Conflicts of interest
This section of the Code describes the Plan’s conflict of interest procedures, which are intended to help Plan Staff:
- identify real, direct or indirect, potential or perceived, or actual conflicts of interest,
- minimize the chance that they will find themselves in one, and
- resolve any existing conflicts of interest.
Identifying conflicts of interest
Plan Staff have a conflict of interest if they allow, or appear to allow, their personal or private interests, or the interests of their family, other relatives or associates, to affect their ability to perform their work for the Plan objectively, impartially and effectively.
The Plan defines an associate as:
- a corporation the Plan Staff member owns or controls shares in, directly or indirectly, when the shares represent more than 10% of the voting rights, or where the Plan Staff member has an employment relationship with the corporation,
- the Plan Staff member’s business partner who is acting on behalf of the Plan Staff member’s partnership, and
- a trust or estate the Plan Staff member has a beneficial interest in, or for which they serve as trustee or in a similar capacity.
Plan Staff have a conflict of interest if they’re:
- a party to a transaction or proposed transaction with the CAAT Pension Plan, or
- an employee, director or officer of an entity which is party to such a transaction or proposed transaction.
A transaction includes a contract, guarantee or investment.
In addition, Plan Staff probably have a conflict of interest if they’re in any way associated with or have a private economic interest in:
- any of the Plan’s transactions or proposed transactions, or
- a vendor, supplier or other organization the Plan does or plans to do business with.
Plan Staff probably in any event have a conflict of interest if they have a material interest in an entity or person the Plan is doing or considering doing business with. Plan Staff may have a material interest if:
- they’re related to the person or people being considered for a transaction,
- they’re related to employees of the entity that the Plan is considering for a transaction, or
- the person or entity the Plan is considering doing business with is the Plan Staff member’s associate.
The best way to judge whether Plan Staff have a material interest in an entity is for the Plan Staff members to ask themselves if a well-informed person would reasonably conclude that their interest in it could in any way influence their decision or performance in carrying out a duty on behalf of the CAAT Pension Plan.
Conflicts of interest are not always clear cut, and actions that give the appearance to be conflicts of interest can be just as damaging. The Plan expects Plan Staff to organize any private economic interests in a way that will:
- maintain public confidence and trust in the integrity and objectivity of the CAAT Pension Plan; and
- allow Plan Staff to identify, disclose, and, where reasonably possible, eliminate any real, direct or indirect, potential or perceived conflicts of interest.
Avoiding conflicts of interest
Plan Staff are required to apply their best effort, knowledge, skills, time and energy to carrying out their duties and responsibilities with the CAAT Pension Plan.
Plan Staff may not make use of their position at the CAAT Pension Plan in a manner that may create a conflict of interest or an appearance of conflict of interest between their personal interests and the interests of the CAAT Pension Plan.
For a Plan Staff member who is an employee of the Plan, this means that, in addition to the matters described above, they will not, without receiving authorization from the Chief Financial Officer:
- assume any other employment or consulting work while they are working for the Plan that may be construed as negatively affecting, competing with, or being in conflict with the Plan’s interests,
- engage in any other business or occupation,
- become involved in any project or activity that may be construed as negatively affecting, competing with, or being in conflict with the Plan’s interests, or
- become a director or officer of any other entity; the Plan defines an entity as a corporation, trust, partnership, fund or an unincorporated association or organization, including charitable and political organizations.
External Employment and Compensation
A Plan Staff member should seek approval from the CEO & Plan Manager or the Chief Financial Officer prior to accepting any employment or engagement outside of the Plan that would result in compensation being received while being employed by the Plan. Volunteer engagements or positions that do not result in compensation other than a reimbursement of expenses incurred are excluded. At no time should a Plan Staff member be compensated outside of the Plan for time they were paid to work for the Plan.
Engagements outside of the Plan with no compensation (e.g. volunteer work), may be accepted by Plan Staff except where there is an undue impact to the Plan Staff’s work or performance.
What to do if a Plan Staff member has a real, direct or indirect, potential or perceived conflict of interest
If a Plan Staff member has a real, direct or indirect, potential or perceived conflict of interest as described above, they cannot approve the transaction or participate in any discussions to approve it. The employee must notify the Chief Financial Officer as soon as possible about any real, direct or indirect, potential or perceived conflicts of interest.