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Code of Conduct for Commission Members



Promote the Public Interest

The purpose of the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission is to set and enforce standards of conduct for the industry and business of industry members in order to promote the integrity of the industry and to protect consumers affected by the industry. In carrying out this mandate, Commission members should always seek to promote the public interest.


Integrity, Impartiality and Independence

Commission members should not be influenced by public opinion, partisan interest, fear or criticism. Commission members should uphold the principle of independence in decision making and should not be influenced by extraneous considerations.

While Commission members should maintain positive relationships and open communication with other organizations, as Commission members they are not representatives of these organizations. Commission members should approach each decision independently. They are under no obligation to represent their local boardís points of view.



Freedom from Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest is any interest, relationship, association or activity that is incompatible with the Commission memberís obligations to the Commission. A conflict of interest includes both financial and non-financial conflicts. Even the slightest impression of a conflict of interest can have a negative effect. Commission members should avoid any real or perceived conflicts of interest with regard to their work with the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission.

From time to time the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission members may encounter conflicts of interest when participating in the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission decision-making processes, as other professional or personal roles intersect. Potential areas where a conflict of interest may arise include:
  • recruitment of staff or contractors;
  • decisions to undertake projects or enter into partnerships; and
  • representing the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission in other forums.

In general, a conflict of interest can be said to arise if:
  • It is likely that the performance of a personís duties as a Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission member could be prejudicially influenced by that personís other interests (private, personal or professional), or that a reasonable person would believe that the person could be so influenced; or
  • If a personís participation in the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission could be prejudicially influenced by the interests of the organization the person is representing, or that a reasonable person would believe that the person could be so influenced.


The Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission expects that Commission members will be mindful of potential conflicts of interest (or the likely perception of a conflict), and declare a conflict of interest before it arises. Appropriate action can then be taken in consultation with colleagues. For instance, a Commission member will usually be expected to withdraw from or absent him/herself from discussion about particular issues if it presents a conflict of interest. Minutes of the meeting should note the conflict of interest and the relevant minutes are not to be forwarded to the member who has absented him/herself.

Section 7 of The Real Estate Regulations states:
"No member shall:
(a) engage in any business or private transaction for money or other consideration where knowledge of that transaction is gained by reason of the memberís position on the Commission;
(b) act in a manner, whether or not prohibited by the Act, these regulations or the bylaws, that may result in or create the appearance of:
(i) using his or her position for private gain;
(ii) giving preferential treatment to any person;
(iii) impeding the Commission from carrying out its purposes;
(iv) adversely affecting the memberís independence or impartiality; or
(v) adversely affecting the integrity of the Commission;
(c) (c) solicit, accept or receive a fee or other consideration for attending at or providing a speech, lecture or publication for an event for which he or she receives remuneration from the Commission."


Commission policy states: "A member of the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission shall be required to declare a conflict of interest whenever the Commission is discussing a matter that has personal and/or financial implications on the member.
  • The member may, at the request of the Commission, be required to leave the meeting while the matter is being discussed.
  • The member shall not attempt, in any way, whether before, during or after the meeting, to influence the voting on the matter.
  • The minutes of a meeting at which a conflict is declared, shall make note of the fact."


Commission members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with which situations could result in a real or perceived conflict of interest. If they have questions or concerns, they are encouraged to speak with the Executive Director/Registrar or the Chairperson.



Maintaining Confidentiality

The work carried out by the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission often requires confidentiality and Commission members are expected to abide by strict confidentiality rules. Any and all information they receive while acting as Commission members, from any source whatsoever, relating to:
  • the business and affairs of the Commission;
  • the business and affairs of all persons with whom the Commission may have dealings, and
  • all Commission staff, legal counsel or contractors
should be kept strictly confidential and should not be released without first having obtained the prior written consent of the Executive Director/Registrar. Commission members should not use confidential information for their own personal gain or to benefit persons or entities outside of the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission.

These provisions indefinitely survive the end of a personís term as a Commission member.



Collegial Responsibilities

Preparedness
Commission members have responsibility to the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission as a whole. Commission members should foster their professional competence and knowledge and perform their official duties and responsibilities fully and diligently by:
  • reading information distributed to Commission members and preparing for meetings and hearings in advance;
  • making the most of professional development courses and workshops offered to them; and
  • being aware of emerging issues and developments in the industry.
Commission members should make every effort to comply with the policies and procedures that have been established by the Commission and by relevant legislation.

