PPSC Code of Conduct

PPSC Code of Conduct

Table of Contents

Message from the Director of Public Prosecutions

The mandate of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada ("PPSC") is to prosecute offences under federal jurisdiction in a manner that is free of any improper influence and that respects the public interest. This mandate places PPSC employees in a unique position of trust requiring high standards of ethical behaviour.

As Director of the PPSC, I have an obligation under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act to establish a code of conduct that applies to all employees within the PPSC.

Since the first edition of the Code of Conduct in May 2009, our organization has evolved and it was time to re-evaluate our priorities and redefine what it means to be a PPSC employee to ensure that our Code reflects the society that we serve.

As a result, I launched a working group made up of employees from across all groups, levels and regions to revise our Code of Conduct. I am very pleased to present the fruits of their labour, the new edition of the PPSC Code of Conduct ("Code"), which put emphasis on values that are important to the PPSC.

I encourage you to familiarize yourself with your Code.

All employees should act with civility, respect, integrity and probity. This Code will guide us through our internal interactions and when we are representing the PPSC. It provides clarity on the standard of conduct that is expected when fulfilling our respective duties.

The Code builds on the expectations for all public servants found in two Treasury Board ("TB") documents, namely the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and the Policy on People Management.

Your commitment to the values and ethics set out in the Code and the related TB documents is essential to ensuring a civil and respectful workplace, to supporting the mandate of the PPSC and to protecting the reputation and integrity of our organization.

Kathleen Roussel
Director of Public Prosecutions and Deputy Attorney General of Canada

1. Introduction

The PPSC serves the public interest by:

  • working within the criminal justice system to help make Canada a safe and just society;
  • prosecuting cases with diligence, in a manner that is fair, impartial and objective; and
  • seeking to protect the rights of individuals and to uphold the rule of law.

The PPSC is an independent and accountable prosecuting authority whose main objective is to prosecute offences under federal jurisdiction in a manner that is free of any improper influence and that respects the public interest.

The Code contains rules and standards of conduct intended to help achieve both the PPSC's objectives and to provide direction to employees in situations where the right course of action may not always be clear.

2. Scope

The Code applies to all employees of the PPSC who should demonstrate high ethical and professional standards in their conduct. It should also be noted that, due to the nature of their duties, certain employees are also required to abide by standards of conduct set by their professional associations and by other guidance documents such as the PPSC Deskbook.

3. Purpose

The Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act requires that the Director of Public Prosecutions ("DPP") establish a code of conduct applicable to the organization. This organizational code of conduct will complement the code established by the TB.

The terms used in this Code are defined in section 10.

4. Objectives

The Code incorporates the principles of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and the TB Policy on People Management.

The Code sets out behaviours that employees must observe during their employment with the PPSC and, by incorporating elements of the TB Policy on People Management, during and after their employment as a public servant.

PPSC employees strengthen the ethical culture of the public sector and maintain public confidence in the administration of justice and the integrity of public institutions by adhering to the PPSC's high ethical and professional standards, by demonstrating the organization's commitment to the values of the Public Service, and by adhering to the expected behaviours outlined in this Code.

PPSC employees who do not abide by the values and expectations set out in this Code may be subject to administrative or disciplinary measures up to and including termination of employment.

Employees will read this Code in conjunction with all other legislation and PPSC policies, directives, and guidelines, as well as with all relevant professional codes of conduct, and apply it by considering relevant ethical principles.

5. Public Sector Values

Public Sector Core Values

  • respect for democracy
  • respect for people
  • integrity
  • stewardship
  • excellence

Employees are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the five core values set out in the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector.

In addition to the Public Sector core values, PPSC employees are also guided by the PPSC organizational values in carrying out their job functions and activities.

6. Effective Date

The PPSC Code of Conduct is effective September 15, 2020.

This PPSC Code of Conduct replaces the PPSC Code of Conduct issued on May 1, 2013.

