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More on the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders

[Public Officers Holders Code and Federal Accountability Act]

[Public Officers Holders Code and Accountable Government document]

[Public Officers Holders Code provides “accountable, ethical” government]

Public Officers Holders Code and Federal Accountability Act

The 1994 Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders was revised in 2006 by Stephen Harper’s government. The revised version of the Code is currently only available in one format (PDF), but is available in English and French.

The Code was phased out with the introduction of the 2006 Federal Accountability Act. Parts of the Public Office Holders Code are enshrined in the Conflict of Interest Act that was created as part of the Federal Accountability Act.

Public Officers Holders Code and Accountable Government document

Parts of the Code also appear in the March 2007 document Accountable Government: A Guide for Ministers and Secretaries of State.

  More on the Federal Accountability Act within www.DavidEmersonLegal.com.

Democracy Watch noted in December 2006 that five rules in the old Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders have been deleted from the new Conflict of Interest Act, including what the organization calls:

The “honesty rule” that public-office holders must “act with honesty.”

    (This rule appears on page 67 of Accountable Government in a section called “Ethical Guidelines for Public Office Holders.”)

The “uphold the highest ethical standards rule” that public-office holders “uphold the highest ethical standards so that public confidence and trust in the integrity, objectivity and impartiality of government are conserved and maintained.”

Public Officers Holders Code provides “accountable, ethical” government

The Public Office Holders Code begins as follows:


 Message from the Prime Minister             


  Message du Premier ministre     




We have committed to Canadians that accountability and ethics will be at the centre of our governing agenda. First and foremost, accountable government means leading by example. Our government must uphold the public trust to the highest possible standard, and this responsibility falls uniquely on all public office holders, beginning with Ministers.


Nous avons pris envers les Canadiens et Canadiennes l’engagement de placer l’imputabilité et l’éthique au cœur du programme d’action de notre gouvernement. Un gouvernement responsable doit d’abord et avant tout donner l’exemple. Notre gouvernement doit préserver la confiance du public en maintenant les plus hautes normes possibles, et cette responsabilité incombe plus particulièrement à l’ensemble des titulaires de charge publique, à commencer par les ministres.




The Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders is a critical component of accountable government. The objective of the Code is to provide guidance to all public office holders in the discharge of their official duties and responsibilities and, thereby, to provide assurance to Canadians that their government is acting in an accountable, ethical and transparent manner.


Le Code régissant la conduite des titulaires de charge publique forme un élément essentiel de l’imputabilité gouvernementale. Le but du Code est de guider tous les titulaires de charge publique dans l’exercice de leurs fonctions et de leurs responsabilités officielles et de donner ainsi l’assurance à la population canadienne que son gouvernement agit d’une manière responsable, éthique et transparente. Il importe donc que chacun respecte intégralement les principes du Code et l’ensemble de ses dispositions.










The release of this Code fulfills the statutory requirement, under the Parliament of Canada Act, that the Prime Minister establish “ethical principles, rules and obligations for public office holders.”


Par la publication du présent code, le Premier ministre s’acquitte de l’obligation que lui confère la Loi sur le Parlement du Canada d’établir «des principes, règles et obligations en matière d’éthique pour les titulaires de charge publique».




This Code should be read in conjunction with Accountable Government: A Guide for Ministers.


Il convient de lire le Code en parallèle avec Pour un gouvernement responsable : un guide à l’intention des ministres.



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