Availability
Commission members owe each other, the Chairperson and the Commission as a whole a high degree of professionalism. Commission members are to make themselves available to the Chairperson on a timely basis when requested to do so. They should make themselves available to other Commission members for discussion and consultation, and in those discussions they should conduct themselves in a manner which demonstrates respect for othersí views and opinions.

Solidarity
Commission members should not comment negatively on a Commission decision or on another Commission memberís conduct during a meeting. When the Commission has made a decision on an issue, all Commission members should support that decision, act in solidarity, and not undermine any Commission policies or decisions. Commission members should not criticize Commission policies or procedures publicly, and if they wish to question a decision, they should raise the issue with the Chairperson or the Executive Director/Registrar.



Relationships with Commission Staff Members

Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission membersí relationships with the Commissionís Executive Director/Registrar and Commission staff members should be professional and honest at all times and Commission members should act with integrity and openness. Any work to be done by Commission staff should be directed through the Executive Director/Registrar.


Stakeholder Relations

Participation in Industry Events
Commission members are called upon to attend a number of industry functions, both as representatives of Commission and as industry members. When attending such events, Commission members should:
  • act in a professional and courteous manner;
  • respect the professional opinion of others;
  • avoid speaking ill of competitors;
  • hold confidential Commission matters in confidence;
  • avoid use of foul or abusive language; and
  • consume alcohol only to the extent that it is situationally appropriate and provided its use does not lead to impaired performance or inappropriate behaviour, endanger the safety of anyone or violate the law.


Participation in Committees
When asked to participate on a committee or ad hoc committee as a result of being a Commission member, Commission members should first seek the approval of the Commission or the Chairperson. Unless it is a Commission mandated activity, Commission members should avoid any activities that could be viewed as government lobbying, whether on their own personal business or on behalf of the Commission.

Statements to the Media and Public Officials
The Chairperson and Executive Director/Registrar are the official media spokespeople for the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission. Commission members should not speak to the media on behalf of the Commission unless authorized by the Chairperson or Executive Director/Registrar to do so. Furthermore, when appearing before a government body or contacting a public official, Commission members should not suggest that they are representing the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission unless they are specifically authorized to do so.

Concerns From Staff Members
If a staff member approaches a Commission member to discuss concerns within the office, the Commission member is asked to defer those concerns to be presented to the Executive Director/Registrar and that all Commission members and staff ensure that any concerns and/or comments be kept in the strictest of confidence and they should not be discussed in public.



Freedom from Harassment

The Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission is committed to providing a collegial working environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and with respect and dignity in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices.

Harassment Ė whether based on a personís gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, socioeconomic status or marital status Ė is contrary to the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commissionís commitment to providing a respectful, professional and dignified workplace.

Under no circumstances are Commission members to engage in behaviour which is known, or ought to be known, to be offensive or harassing. Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:
  • verbal abuse or threats;
  • unwelcome remarks or jokes;
  • displaying pornographic, racist or otherwise offensive or derogatory pictures or material; and
  • unwelcome invitations or requests.


Reporting of Unlawful or Unethical Behavior

Commission members should conduct the business and affairs of the Saskatchewan Real Estate Commission in a lawful and ethical manner and should not adversely affect the integrity of the Commission. Members should talk to the Chairperson when in doubt about the best course of action in a particular situation.


Accountability

Commission members are responsible to the Chairperson for adherence to this code. Commission members should inform the Chairperson if they become aware of an allegation of bias or conflict may be raised.

The Chairperson has the authority to interpret and enforce this code and Commission members are cautioned that failure to comply may result in the Chairpersonís recommendation to the Commission of the Commission member in questionís reprimand, sanction or resignation.



Spokesperson for the Commission

No Commission member, staff person, or group of members or persons, except the Chairperson or the Executive Director/Registrar shall represent or speak for as having the endorsement of the Commission.

Upon an affirmative vote of the majority of the Management Committee, the Management Committee, may between meetings of the Commission, take positions on issues related to license law or regulatory law matters. If such positions are publicized, they must clearly indicate that the position represents only the views of the Management Committee and the date on which the Commission members will review that position.

Any active Commission member may, at any time, petition the Management Committee or the Commission members as a whole to take a position on real estate license law and regulatory matters by making a written request reciting the position desired and the rationale for the position. Such written request shall be delivered to the Executive Director/Registrar who shall promptly distribute said request to the Commission members.