7. Expected Behaviours

The PPSC is committed to the health and well-being of its employees and, as such, all employees are expected to behave in a manner that fosters a positive, respectful, collaborative and professional working environment. As an organization, the PPSC does not tolerate harassment, discrimination, bullying, or violence in the workplace.

Employees are also expected to respect the terms and conditions set out in the relevant Terms and Conditions of Employment and collective agreements, where applicable.

The fact that a specific legislation, policy, directive or procedure is referred to in this document, while another is not, should not be read as meaning that one has precedence over the other.

Similarly, the order of the expected behaviours within the Code does not reflect a level of priority or importance.

7.1 Respect for People

Treating all people with respect, dignity, and fairness is fundamental to our relationship with others and it contributes to a safe and healthy work environment that promotes engagement, openness, and transparency. An inclusive environment that celebrates the diversity of its people enhances the PPSC.

Employees shall respect human dignity and the value of every person by conducting themselves in accordance with the following expected behaviours:

7.1.1 Interactions with Others

Employees treat others in a respectful manner.

Employees recognize the value of diversity and the benefit of combining the unique qualities and strengths inherent in a diverse workforce. As a result, PPSC employees contribute to a work environment that respects others without regard to race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics or disability. They work together in a spirit of openness, honesty, and transparency that promotes engagement, collaboration, and respectful communication. Employees treat every person with respect and fairness.

Diversity is an asset to the organization. People with a variety of backgrounds, skills and experiences allow the PPSC to perform its duties taking in consideration the full spectrum of views that diversity brings to the workplace. When each person's uniqueness is recognized, accepted and valued, the PPSC enhances the quality of its services to Canadians. Employees thrive in a fair, equitable, and supportive environment that is inclusive and diverse. Employees are expected to be open, tactful, and respectful when dealing with others, including with those who hold different opinions, and to display sound interpersonal skills by listening, offering constructive criticism, and contributing to the team.

Employees are encouraged to proactively support each other by, as the case may be, discussing and resolving issues with their colleagues directly. Where appropriate and feasible, employees should encourage their colleagues to contact the Employee Assistance Program or the Healthy Workplace Services, seek the assistance of their managers and of bargaining agents to help resolve difficult issues, or assist in the resolution of workplace conflict.

Expected Behaviours Manifestation
Show empathy and openness to others Listen and be attentive.

Be open to different points of view.

Maintain a positive and constructive attitude.
Communicate with tact Use respectful words.

Pick an appropriate time to communicate.
Maintain good relations

Offer help to your colleagues when possible.

Use appropriate language.

Be punctual for meetings.

Use good judgment Understand the consequences of your actions towards others.

Use statements that are correct and based on facts.
Demonstration of Disrespectful Behaviours
Sarcastic remarks
Coarse or inappropriate language or remarks
Sexual comments or gestures
False accusations towards a colleague
Mockeries or gossips
Excluding or ignoring your colleagues
Intimidating others
Using aggressive mannerisms or language
Taking all the credit for work that was a team effort
 Abusing your authority by excessive control, interfering with work or withholding resources

7.1.2 Harassment, Discrimination and Resolving Workplace Issues

Harassment, discrimination, and bullying in the workplace are not tolerated. Employees must avoid any improper conduct that is directed at and offensive to another person or persons in the workplace that they know or ought to reasonably have known could cause offence or harm.

The PPSC is guided by the TB Policy on People Management and is committed to providing a respectful work environment where diversity is valued. Management is responsible for fostering a work environment free from harassment, discrimination, and bullying, but it is everyone's responsibility to treat colleagues equitably, respectfully, with dignity, and in a professional manner.

As workplace issues and conflicts can severely damage the workplace environment, employees are encouraged to address these issues with management and their bargaining agent as soon as possible. The parties involved should make every reasonable effort to resolve their issues at the lowest level possible where appropriate. The PPSC is committed to ensuring that employees raising legitimate concerns are not subjected to reprisal.

Employees may also report concerns to PPSC's Healthy Workplace Services without fear of reprisal where reporting to management is not considered appropriate by the employee. 

