VICTORIA - A review of the resignation of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s former CEO recommends government develop new post-employment restriction guidelines for appropriate staff of ministries, Crown corporations and agencies.
Finance Minister Michael de Jong has released the review findings today and announced immediate changes to prevent similar situations in the future.
The review found the former CEO was in a conflict of interest during the two months prior to the time he left British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), but found no evidence that he or his new employer benefited from the conflict. The review also found that while he had access to confidential information in his role as CEO, there was no evidence that information was removed or used inappropriately to benefit his new employer.
As a result of the review, BCLC will implement new post-employment restrictions for its next CEO and senior executives that will bar employment with private sector employers in the B.C. gaming industry for a minimum of one year. BCLC has accepted all review recommendations and will be fully implementing them, including:
- BCLC should ensure it has a robust, consistently applied exit process that includes timely removal of access to corporate systems and information.
- BCLC should develop policy and procedures regarding mobile devices when an employee leaves the organization.
In addition, government has now provided direction to public-sector entities on standards of conduct, including post-employment restrictions, requiring them to develop comprehensive codes of conduct that will apply throughout their organization. Of particular importance is the requirement that codes must include clear post-employment restrictions, which at a minimum must be equal to those in the B.C. public service. This includes a one year restriction on employment with an outside entity employees have a business relationship with and the requirement to immediately disclose the prospect of other employment.
Consistent with employment law on constructive dismissal, the changes will be effective immediately for executives taking new positions and in 18 months for executives that maintain their current position.
Standardization of code of conduct across the public sector is an action item in the implementation of new taxpayer accountability principles, announced June 11 by government. The taxpayer accountability principles for provincial public sector organizations are designed to strengthen accountability, promote cost control, and ensure they operate in the best interest of taxpayers. The principles are: cost-consciousness (efficiency), accountability, appropriate compensation, service, respect, and integrity.
Government has taken a number of steps to ensure provincial public sector organizations are better aligned with the principles and priorities of the shareholder, government, on behalf of the citizens of B.C.:
- Government’s plan to review Crown corporations was announced in the 2011 speech from the throne, to ensure taxpayers are protected and the interests of all British Columbians are well served.
- Since 2011, reviews have been completed on BC Hydro, ICBC, and Community Living BC. A review of BC Lottery Corporation is underway. Translink (though not a provincial Crown corporation) also has been reviewed.
- A new executive compensation framework for Crown corporations was introduced in July 2012.
- Government announced a core review of all government programs and services in 2013.
Full report on the resignation of BCLC’s CEO is available at: http://ow.ly/z0t7h
Minister of Finance Michael de Jong’s letter requesting the review: http://ow.ly/z0tvQ
New standards of conduct guidelines for the B.C. public sector: http://ow.ly/z0teS
Taxpayer accountability principles http://gov.bc.ca/crownaccountabilities
Public Sector Employers’ Council: www.fin.gov.bc.ca/psec/
Ministry of Finance