The fundamental feature of contemporary municipal conflict of interest rules everywhere including Atlantic Canada is that they are the result of legislation rather than the end product of judge-made law.
The Atlantic provinces' responses to conflict of interest issues and their enforcement mechanisms are a case in point.
CURRENT MECHANISMS OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST PREVENTION
Moreover, conflict of interest statutes are in effect from province to province.
While some provinces have enacted specific conflict of interest legislations, others have added in the general municipal statutes provisions dealing with conflict of interest.
There are basically two ways conflict of interest statutes may deal with the problem.
The disclosure approach to conflict of interest allows people with potentially conflicting interests to serve, provided they comply with disclosure and abstention.
32) Under the disclosure and abstention model, the evil to eradicate is not the conflict of interest itself, which is accepted as an unavoidable feature of the human experience, but rather the failure to disclose this conflict of interest and abstain from discussions and voting, which is deemed repulsive to democratic values.
An institution should have a definition of conflict of interest that reflects the goals it wants to achieve, so long as it is at least as inclusive as the definition in NSF's policy.
We investigated an allegation on conflict of interest in which a P1 was alleged to have hired her spouse to work on her NSF grant.
In practice, institutions vary as to how conflict of interest disclosures are made.
If the conflict of interest cannot be adequately managed, the institution may decide to decline the grant, withdraw the proposal, or require that the conflicted investigator be disqualified from participating in some decisions surrounding the grant, or even be completely recused from participating in the grant.
Since institutions review more than conflict of interest in the course of processing a grant proposal, more than one committee or individual may need to review the same materials.
NSF has procedures in place to address conflict of interest that might arise for either panel or ad hoc reviewers.
The rules for panel reviewers, who are special government employees, include disclosing certain conflict of interest concerning "potentially biasing affiliations or relationships" (NSF Form 1230P), including affiliations with an applicant institution, relationships with an investigator or anyone who has an interest in the proposal, and any financial interests related to the proposal, such as employment by the submitting institution or by a subcontractor on the proposal.