7.1.3 Official Languages

The Official Languages Act, regulations, and related policies guide employees' behaviour with respect to the use of the two official languages in the workplace. The PPSC provides and maintains a work environment that is conducive to the effective use of both official languages.

Employees are expected to actively offer communications and services to the public in both official languages without delay where the demand for services in the language of the minority is significant. The communications and services must be of equal quality regardless of the official language spoken.

In prosecution files before criminal courts everywhere in Canada, PPSC employees are expected to actively offer communications and services to the accused in both official languages without delay.

7.2 Respect for the Organization

Taking on the role of a public servant comes with opportunities, as well as responsibilities and constraints. One such constraint is consideration for the public's perception of employees' actions both at work and while off duty. An employee's off-duty activities could reflect negatively on the PPSC and the Government of Canada, and can affect public confidence and respect.

Employees shall respect the PPSC and the Government of Canada by conducting themselves in accordance with the following expected behaviours:

7.2.1 Political Activities

As Canadian citizens, employees are entitled to express themselves freely and to participate in political activities, but as public servants, employees are expected to use discretion and judgment in doing so. For instance, when taking part in political activities, employees are expected to exercise restraint, relative to their position and visibility, so as not to jeopardize the political neutrality of the public service and the independence of the PPSC.

Did you know?

Employees should exercise caution, especially when using social media and other collaborative tools facilitated by information technology, so that their professionalism and their ability to perform their duties in a non-partisan way are not called into question or that they do not inadvertently disclose information that is not intended to be available to the public.

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 Canada's democratic system. As public servants, PPSC employees are expected to engage only in political activities that do not impair, or are not perceived to impair, their ability to perform their duties in an impartial manner.

Under the Public Service Employment Act, employees have important rights and obligations related to their involvement in political activities. If employees are considering becoming involved in any political activity, they should contact the Public Service Commission, PPSC management, or the Office of the Corporate Counsel for information about those rights and obligations prior to participating.

Employees, who have received approval to become a candidate in a municipal, provincial, territorial or federal election, may be subject to a variety of conditions as determined by the Public Service Commission, including leave without pay before the election and a "cooling off" period afterward.

7.2.2 Off-Duty Conduct

While employees' off-duty conduct is a private matter, employees are expected to ensure that it does not negatively affect their performance as a PPSC employee, the image of the public service or of the PPSC, or the public's confidence in the administration of justice. In particular, an employee should refrain from engaging in a conduct that could significantly affect the PPSC because it:

Employees are expected to report to their manager off-duty conduct that may have such an impact on the PPSC or their work as soon as possible. Especially if they are arrested, detained, investigated or charged with a serious violation, either in Canada or outside Canada, of the laws, statutes, or regulations of the country. For example, allegations of breaches of the Criminal Code should be reported but a parking ticket would not be. When in doubt, it is preferable for employees to report the conduct or seek advice from their manager or from the Office of the Corporate Counsel (for wrongdoing in the workplace, see 7.3.1).

7.2.3 Outside Activities

Did you know?

Employees who engage in outside activities, such as working, educating, volunteering, publishing or soliciting, must report these activities to their manager. Employees must also follow the process outlined in section 7.3.5 to ensure that participation in the activity is in accordance with the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and with the TB Directive on Conflict of Interest and it does not place them in a situation of real, apparent, or potential conflict of interest or conflict of duties.

It is common for employees to be involved in their community and participate in outside activities. While taking part in such activities, employees will not make representations to, or on behalf of, the PPSC or the Government of Canada. Employees should seek approval before participating in outside activities that may place the employee in a situation of real, apparent, or potential conflict of interest or conflict of duties.

Working with the PPSC may limit the employees' ability to engage in outside activities that may impact the PPSC's capacity to fulfill its mandate. In addition to operational requirements, PPSC employees should manage their outside activities in a way that protects the impartial and non-partisan nature of the PPSC. In particular, employees should report any outside activity that has a political connotation even if it does not need to be reported to the Public Service Commission.

