Frequently Asked Questions – Conflict of interest

The following are frequently asked questions about conflict of interest (COI) at the Department of National Defence (DND) and in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). The answers in this section are meant to be a guide. Each disclosure will be reviwed on an individual basis.

What are the policies governing conflict of interest in the DND and the CAF?

The following Defence Administrative Orders and Directives (DAODs) are the policies regarding conflicts of interest:

In addition, civilian employees are subject to the provisions of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector.

What is a conflict of interest?

A conflict of interest (COI) is an activity or situation where your private interests inappropriately influence or give the impression of inappropriately influencing your official duties as a DND empployee or CAF member. A COI may be real, potential or apparent.

Is an apparent COI in itself a reason for having some restrictions imposed?

Yes. Even the appearance alone of a COI may require you to restrict certain activities.

Public institutions are subject to higher ethical and conflict-of-interest standards. An apparent conflict of interest between your private interests and your obligations as a public servant may have a negative impact on the integrity and impartiality of the public service. As a public official or CAF member you may be subjet to public scrutiny. It’s very important that your actions are held to a high ethical standard.

When and where do I submit a Confidential Report?

You’re required to submit a Confidential Report to the COI Section if you:

  • own a non exempt asset
  • practice an outside activity or employment
  • participate in political activities. This includes participation on election or re-election committees or being a volunteer for a political formation

See the conflict of interest page for assets or activities that require a Confidential Report.

Should I submit a new confidential report if, after having ceased my previously approved outside activity, I resume this activity? 

As long as there is no change to your outside activity or official duties, you’re not required to resubmit a report for an activity you previously reported and no COI was identified.

What is a delegated authority? 

A delegated authority is a director at National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) or a base Commanding Officer who you must get permission from prior to contracting. In certain cases related to contracting with the government, such as when occupying two positions paid out of the consolidated revenues fund, you are required to obtain permission from a delegated authority prior to contracting. See DCCS Directive 6004-12, Dual Remuneration.

For CAF members, in situations involving directorships in private-sector corporations, the delegated authority will be the Assistant Deputy Minister (Review Services) at NDHQ. See Queen’s Regulations and Orders 19.43 for more information.

Do Reservists need to submit a Confidential Report for outside employment?

Reservists on class A, B or C service who have outside employment are required to submit a Confidential Report to the COI Section at

Reservists in Class A are only required to submit a Confidential Report if they work in the defence industry and their rank could lead to a perception of preferential treatment.

Contact us

Defence Ethics Programme
National Headquarters (Carling)
3500 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
K2H 8G2


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