted any employee can bring legal representation to a hearing if they pay for it.
Cowan said staff will research Mattes’ suggestions and bring the policy back to council.