7.2.4 Public Criticism of the PPSC and of the Federal Government

Public servants' duty of loyalty to the federal government, as an employer, includes a commitment to be discreet and to refrain from public statements or actions critical of the federal government, including the PPSC. Consequently, employees must avoid making, through a public medium such as radio, television, blog, social networking or participation in an event, public pronouncement critical of the PPSC or federal government's policies, programs, or officials, or on matters of current political controversy, where the statement or action may be, or give the appearance of being, in conflict with the employees' position and duties.

The duty of loyalty is not absolute and, in determining whether any particular public criticism is justified, a balance must be reached between the employees' rights, such as the freedom of expression, and the legitimate interest of the federal government to maintain a public service characterized by professionalism, neutrality, and impartiality.

Public criticism by an employee may be justified in exceptional circumstances, including the following:

Issues relating to the disclosure of wrongdoing and criticisms, including those listed above, should be raised internally without fear of reprisal, either within the PPSC or through other federal government entities that can assist, by following the process outlined in section 7.3.1.

7.2.5 Communication with the Public

Please note:

All PPSC employees are encouraged to consult the PPSC Deskbook for further information on communicating with the media.

Only authorized spokespersons may issue statements or comments on the PPSC's position on a given subject. Unless advised otherwise, PPSC prosecutors are authorized to act as spokespersons on cases for which they are the lead prosecutor.

If asked for the PPSC's position on a matter, an employee who is not an authorized spokesperson must refer the inquiry to the official spokesperson, their manager or the Communications Group.


Did you know?

As PPSC's spokesperson at an event, you can provide PPSC's position in accordance with the instructions that you received.

However, if you are authorized to be a panelist, or guest speaker, at an event where you were invited because of your expertise, you should seek directions and not assume that you are necessarily speaking as a representative, or on behalf, of the PPSC. It is a common practice in these situations that, at the beginning of the presentation, you indicate that the views expressed are yours.


7.3 Professionalism and Integrity

By upholding the highest ethical and professional standards, PPSC employees conserve and enhance public confidence in the honesty, fairness and impartiality of the federal public sector and of the judicial system.

Employees' actions are subject to close public scrutiny; thus they should demonstrate professionalism and integrity by acting in a manner that goes beyond just meeting minimum requirements of the law or the applicable rules of professional conduct.

Employees shall serve the public interest by conducting themselves in accordance with the following expected behaviours:

7.3.1 Disclosure of Information Concerning Wrongdoing in the Workplace

Did you know?

Allegations of breaches of the Rules of Professional Conduct of a professional organization should be reported as soon as possible, especially when they relate to actions taken on behalf of the PPSC.

Employees have the responsibility to immediately consult regarding allegations or evidence of wrongdoing. It is expected that employees will make disclosures through the appropriate channels. Employees are entitled to consult with their bargaining agent representatives or the Senior Disclosure Officer.

Employees will inform their manager as soon as possible when they have reasonable grounds to believe that public servants, including themselves, have committed a wrongdoing in the workplace. If this is not appropriate in the circumstances, employees may approach the Senior Disclosure Officer in confidence with the certainty that they will be treated fairly. If the matter is not appropriately addressed at this level, or if there is reason to believe that it could not be disclosed in confidence within the PPSC, the employee could refer the matter to their bargaining agent or the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada.

7.3.2 Disclosure of Information and Confidentiality

Employees must keep in strict confidence all information, including policies, programs, practices, and procedures, that are not intended to be available to the public, except when specifically allowed by the law (for example, the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act). This requirement particularly applies to any personal information about individuals that employees have access to in the course of their duties. This requirement continues to apply to employees after they leave the PPSC.

The PPSC is an open and transparent organization and employees will disclose information to the extent permissible by law, for example, when they receive a request under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act.

7.3.3 Security of Information

Employees must follow all legislation, policies, directives, and procedures relating to the collection, use, sharing, storage, distribution, and disposal of all protected or classified information. This includes appropriately classifying and safeguarding documents, as well as immediately reporting any unauthorized access, loss or theft of protected or classified material to managers.

Did you know?
Unauthorized disclosure could cause serious injury to national interest. Unauthorized disclosure could cause exceptionally grave injury to national interest.
  • Cabinet confidences and Treasury Board submissions;
  • Early warning reports, advice on draft legislation, and matters of national interest; and
  • Information marked Secret received from other organizations.
  • Vital security intelligence matters and information relating to widespread loss of life;
  • Communications with investigative agencies on subjects such as national security and terrorism; and
  • Information marked Top Secret received from other organizations.
Protected A and B Protected C
Unauthorized disclosure could cause injury to an individual or an organization. Unauthorized disclosure could cause exceptionally grave injury to an individual (loss of life).
  • Personal information: age, race, date of birth, social insurance number, pay information, and/or medical records;
  • Solicitor-client privilege information; and
  • Information received in confidence from other organizations.
  • Identity of informants or undercover agents;
  • Witness protection program; and
  • Criminal intelligence, wiretap reports, unvetted search warrants or Crown briefs.
For more information on how to treat that information, consult the PPSC Security Services.

7.3.4 Providing Information or Testimony

Employees must cooperate and assist in the conduct of administrative investigations including those carried out under the Canada Labour Code, harassment investigations, and any investigations in relation to violence in the workplace. Employees are entitled to consult, for example with their bargaining agent, especially if asked to provide evidence that could be detrimental to them. While employees are usually required to assist in any investigation under federal legislation, they must consult their managers before assisting a provincial or foreign authority. To the extent permissible by law, employees are also expected to give testimony in court or before any administrative tribunal or panel if required.

Employees must provide information in the context of internal and external audits, in accordance with the policies and directives relating to such audits, as well as in conformity with the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and the TB Policy on People Management.

7.3.5 Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment

Employees must not use their position to obtain any privilege or favour for themselves or others, or to do anything that is illegal, improper, or against the best interests of the PPSC.

Employees must ensure that their family and personal relationships do not compromise or threaten to compromise their ability to act in the PPSC's best interests. This means that they are prohibited from granting preferential treatment or advantages to family, friends or any other person or entity. They also are not to disadvantage any entity or person dealing with the Government of Canada because of personal antagonism or bias.

Reporting Conflict of Interest

Employees must promptly report to their manager all circumstances that may place them in a situation of real, apparent, or potential conflict of interest or conflict of duties, including those which may arise from employment or activities outside the public service and from family and personal relationship. PPSC employees should confirm whether their actions, activities or situation may constitute a conflict of interest or conflict of duties by consulting their manager or the Office of the Corporate Counsel.


Before leaving employment with the Public Service, all PPSC employees are to disclose to their manager their intentions regarding any future employment or activities that may pose a risk of real, apparent or potential conflict of interest with their current responsibilities and they must comply with the TB Directive on Conflict of Interest.

Designated positions for the purpose for the application of TB Policy on People Management are positions at the following level:
s: All
s: All
LPs: General Counsel – Legal Operations positions and the Chief, Executive Secretariat at Headquarter.
Others: non-legal EX minus 1 equivalents

Employees who are a member of a professional order shall raise with their manager, as soon as possible, any conflict between their professional duties and their duties as a public servant.

Employees must comply with the TB Directive on Conflict of Interest, which sets out the obligation to avoid and prevent situations that could give rise to a real, apparent, or potential conflict of interest or conflict of duties.

Conflicts of interest that arise between personal interests and official duties of an employee must be resolved in favour of the public interest.

Employees must be vigilant because conflict of interest and conflict of duties may arise in many places.

This non-exhaustive list contains some of the common examples of situations that could give rise to a real, apparent or potential conflict of interest or conflict of duties:

7.3.6 Gifts, Hospitality, and Other Benefits

Employees should decline gifts, hospitality or other benefits that could influence or appear to influence their judgment, or call into question their integrity or that of the PPSC. The section of the TB Directive on Conflict of Interest dealing with gifts, hospitality and other benefits contains information about accepting or refusing gifts, including the strict conditions and limitations that apply when accepting gifts.

If a person offers a gift, hospitality or other benefit to an employee, and the acceptance could have a real, apparent or potential influence on the employee's objectivity in carrying out official duties and responsibilities or it may place the employee under obligation to the donor, the employee must advise his or her manager as soon as practical, regardless of whether the gift, hospitality or benefit is accepted or refused. Alternatively, the employee can submit a confidential report to the Office of the Corporate Counsel about the gift, hospitality or other benefit for guidance.

7.3.7 Consumption of Intoxicants

Alcohol During Special Events

If the reasonable consumption of alcohol is approved for a special event, employees are expected to drink responsibly to ensure that, following the event, they are able to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

Employees must not report to work while impaired by any substance.

The PPSC does not permit the consumption of intoxicants in the workplace, except when prescribed by a medical professional or, exceptionally in situations where a manager at the EX-1 or LC-2 level, or above, authorizes a moderate consumption of alcohol for a special event. Employees must be able to carry out their functions effectively even if the consumption of intoxicants at work is permitted.

7.3.8 Professional Appearance

Employees should use their own judgment to decide appropriate dress for the day keeping in mind that they are expected to dress appropriately for their duties and present themselves to the workplace in a manner that will convey the professional image of the PPSC and is respectful to other employees and the public.

Employees required to perform duties outside of their workplace must ensure that they dress in accordance with the decorum of where they perform these duties.

7.3.9 Safety and Security

The PPSC values the safety and security of its employees. Employees are expected to contribute by observing safety and security standards, rules and procedures established for their work sites. As well, any work-related accidents or injuries, or any unsafe or hazardous conditions at work, must be reported immediately to managers.

Employees are also expected to immediately report to their manager and to the PPSC Security Officer, any real or potential security incidents – threats, stalking, assault, verbal abuse or negligent or criminal acts – in order to permit the application of appropriate risk mitigation strategies.

7.4 Stewardship

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

Employees shall demonstrate stewardship by conducting themselves in accordance with the following expected behaviours:

7.4.1 Care and Use of Government Property or Valuables

Employees must use public resources responsibly considering the impact that their actions have on people and the environment.

Employees must use any public money, property and resources in their care and control effectively and efficiently.

Employees must follow established procedures and meet reasonable standards of care when entrusted with government property or valuables.

7.4.2 Return of Property and Valuables

Employees must return to the PPSC all government property and valuables issued to them when they leave the PPSC, or when so requested by a manager or supervisor. This requirement may not apply to property provided to an employee as part of a reasonable accommodation under the TB Directive on the Duty to Accommodate.

Employees must return organizational documents to the PPSC on leaving the organization, including manuals, policy or procedural texts and any publications that are not in the public domain.

7.4.3 Loss of Property and Valuables

Employees report immediately misplaced, lost, stolen or damaged property and valuables to their manager who will notify the Chief Financial Officer and the PPSC Security Officer.

7.4.4 Electronic Network Access and Use

Employees must follow the policies, directives, and guidelines concerning the use of electronic devices that apply to the network they are using.

Employees who access or use the PPSC's office computer systems, equipment or software, must make every effort to protect the PPSC from any possible threat to security and guard against:

Employees are expected to inform managers of any breach of computer security, policies or standards as soon as possible. Employees are not to disclose passwords or details that might compromise the PPSC's system or network to anyone.

PPSC-issued mobile devices and other handheld technology devices are intended for business purposes and must be safeguarded.

Unless formally approved, the use of the PPSC's network in support of another organization, or to conduct non-PPSC business, is not permissible.

Limited personal use of the Internet and email system is acceptable after hours or during authorized breaks, as long as the use complies with all relevant legislation, policies, and guidelines. Personal use must not affect the employee's productivity or that of colleagues, or impose a storage or bandwidth burden on the PPSC's computer system or servers.

Employees should not expect privacy while using the government's electronic network resources, for example when sending emails or accessing the Internet. All information obtained, stored, sent or received using the government's electronic networks is subject to routine monitoring and may be reviewed at the individual level to ensure compliance with all applicable legislation, policies, and directives.

7.4.5 Personal Use of Government Property, Equipment, and Service

Assessment of what is acceptable limited use is determined case-by-case but these are examples of what may constitute personal use of electronic devices:

  • sending a personal email or text
  • making a personal phone call
  • accessing the news
  • conducting routine bank transactions
  • Sending pictures or videos for reasons unrelated to a person's work duties

While government resources are intended for official purposes, limited personal use may be permitted as provided by this Code or by other applicable policies. Although limited personal use is acceptable, employees may be asked to assume some costs associated with the personal use of PPSC's devices.

Travel and acquisition cards must not be used for personal expenses.

Employees may only transport passengers when authorized by a manager while engaged in government business or when transport is needed for public safety reasons.

Employees' government identification cards are used for government business. However, they may be used for personal matters to obtain standard corporate discounts offered to government employees on a subscription to a fitness center for example, or on the rate of a hotel room or car rental.

7.4.6 Financial Management, Contracting, and Fraud

Employees are expected to ensure that their actions and activities are practiced in good faith and with honesty at all times. Consequently, when responsible for collecting, receiving, managing, or distributing public funds, employees are expected to comply with applicable laws, regulations, and policies. Employees will refrain from conspiring or colluding to defraud the Crown or providing the opportunity for someone else to do so. Employees who become aware of such wrongdoing must report it pursuant to section 7.3.1.

All procurement and contracting must be conducted in accordance with the PPSC's financial policy instruments in a manner that will:

  • stand the test of public scrutiny, demonstrate prudence and probity, facilitate access, encourage competition and reflect fairness in the spending of public funds;
  • ensure pre-eminence of operational requirements;
  • support long-term industrial and regional development and other appropriate national objectives; and
  • comply with the government's obligations under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement, Aboriginal land claims and other relevant legal obligations.

Employees will refrain from claiming benefits for themselves, or for others, for which there is no entitlement, such as falsely claiming for leave, overtime, travel time or expenses. 

Employees who become aware that they have been paid monies or received benefits to which they are not entitled shall report this overpayment to their manager.

The Government of Canada will recover any monetary advance paid to employees where the amount is not repaid or accounted for, and will recover any amount paid in error to the employees such as overpaid salary or benefits, as well as any public money lost through any misconduct on employees' part.

7.4.7 Hours of Work

All PPSC employees are expected to work the hours of work as set out in their collective agreement or terms of employment, and follow established processes for the approval of leave as allowed under collective agreements or terms and conditions of employment.

8. Roles and Responsibilities

The DPP is responsible for the implementation and management of this Code.

Roles and Responsibilities
All Employees

  • carry out their duties ethically and with integrity;
  • read this Code and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector;
  • seek advice from their manager and/or the Office of the Corporate Counsel, as appropriate, when uncertain about an appropriate ethical decision; and
  • abide by other standards of conduct as set out by their particular professional order and by any other instrument such as the PPSC Deskbook.

  • ensure that employees, contractors, and students under their supervision or responsibility understand their responsibilities under the Codes and are in compliance;
  • take appropriate management action to investigate and address known or suspected violations of either Code;
  • are concerned, knowledgeable, and reliable resources to whom employees can comfortably go for advice on values and ethics without fear of reprisal; and
  • protect employees from reprisal when disclosing a violation in good faith.
Human Resources Directorate

  • ensures oversight of this Code;
  • ensures that appropriate management action is taken to investigate and manage known or suspected violations of either or both of the Codes;
  • ensures that current and new employees and students/interns understand their responsibilities under the Codes and comply with them; and
  • ensures that all employees are adequately trained and informed of this Code and other relevant directives and regulations.
The Office of the Corporate Counsel

  • in collaboration with the Human Resources Directorate ensures oversight of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector;
  • ensures that employees are informed on a regular basis of the requirements of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector;
  • ensures that the operational risks of conflict of interest or of conflict of duties related to the mandate of the PPSC are identified, addressed and managed efficiently;
  • ensures that appropriate management action is taken to investigate and manage known or suspected violations of either or both of the Codes; and
  • provides training regarding values and ethics and political activities to PPSC employees.

9. Resolving Ethical Issues

Employees should first contact their manager for guidance when they are faced with an ethical dilemma.

Employees can also contact the Office of the Corporate Counsel, which is responsible for assessing ethical issues.


Did you know?

Unionized PPSC employees have access to resources from their bargaining agents. The PPSC encourages employees to reach out to their union representatives when in need of advice on matters relating to the Code.


10. Definitions

The following definitions apply to this Code:


The current PPSC Code of Conduct.

Conflict of Duties

A conflict, whether real, apparent or potential, that arises not because of the private interests of a person, but as a result of one or more concurrent and competing official responsibilities.

Conflict of Interest

A situation, whether real, apparent or potential, in which the person employed has private interests that could improperly influence the performance of their official duties and responsibilities or in which the person employed uses their office for personal gain.

A real conflict of interest

A conflict of interest situation that exists at the present time.

A potential conflict of interest

A conflict of interest situation that could reasonably be foreseen to happen in the future.

An apparent conflict of interest

A situation that a reasonable observer could perceive as a conflict of interest, whether or not it is the case.


Within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act, discrimination consists in treating people differently, negatively or adversely because of their race, national or ethnic origin, colour, age, religion, sex (including pregnancy and childbearing), sexual orientation, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability (including dependence to alcohol or drugs), and /or pardoned criminal convictions.


Description of a group, such as a workforce, that comprises individuals who have an array of identities, abilities, backgrounds, cultures, skills, perspectives and experiences that are representative of Canada's current and evolving population. This includes but is not limited to differences in ethnicity, race, culture, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, educational background, region, and marital or parental status.


Director of Public Prosecutions


A person employed at or by the PPSC. This includes indeterminate and term employees, individuals on leave without pay, students participating in student employment programs, as well as casual, seasonal, and part-time workers. Unless otherwise specified, a reference to "PPSC employees" or to "employees" is a reference to all PPSC employees and managers regardless of their position.

Although they are not employees of the PPSC, individuals on incoming Interchange Canada assignments are expected to comply with the Code.

Family Members

The Code follows the definition of family as defined in the employee's collective agreement or terms and conditions of employment.


Includes but is not limited to:


Any improper conduct by an individual that is directed at and offensive to another person or persons in the workplace, and that the individual knew or ought reasonably to have known would cause offence or harm. It comprises any objectionable act, comment, or display that demeans, belittles, or causes personal humiliation or embarrassment, and any act of intimidation or threat. It includes harassment within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

For more information, employees are encouraged to consult a document created by the Treasury Board Secretariat called "Is it Harassment?"

Political activity


Public Prosecution Service of Canada


This includes but is not limited to: computers (including laptops), smart phones, software, electronic and paper files, documents and data, office equipment and supplies, video equipment, telecommunication devices, government-issued identification and clothing, vehicles, and physical premises.


Treasury Board of Canada


This includes but is not limited to: money, government-issued credit cards, taxi chits, and telephone calling cards.


A violation such as:

11. References

Care and Use of Government Property or Valuables, and Taxpayer Property held by the PPSC

Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information

Conflict of Interest and Post-employment

Contact with the Public and External Partners

Disclosure of Wrongdoing in the Workplace

Electronic Network Access and Use

Financial Management and Fraud

Gifts, Hospitality and Other Benefits

Harassment, Discrimination and Resolving Workplace Issues

Hours of Work

Official Languages

Safety and Security


Terms and Conditions of Employment and Collective Agreements

Public Criticism of the PPSC

Political Activities

12. Approval

Original signed
Kathleen Roussel
Director of Public Prosecutions and
Deputy Attorney General of Canada

September 9, 2020
Date modified: