Accountability

Kinark’s Code of Conduct

Maintaining a Safe Environment for Serving Children, Youth and their Families.

Message from the Chief Executive Officer
Why A Code of Conduct matters.

Every individual at Kinark wants to work for an organization they feel proud to be part of.
The Code of Conduct complements Kinark’s Mission, Vision and Core Values by describing the behaviour we all expect of each other and that those we serve expect of us.

Kinark employees, volunteers and students come to work each day wanting to do their very best for our clients.

The Code of Conduct is organized around the following topics and in several cases examples have been included to help you interpret the application of the Code of Conduct to situations you might face in your position at Kinark:

  • workplace safety;
  • privacy and confidentiality;
  • sound business practices and
  • consultation and guidance.

It has been designed and intended to complement our existing policies and procedures, not replace nor supersede them.  To assist you in locating specific policies/procedures we have embedded key links within the document as appropriate.

If you have any questions or ideas for improvement I ask you to please share them with your manager, your Director, or myself.  I am confident that by working together, guided by our values and this Code of Conduct we can be an organization which is a model of integrity and excellence in serving our clients and communities.

Who This Code Applies To

This Code of Conduct applies to all of us working for Kinark – whether as an employee, student, volunteer or board director.

Our People

Supporting our core value that, “Every individual is entitled to be treated with respect and understanding”.  Kinark through it’s policies and procedures helps to ensure that both clients receiving service and staff delivering service feel valued, safe, and that they are progressing towards personal goals.

Inherent in this are keys of Workplace Safety, Privacy and Confidentiality, Sound Business Practices and Consultation and Guidance

Our Obligations Under the Code

Before anyone is engaged by Kinark, they will be asked to read this Code of Conduct and to acknowledge in writing that they will abide by its contents. Thereafter, they will be expected to abide by the Code and, annually, to confirm in writing that they have done so.

We are also expected to assist our colleagues at Kinark by bringing to their attention instances where we feel their actions may contravene the Code of Conduct. In cases where these actions continue, we must bring the matter to the attention of our supervisor, or others as further described on page five. This is also the course of action we must follow if we are concerned that our own actions may have contravened the Code.

Workplace Safety

One of Kinark’s core values is that mental health is as important as physical health. Workplace safety extends beyond physical safety and security to include emotional and intellectual safety, for example freedom from workplace discrimination or harassment.

Providing a safe work environment is particularly important for Kinark’s clients and those working with them. Kinark’s clients are often in vulnerable circumstances and this can lead to staff and volunteers facing unique workplace safety issues.  It is our mutual responsibility to create and maintain a safe working environment for both our clients and staff.

If you require a copy of Kinark’s Health and Safety Manual please contact Human Resources via email at HR@kinark.on.ca

Physical Safety and Health

Kinark is responsible for its employees’, volunteers’ and students’ health and safety and is committed to the prevention of occupational illness and injury by providing a safe and healthy workplace. This commitment to a safe and healthy workplace extends equally to Kinark’s clients.

We provide and maintain a safe and healthy work environment through the application of acceptable industry practices and compliance with legislative requirements. Every employee, regardless of position, and every volunteer, has a responsibility to work in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, prescribed regulations and agency policies and procedures.

Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying, Intimidation and Violence

Kinark deals respectfully with clients and colleagues of all cultures, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and faiths and religions, in a manner that recognizes, affirms and values the worth of individuals, families and communities, and protects and preserves the dignity of each.

Kinark will not tolerate workplace discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation or violence of any kind involving staff, clients, volunteers or students.
See Appendix A

Drugs and Alcohol

While engaged in any service activity related to Kinark or its clients, employees, students, and volunteers must not be in possession of, or under the influence of, or provide others with, alcohol or illegal drugs.

Additionally, even where medications are otherwise legal or have been prescribed to a Kinark employee, student, or volunteer they should monitor the impact of these medications and suspend any activities on behalf of Kinark should any impairment of judgment become apparent.

Privacy and Confidentiality

Client Information: Privacy and Confidentiality
Clients entrust us with highly sensitive and confidential personal information.  Respecting clients’ rights to confidentiality is of utmost importance in all our work.

Confidential information will only be released with the informed consent of the young person, parent or other person vested with authority, in accordance with Kinark policy and all legal requirements.

These confidentiality requirements are not limited by the employment relationship and thus must be respected even after the employment relationship has ended.

If there is any doubt regarding confidentiality and disclosure of information, Staff should consult their supervisor or Kinark’s Privacy Officer.

Media Relations

Media enquiries should be directed to the Communications Department. Kinark employees, students and volunteers should not provide any information or commentary to the media without the specific authorization of the Chief Executive Officer.

Requests from the media for information regarding a client must be referred to the Chief Executive Officer or designate.

Personal Use of Kinark’s Technology

For those employees who have been given access to the Internet from their company assigned notebook computer, or from within Kinark’s internal systems, occasional use of the internet and email for personal business outside of working hours is acceptable if it does not interfere with individual productivity or the company’s business. Frivolous use of email facilities, such as the transmission of chain-letters, will not be tolerated. Solicitation of non-company business or any use of the company Internet and email resources for personal commercial gain, is prohibited.

Employees must not use their business email address to register on-line for any personal business including personal newsletters, membership to any personal group or forum or chat room.
See Appendix E

Be careful what you do and say.  Remember that you are a representative of your agency, in all of your dealings with clients, families, other professionals and peers.

Client Complaint Procedure

There may be situations in which a young person or member of his or her family is dissatisfied with the service provided by Kinark.

As part of Kinark’s commitment to advocacy on behalf of young people and their families, complaint procedures are available to all clients.

The client should be encouraged to discuss his/her concern or complaint with the staff most directly involved with him or her and every effort should be made to resolve the concern at this level. If resolution cannot be reached, or the client is not comfortable with discussing the issue directly, the matter may be directed to the next supervisory level.
See Appendix F

Conflicts of Interest – Other Employment

Kinark understands that some employees may wish to consider private practice, or employment or volunteer opportunities in the social service, education, or health service sectors while employed at Kinark.

It is the responsibility of all employees to declare to Kinark any potential conflict of interest.

Kinark, through the Vice-President, HR in consultation with the Chief Executive Officer will consider each conflict or potential conflict on a case-by-case basis. This will be done while taking into consideration the best interests of Kinark and its clients. Efforts will be made to co-operate with employees in dealing with any problems that may arise. All disclosures will be treated as confidential between the employees involved and the supervisor, Vice-President, HR Services, Chief Executive Officer, and the Board of Directors.

All applications for consideration of a conflict of interest situation must be submitted before proceeding with either employment or volunteer opportunities outside of the current Kinark employment relationship.

Conflicts of Interest – Relationships with Clients

Kinark employees may use Kinark services, as long as no preferential treatment is given or perceived to be given to children of employees.
Kinark will not employ relatives of current clients or relatives of clients who have received service less than five years prior to applying for work with Kinark.
Kinark will not hire current clients.
Kinark employees do not take Kinark clients to their homes.
Kinark employees do not socialize with Kinark clients.

Conflict of Interest and Professional Ethics

See Appendix G

Workplace Fraud

Kinark employees, volunteers and students must immediately report to the Chief Executive Officer any questionable conduct including, but not limited to professional misconduct, fraud or dishonesty.
See Appendix H

Perquisites Policy

Policy Statement:

Kinark Personnel will follow the requirements set out in the Broader Public Sector Perquisites Directive, which is based on the principles of accountability, transparency, and value for money:

  • Accountability – Kinark is responsible for the use of public funds; all expenditures support business objectives
  • Transparency – Kinark is transparent to all stakeholders. The rules for perquisites are clear and easily understood
  • Value for Money – Kinark uses taxpayer’s money prudently and responsibly

This policy does not apply to:

  • Provisions of collective agreements
  • Insured benefits
  • Health and safety requirements
  • Employment accommodations made for human rights or accessibility considerations

Purpose Statement:

To set out requirements under the BPS Perquisites Directive to establish rules which apply to personnel and Board members of Kinark.

Non-Allowable Perquisites

The following perquisites will not be allowed under any circumstances:

  • Club memberships for personal recreation or socializing purposes, such as fitness clubs, golf clubs or social clubs
  • Tickets to cultural or sporting events
  • Clothing allowance not related to health and safety or special job requirements
  • Access to private health clinics and medical services outside those provided by the provincial health care system or by Kinark’s group insured benefit plans
  • Professional advisory services for personal matters, such as tax or estate planning

These perquisites may not be provided by any means, including offer of employment letters, employment contracts or as a reimbursement of expense.

Allowable Perquisites

A perquisite is allowable only in limited and exceptional circumstances where it is demonstrated to be a business related requirement for the effective performance of an individual’s job. Only the President and CEO can approve allowable perquisites for Kinark Personnel and only the Board of Directors can approve allowable perquisites for the President and CEO. Special attention must also be paid to potential conflicts of interest as outlined in the Code of Conduct.

Employees of Kinark may accept non-monetary, tokens of favour of a nominal value as part of ongoing business relationships, e.g., in recognition of service on a committee or for speaking at an event such as a conference. Gifts and favours of a nominal value includes but is not limited to promotional items such as key chains, caps, water bottles, and coffee mugs.

Accountability and Governance

The President and CEO must be consulted if there is any question regarding whether a benefit is subject to the provisions of this policy.

Good record keeping practices will be maintained for verification and audit purposes.

Definitions: Kinark Personnel: Kinark employees, students, volunteers, and third-party contracted personnel.
References: Broader Public Sector Perquisites Directive

Travel, Meals, Accommodation and Hospitality

 

Travel, Meal, Accommodation, and Hospitality

Policy Statement:

Kinark Personnel and Board Members will comply with the Broader Public Sector (BPS) Expenses Directive and the Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive in the submission of expenses undertaken to fulfill the duties and objectives of the Agency. This policy is based on four key principles:

Accountability – Kinark is accountable for the use of public funds used to reimburse travel, meal, accommodation, and hospitality expenses. All expenses must be work-related and support the objectives of the Agency.

Transparency – Kinark is transparent to all stakeholders. The rules for incurring and reimbursing travel, meal, accommodation, and hospitality expenses are clear and easily understood. These rules will be posted on Kinark’s public website.

Value for Money – Kinark uses tax payers’ dollars prudently and responsibly. Plans for travel, meal, accommodation, and hospitality are necessary and economical with due regard for health and safety.

Fairness – Kinark reimburses eligible, authorized expenses that are incurred during the course of business and are supported by legitimate third-party documentation.

Purpose Statement:

  • To establish principles, rules, and the process for the reimbursement of travel, meal, accommodation and hospitality expenses for all Kinark Personnel, including volunteers, consultants, contractors, and Board of Directors
  • To provide a framework of accountability which guides the effective oversight of Kinark’s resources in the reimbursement of expenses
  • To ensure fair, reasonable, and transparent practices

Procedure:

Scope:

These procedures meet the requirements of the Broader Public Sector Expenses Directive as issued by the Ontario Management Board of Cabinet for establishing expense rules where expenses are reimbursed from public funds.

The expense rules in this policy apply to the following individuals making an expense claim, including the following:

  • Kinark Board of Directors
  • Kinark Personnel: Kinark part-time, full-time, contracted staff, volunteers, students, interns, and third-party contracted personnel
  • Consultants and Contractors engaged by Kinark, providing consulting or other services

Eligible Items for Reimbursement:

As a guideline, the following expenses are considered business expenses, and are therefore reimbursable when incurred over the course of undertaking Kinark business:

  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Mileage
  • Parking
  • Repairs and Maintenance of Agency owned vehicles
  • Taxi, Rail, Bus, and Air Travel
  • Toll Roads
  • Training/Education (pre-approval required)
  • Communications (e.g., courier, fax, postage, telephone charges to conduct Agency business)

Any reasonable expenses incurred by Kinark Personnel for other items required to conduct Agency business, not included in the above categories, will be reimbursed following verification and approval by the Kinark Personnel’s Supervisor/Manager.

The Business Expense Claim Form must be completed, signed with itemized receipts attached and submitted to your immediate supervisor/manager for approval.  Upon approval, the business expense claim form is submitted to the program administrative assistants or the Finance Department.  Expense claims without the required supporting documentation may be denied.  The Missing Receipt Declaration Form should be completed in situations where the receipt has been lost or not available.  Principles to guide managerial discretion are trust, flexibility, and stewardship. The rationale for an exception must be documented and submitted with the claim.

Travel Expenses

Board Members and Kinark Personnel will be reimbursed for the most direct and economical mode of travel available, considering all the circumstances. Kinark Personnel will not be reimbursed for any additional costs incurred by taking indirect routes of making stopovers for personal reasons. Trip cancellation insurance is eligible for reimbursement.

Driving Personal Vehicle and Mileage Reimbursement

Use of a personal vehicle by Board Members and Kinark Personnel for Kinark-related travel will be reimbursed by way of an all-inclusive mileage allowance. Travel between Kinark Personnel’s permanent residence and home office as part of their regular commute will be excluded from reimbursement, however, if additional travel to other sites or meetings is required, that mileage is eligible for reimbursement.

Each Kinark Personnel has a designated ‘primary office’ upon hire. When travelling directly from home to an alternate destination for agency business, mileage should be calculated from the primary office to the alternate destination(s), unless the distance from home to the alternate destination is shorter.

Expense claims must be submitted with mileage rates calculated in kilometers. The current reimbursement rate is 45 cents per kilometer ($0.45/km) when using a personal vehicle for Agency business.  The rates will be revised from time to time, based on inflation and fuel costs. Board Members and volunteers should calculate kilometers from their home to the destination attended for Kinark-related involvement/events.

The Agency assumes no fiscal or legal responsibility for personal vehicles. Refer to the Job Recruitment and Orientation policy and procedures regarding expectations about required insurance coverage by Kinark Personnel.

Traffic violations and parking fines are the responsibility of the Kinark Personnel who was in charge of the vehicle at the time the fine was incurred

Parking and Tolls

Reimbursement is provided for necessary and reasonable expenditures on parking, tolls for bridges, ferries, and highways when driving for Agency business. Only applicable toll fees (including the 407 ETR trip toll charge of $1.00 per 407 trip) will be reimbursed. Transponder costs and video charges are not eligible for reimbursement. However, these expenses incurred in as part of a regular commute to work will not be reimbursed.

Taxis and Public Transit Use

Taxis may be justified in cases where group travel by taxi is more economical than the total cost of having individuals travel separately by public transit, or, if taking a taxi allows you to meet an unusually tight schedule for meetings. Kinark will not reimburse for commuting to work by own vehicle, taxi or by public transportation. Taxis used to commute to work or home are only reimbursable under exceptional circumstances; for instance, if weather, health, or safety conditions indicated it is the most appropriate option, or if transport of work-related baggage or parcels is required. Local public transportation should be used whenever possible.

Train and Airplane Transportation

Air travel is permitted if it is the most practical and economical way to travel. Economy (coach) class is the standard option for ticket purchase. Out of country travel must have prior approval by the President and CEO. Kinark Personnel will not be reimbursed for seat upgrades in train and airplane travel.

Travel by train is permitted when it is the most practical and economical way to travel. A coach class economy fare is the standard.

Accommodation Expenses

In the normal conduct of business, reimbursement for overnight accommodation within your office area will be neither authorized nor approved. However, in emergency or highly unusual situations, exceptions will be considered. Examples of this may include: if you are required to remain close to your office for periods long more than your standard working hours, or if your services are deemed necessary and approved accordingly for the purposes of emergency or crisis management.

Board Members and Kinark Personnel will be reimbursed for moderate accommodation expenses, considering all circumstances and current market prices.

There will be no reimbursement for hotel suites, executive floors, or concierge services when travelling; reimbursement will be made for a standard room only. Board Members and Kinark Personnel will not be reimbursed for items of a personal nature charged to a hotel account (see Non-Allowable Expenses section).  Penalties incurred for non-cancellation of guaranteed hotel reservations are the claimant’s responsibility and may be reimbursed only in an exceptional circumstance.

Meals

Kinark Personnel may incur a meal expense when on Kinark business and away from the office area (i.e., at least 24 km) over a normal meal period, or, have obtained prior approval for the expense (e.g., a business meeting within the office area that must occur over lunch).  No alcoholic beverages will be reimbursed.

Meal expenses will be reimbursed at the established meal reimbursement rates. Taxes and gratuities (up to a reasonable amount – a maximum of 20%) are included in the meal reimbursement rates. Meals must be purchased to be able to submit a claim for reimbursement to a maximum amount as identified in the chart below (subject to the Supervisor’s/Manger’s approval, with original itemized receipts provided). When Kinark Personnel dine together while on Kinark business, it is appropriate for the most senior person to arrange payment and submit the claim for reimbursement. When groups of people are part of the request for reimbursement then a list of attendees covered by the claim must be identified.

In limited and exceptional circumstances (e.g., health considerations, limited options available) where a meal expense is higher than the meal reimbursement rate, the actual cost of the meal may be reimbursed. The claim for meal reimbursement must be accompanied by an original itemized receipt and a written rationale for exceeding the rate. A credit card slip is not sufficient. Approval is subject to managerial discretion.

Reimbursement will not be provided for meals consumed at home or included in the cost of transportation, accommodation, seminars, conferences or other agency business. If you travel as a regular part of your job, your meals will not be normally reimbursed unless you have obtained prior approval.  The maximum rate per meal to be reimbursed is identified in the following chart (individual meal rates cannot be combined for a daily meal allowance):

Meal Type Reimbursement Rate
Breakfast $15.00
Lunch $20.00
Dinner $25.00

 

Training, Education, and Conferences

Reasonable expenses incurred by Kinark Personnel for conferences, seminars, trainings, or workshops that are business-related will be reimbursed. Refer to the Job Performance and Development policy and procedure for more information.

Hospitality

In accordance with the BPS Expense Directive, hospitality is the provision of food, beverage, accommodation, transportation, and other amenities paid out of public funds to people who are not engaged to work for Kinark, designated BPS organizations (i.e. those covered by this directive), and the Ontario government.

Occasionally, Kinark may offer hospitality to external parties to further its business objectives. They should be work related, extended in an economical, consistent and appropriate manner that is balanced against the type and number of guests attending, the business purpose to be achieved, efficiency of operations and health and safety.

Board Members and Kinark Personnel will be reimbursed for hospitality expenses incurred while conducting Kinark business, as appropriate. Appropriate hospitality charges include events hosted or sponsored for promoting Kinark’s work or enhancing its image and include meals that are related to the transaction of Kinark business.

The conditions under which hospitality will be extended on behalf of the Kinark include, but are not limited to:

  • Meetings with external business associates/contacts to further the Kinark’s goals and mission
  • Public openings or ceremonies
  • Hosting visitors to Ontario, Canada, and members of national or international organizations with child and youth mental health, forensic mental health/youth justice and/or autism interests/affiliations
  • Recognition events for clients, parents/guardians, and volunteers
  • Public relations events

Expenses that do not fit the definition of government hospitality will not be reimbursed. Internal activities involving solely Kinark Personnel are not considered reimbursable hospitality expenses.

Some examples of such expenses include: office social events, retirement parties and holiday lunches.

Cash Advances

A cash advance for major purchases may be made to Kinark Personnel whenever the facility for payment on account is not available to either the Kinark Personnel or the Agency.  Prior approval of the Supervisor/Manager, identification of the cost centre and completion of the Employee Advance Declaration Form are required before a cash advance will be made. Cash advances will be deducted from the gross expense claim form submitted by Kinark Personnel.

The Business Manager/Finance Department will maintain a record of all cash advances and review outstanding cash advances prior to each month-end.   The cash advance will be recovered within five working days from the date of purchase transaction or return of Kinark Personnel from travel.  Cash Advances are not only for travel but used for purchases for clients where the Kinark Personnel does not readily know the expense amount and cannot afford a later reimbursement’s.

Non-Eligible Items for Reimbursement

The following expenses are considered personal, and therefore are not reimbursable:

  • Alcohol
  • Use of a private sedan or limousine service
  • Entertainment, including but not limited to, pay TV, movies, mini-bar expenses, cigarettes, airline headsets, magazines, newspapers
  • Charges for changes made to flight arrangements, unless prior approval has been received by Kinark
  • Costs associated with family/spousal travel
  • Sports facilities and recreational expenses
  • Laundry
  • Parking or traffic violations and other expenses related to unlawful conduct
  • Interest charges and late fees on credit cards
  • Expenses claimed by Kinark Personnel as a tax deduction
  • Expenses normally recoverable from a Third-Party
  • Claims for purchases that are required to be made under an Agency purchase order
  • Unauthorized expenses
  • Other types of expenses that are deemed unnecessary or unreasonable and do not contribute nor relate to business operations

Expenses for Consultants and Other Contractors

Consultants should seek reimbursement only for expenses explicitly agreed by the consultant and Kinark, as detailed in the consultant’s contract. In no circumstances, can hospitality, incidental, or food expenses be considered allowable expenses for consultants and contractors under the policy or in any contract between Kinark and a consultant contractor. Examples of non-allowable expenses include:

  • Meals, snacks, or beverages
  • Gratuities
  • Laundry/Dry Cleaning
  • Valet services
  • Transportation-related expenses

No consultant lobbyist may work for Kinark and be paid from public funds.

Accountability Framework Responsibilities

Claimants are responsible for ensuring that:

  • The most cost effective, operationally efficient, and safe method of manner of travel is used unless their Supervisor/Manager grants an exception. Where a number of Kinark Personnel are attending the same function, shared travel should be considered
  • Alternatives to travel such as teleconferencing, video conferencing, WebEx etc., are considered
  • Original, itemized receipts detailing the expenses incurred are submitted for all claims (credit card or debit card only slips are not sufficient) using the Business Expense Claim Form. If there is not an itemized receipt, a Missing Receipt Declaration Form must be completed
  • All appropriate approvals by a Manager/Supervisor at least one level higher are obtained before incurring expenses and after the Business Expense Claim Form is completed
  • Expense claims are submitted in a timely manner and ideally, on a monthly basis
  • The Employee Advance Declaration Form is completed in situations where a cash advance is required

Approvers are responsible for ensuring that:

  • Expense forms are reviewed and approved in accordance with this policy and procedure
  • All appropriate documentation and original itemized receipts are included, and the Business Expense Claim Form is complete
  • Kinark Personnel are aware that they cannot approve their own expenses and that their immediate Supervisor/Manager approve the claim
  • Approvers cannot approve their own expense reimbursements and seek approval from their direct Supervisor
  • Written approval from the President and CEO is obtained for hospitality events
  • Breaches of this policy and procedures are managed appropriately

The Finance Department is responsible for ensuring that:

  • The record keeping practices for verification and auditing are followed
  • Compliance with this policy and procedure is monitored and appropriate action is taken when necessary

The Chief Administrative Officer is responsible for ensuring that:

  • This policy and procedure are publicly accessible on the Agency website
  • The Agency’s adherence to the Broader Public Sector Expenses Directive is monitored

Note: Where overpayment is made to a claimant, it is considered a debt owing to the Agency and must be repaid.

Definitions: Approver: Person with the authority to make approvals under the BPS Expense Directive; for Kinark it is the Manager/Supervisor.

 

Consultants and Contractors: Individuals or entities under contract to Kinark providing consulting or other services.

 

Hospitality Event: Events attended by persons other than Kinark Personnel.

 

Itemized Receipt: Original document identifying the vendor with the date and amount of each expense item paid by the claimant.

 

Kinark Personnel: Kinark employees, students, volunteers, and third-party contracted personnel.

References: Broader Public Sector (BPS) Expenses Directive 

Job Recruitment and Orientation

Forms: Business Expense Claim Form

Accommodation and Flight Request Form

Cheque Requisition for Educational Events

Education Request Form

Tuition Reimbursement Pre-Approval Form

Missing Receipt Declaration Form

Employee Advance Declaration

Procurement Policy

Policy Statement:

Kinark is committed to ensuring that publicly funded goods and services are acquired through a process that is open, fair and transparent by following the Broader Public Sector Procurement Directive (BPS).

Purpose Statement:

  • To maximize value for money in the acquisition of goods and services through a process that is open, fair, and transparent
  • To ensure compliance with the BPS requirements and guiding principles of accountability, transparency, value for money, quality service delivery, and process standardization given Kinark is a recipient of Ontario government funding

SUPPLY CHAIN CODE OF ETHICS

Kinark has formally adopted the Ontario Broader Public Sector Supply Chain Code of Ethics.

Ontario Broader Public Sector

Supply Chain Code of Ethics

Goal: To ensure an ethical, professional and accountable BPS supply chain.

  1. Personal Integrity and Professionalism

All individuals involved with purchasing or other supply chain-related activities must act, and be seen to act, with integrity and professionalism. Honesty, care and due diligence must be integral to all supply chain activities within and between BPS organizations, suppliers and other stakeholders. Respect must be demonstrated for each other and for the environment. Confidential information must be safeguarded. All participants must not engage in any activity that may create, or appear to create, a conflict of interest, such as accepting gifts or favors, providing preferential treatment, or publicly endorsing suppliers or products.

  1. Accountability and Transparency

Supply chain activities must be open and accountable. In particular, contracting and purchasing activities must be fair, transparent and conducted with a view to obtaining the best value for public money. All participants must ensure that public sector resources are used in a responsible, efficient and effective manner.

  1. Compliance and Continuous Improvement

All individuals involved in purchasing or other supply chain-related activities must comply with this Code of Ethics and the laws of Canada and Ontario. All individuals should continuously work to improve supply chain policies and procedures, to improve their supply chain knowledge and skill levels, and to share leading practices.

Guiding Principles

In purchasing goods and services, Kinark will abide by the following principles as outlined in the BPS:

  • Accountability: Organizations must be accountable for the results of their procurement decisions and the appropriateness of the processes
  • Transparency: Organizations must be transparent to all stakeholders. Wherever possible, stakeholders must have equal access to information on procurement opportunities, processes and results
  • Value for Money: Organizations must maximize the value they receive from the use of public funds. A value-for-money approach aims to deliver goods and services at the optimum total lifecycle cost
  • Quality Service Delivery: Front-line services provided by Organizations, such as teaching and patient care, must receive the right product, at the right time, in the right place
  • Process Standardization: Standardized processes remove inefficiencies and create a level playing field

Scope

These procedures meet the requirements of the Broader Public Sector Procurement Directive (issued by the Ontario Management Board of Cabinet), which establish rules for acquiring publicly funded goods and services through an open, fair, and transparent process.  It applies to all goods, construction, and services, including but not limited to Information Technology (IT) and consulting services acquired by Kinark.

Exceptions & Exemptions

Licensed Professional and Specific Services for Kinark clients are exempt from this policy and procedure (Refer to Appendix “A” for more details).  Where Kinark has relied on an exception or exemption to this policy, the rationale for the exception or exemption must be formally documented. Kinark must demonstrate:

  • The rationale for selection of the particular supplier over available suppliers
  • How fees charged are commensurate with services being procured

Exemptions and exceptions relate to the procurement of the goods/or services only.  All other requirements of the policy/procedures apply, including documentation, contract management, supplier management, etc.

Conflict of Interest

Consistent with the Supply Chain Code of Ethics, the Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers will not engage in any activity that may create, or appear to create, a conflict of interest. During the procurement process, all direct relationships between participating individuals and supplier organizations must be fully disclosed.

Kinark will monitor any conflicts of interests that may arise as a result of Personnel, advisors, external consultants, or supplier’s involvement with the Supply Chain of Activities. Kinark Personnel who are involved with Supply Chain Activities must declare actual or potential conflicts of interest. When a conflict of interest arises, it must be evaluated and an appropriate mitigating action must be taken.

The Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers will take the following steps to monitor any conflict of interest may arise during the procurement process:

  • Be aware of situations or circumstances that may create a conflict of interest
  • Actual or potential conflicts of interest must be declared
  • The Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers reserves the right to disqualify prospective suppliers or terminate an agreement due to failure to disclose or resolve a conflict of interest
  • The Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers requires suppliers to avoid any conflict of interest during the performance of the contract
  • Evaluation team members must sign the conflict of interest declaration and non-disclosure agreement before each evaluation
  • When a conflict of interest arises, the Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers will evaluate the situation and take appropriate mitigating action

Situations that may result in a conflict of interest:

  • Accepting gifts or favours from suppliers or consultants or providing preferential treatment to suppliers or consultants
  • Staff relationships that may affect, or may be perceived as affecting, objectivity in the procurement process
  • Providing assistance or advice to a supplier during the competitive process, thereby creating an unfair advantage
  • Having an ownership, investment interest or compensation arrangement with any entity participating in the competitive process
  • Having access to confidential information that may affect or be perceived as affecting objectivity or judgment

The terms of agreement must preclude any consultant retained to develop the competitive procurement documents from participating in the competition.

Segregation of Duties

The Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers will segregate at least three of the five procurement roles: budgeting, commitment, requisitioning, receipt, and payment. Responsibilities for these functions lie with different departments or at a minimum with different individuals:

Roles Explanation Who
Requisition Authorization to place an order Business/ Functional Managers/ Supervisors (end user) requesting the product or service
Budget Authorize that funding is available to cover the cost of the order Program or Functional Director, Executive Team member, President and CEO – Departmental budget holder
Commitment Authorize release of the order to the supplier under agreed-upon contract terms Procurement Officer – Purchasing role in the procurement department
Receipt Authorize that the order was physically received, correct and complete Supervisors/ Business /Functional Managers – Individual receiving the goods
Payment Authorize release of payment to the supplier Accounts Payable

 

Signing Authority

Prior to commencement, any procurement of goods and non-consulting services must be approved by an appropriate authority.

Prior to commencement, any non-competitive procurement of goods or non-consulting services must be approved by an authority one level higher than the Approval Authority Matrix for competitive procurement.

Prior to commencement, any procurement of consulting services must be approved in accordance with BPS principles.

Thresholds and Procurement Requirements: Consulting and Goods/Non-Consulting Services Approval Authority

The method used to procure goods and non-consulting services is determined by the procurement value (procurement value does not include taxes).

Kinark will establish an Approval Authority Matrix for procurement of goods and non-consulting services. The AAS must identify authorities that are allowed to approve procurements for different dollar thresholds (See Appendix A: Approval Authority Matrix).

The Board of Directors must approve the AAS. Prior to commencement, any procurement of goods and non-consulting services must be approved by an appropriate authority in accordance with the AAS. Prior to commencement, an authority one level high than the AAS requirements for competitive procurement must approve any non-competitive procurement of goods or non-consulting service.

Procurement Requirements: Consulting Services

Consulting services must be obtained through a competitive procurement process; irrespective of value. The Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers may use either invitational or open procurement for consulting services valued at less than $100,000. Consulting services more than $100,000 must be obtained through the open competitive process. In circumstances where consulting services cannot be obtained through competitive procurement, supporting documentation must be completed and approved. See Exemptions and Exceptions from Competitive Procurements Requirements below for additional detail.

Procurement Planning

Whenever possible, the Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers will plan ahead for annual procurement requirements as well as individual procurement activities. When the Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers have incomplete information about the required goods or services or where they lack information about the ability of the market to deliver goods or services, they may enter into a formal information gathering process. Information collected during this process allows staff to clearly define procurement requirements and plan a cost-effective and fair procurement process. This section identifies the methods that can be used to identify the presence of qualified and /or interested suppliers.

Request for Information (RFI)/ Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI)

The purpose of an RFI is to gather general supplier, or product information. This mechanism may be used when the Procurement Officer is researching a contemplated procurement and has not yet determined what characteristics the ideal solution would need.

Responses to RFI questions normally contribute to the final version of a subsequent RFP and may include targeted questions about leading practices, recommendations, expertise, risks and additional questions from suppliers

An RFEI focuses on supplier interest in the opportunity or information about supplier capabilities or qualifications. The RFEI may be used to clarify the ability of the supplier community to provide the necessary services or solutions.

An RFI be used for information gathering purposes only. In order to reach the largest number of potential suppliers, the Procurement Officer will post any RFI/ RFEI through common electronic tendering methods.

An RFI /RFEI must not:

  • Contain means of evaluating or comparing the collected information
  • Influence the awarding of work
  • Be used to pre-qualify potential suppliers
  • Require supplies to provide proprietary information

RFI and RFEI do not pre-qualify potential suppliers and must not influence their chances of being a successful supplier on any subsequent opportunity.

Any resulting competitive procurement process will be issued in accordance with this procedure.

Request for Supplier Qualifications (RFSQ)

The purpose of an RFSQ is to gather information on supplier capabilities and qualifications, with the intention of creating a list of pre-qualified suppliers.

An RFSQ can be used for the purpose of a single procurement. This creates a two-step procurement process:

  • Pre-qualify suppliers through an RFSQ
  • Invite only qualified supplier to respond to an RFP/RFT or RFQ

This can make the evaluation process more manageable by reducing the number of responses to the RFP.

An RFSQ can also be used to pre-qualify suppliers who are interested in supplying goods or services in the future — if, as and when requested. A Vendor of Record (VOR) arrangement is usually created as a result.

An RFSQ document should specify:

  • The type and specification of goods or services
  • Upper limits to the value of future awards (for VOR arrangement – the ceiling price)
  • The time duration the list is to be valid, the method(s) by which qualified suppliers can be placed on the list, and at what specific intervals opportunities for qualification will arise
  • That suppliers who do not participate in the pre-qualification or do not appear on the list may be excluded from opportunities

The RFSQ must contain specific language to disclaim any obligation to actually call on any supplier as a result of the pre-qualification to supply such goods or services.

Vendors of Record

The Procurement Officer may use the VOR arrangements established by the Ontario Ministry of Government Services (MGS) or establish their own VOR arrangements.

A list of MGS-established VOR arrangements is published at www.doingbusiness.mgs.gov.on.ca . Kinark must register on the MGS website as a buyer and follow the VOR User Guide when using the MGS list.

The Procurement Officer may also establish VOR arrangements for the supply of a certain category of goods, services or construction. Other organizations cannot use the VOR arrangements established by Kinark. If necessary, Kinark may participate in multi- organizational VOR arrangements that may be established where there is an identified need for a common category of goods or services.

A VOR arrangement may be established only through an open and competitive procurement process and requires appropriate approval authority.

A VOR arrangement requires a second-stage selection process. Given that an open competition has already occurred to establish all VOR arrangements, the second-stage selection process represents the invitational competitive procurement process. Given that suppliers have been pre-qualified on the ability to deliver the goods and services, the selection process is concerned only with the particular goods or services to be procured, including the specific needs and issues for a particular assignment or project, such as contract price, the resources to be assigned, availability and timelines to complete the assignment or project.

The number of suppliers to be invited to submit bids based on the dollar value of procurement is noted in the chart below.

Procurement Value Minimum number of suppliers to be invited to the second-stage selection
$0 up to but not including $25,000 1
$25,000 up to but not including $100,000 3
$100,000 up to but not including $250,000 5
$250,000 up to VOR ceiling price 7
More than the VOR ceiling price                     Open competitive procurement

Where the second stage of the selection process warrants invitation of only one supplier to submit a proposal, the Procurement Officer will evenly distribute individual procurement opportunities over time between the suppliers, whenever feasible.

Exemptions and Exceptions from Competitive Procurements Requirements

Kinark will employ a competitive procurement process to achieve optimum value for money. It is recognized however that certain circumstances and activities may require Kinark to use non-competitive procurement. The circumstances and activities that will be excluded from the competitive procurement requirements of this policy are noted below. These exceptions are generally consistent with the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) or other trade agreements.

 

The exception is for a non-competitive procurement of the good or service that falls within the categories listed, and is not an exemption with respect to the administration, documentation, contract management, or other requirement of this policy and procedure.

 

Licensed Professional and Specific Services for Kinark Clients

The procurement of services from licensed professionals including medical doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, psychologists, lawyers, accountants, and architects are exempted from competitive procurement requirements.

 

Non-Application of Trade Agreements

As of April 1, 2011, the following non-application clauses of the AIT exempt Kinark from using the competitive procurement process. Kinark is required to comply with any amendments to the AIT.

  • Procurement of goods intended for resale to the public
  • Contracts with a public body or a non-profit organization
  • Procurement of goods and services purchased on behalf of an entity that is out of scope of the BPS Procurement Directive
  • Procurement from philanthropic institutions, prison labour, or persons with disabilities
  • Procurement of any goods the inter-provincial movement of which is restricted by laws not inconsistent with the trade agreements
  • Procurement of goods and services that is financed primarily from donations that are subject to conditions that are inconsistent with the BPS Procurement Directive
  • Procurement of goods and services related to cultural or artistic fields and computer software for educational purposes
  • Procurement of services that in Ontario may, by legislation or regulation, be provided only by any of the following licensed professionals: medical doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, veterinarians, engineers, land surveyors, architects, accountants, lawyers, and notaries
  • Procurement of services of financial analysts or the management of investments by organizations who have such functions as a primary purpose
  • Procurement of financial services respecting the management of financial assets and liabilities (i.e., treasury operations), including ancillary advisory and information services, whether or not delivered by a financial institution
  • Procurement of goods and services for use outside Canada as well as construction work done outside Canada
  • Health services and social services

In addition, the Procurement Officer may go directly to one supplier to meet the requirements of the procurement if the circumstances meet the conditions of a single source or sole source situation. Before beginning any non-competitive procurement or sole or single sourcing arrangement, supporting documentation must be completed and approved by an appropriate authority.

Single Sourcing

Single sourcing is considered an acceptable procurement method in the following circumstances:

  • Where an unforeseen situation of urgency exists and the goods or services cannot be obtained in time by means of open procurement procedures. Failure to plan and allow sufficient time for a competitive process is not considered an unforeseeable situation of urgency
  • Where goods or consulting services regarding matters of confidential or privileged nature are to be purchased and the disclosure of those matters through an open competitive process could reasonably be expected to compromise confidentiality, cause economic disruption or otherwise be contrary to the public interest
  • Where a contract is awarded under a cooperation agreement that is financed, in whole or in part, by an international organization only to the extent that the agreement includes different rules for awarding contracts
  • Where an open competitive process could interfere with Kinark’s ability to maintain security or order or to protect human, animal or plant life or health
  • Where there is an absence of any bids in response to an open competitive process that has been conducted in compliance with this Procurement document

Sole Sourcing

Where only one supplier is able to meet the requirements of procurement, the Procurement Officer may use the sole source justification procurement procedures in the following circumstances:

  • To ensure compatibility with existing products, to recognize exclusive rights, such as exclusive licenses, copyright and patent rights, or to maintain specialized products that must be maintained by the manufacturer or its representative
  • Where there is an absence of competition for technical reasons and the goods or services can only be supplied by a particular supplier and no alternative or substitute exists
  • For the procurement of goods or services, the supply of which is controlled by a supplier that is a statutory monopoly
  • For work to be performed on or about a leased building or portions thereof that may be performed only by the leaser
  • For work to be performed on the behalf of Kinark through a building lease agreement where the lessor will invoice costs back to the lessee
  • For work to be performed on property by a contractor according to provisions of a warranty or guarantee held in respect of the property or the original work
  • For a contract to be awarded to the winner of a design contest
  • For the procurement of a prototype or a first good or service to be developed in the course of and for a particular contract for research, experiment, study or original development, but not for any subsequent purchases
  • For the purchase of goods under exceptionally advantageous circumstances such as bankruptcy or receivership, but not for routine purchases
  • For the procurement of original works of art
  • For the procurement of subscriptions to newspapers, magazines or other periodicals
  • For the procurement of real property

Emergency Situations

For the purpose of this procedure, an “Emergency” refers to a situation where the immediate purchase of goods and services is essential to prevent serious delays in service delivery or to prevent or remedy damage to agency property or to restore an essential service.

An “Emergency” includes an imminent or actual danger to the life, health or safety of a Kinark Personnel, or client while acting on the agency’s behalf (e.g., emergency boiler repairs or replacement), an imminent or actual danger of injury to or destruction of real property belonging to the agency.

Under emergency circumstances, the President and CEO has the authority to take the necessary steps to address the emergency and will subsequently inform the Board of Directors of the actions taken setting out the details of any purchases made pursuant to this authority and the circumstances justifying the action taken.

Competitive Procurement Process

In most cases, the Procurement Officer will be assigned as the procurement lead and ensure that procurement is conducted in an ethical, lawful, effective, and accountable manner.

Competitive Procurement Documents

Competitive procurement documents must be developed and provided to potential proponents.

There are three main types of competitive documents:

  • Request for Proposal (RFP): The purpose of this document is to request suppliers to provide solutions for the delivery of complex goods or services or to provide alternative options or solutions. This process uses predefined evaluation a criterion in which price is not the only factor.
  • Request for Tender (RFT): The purpose of this document is to request suppliers to submit bids to provide goods or services based on stated delivery requirements, performance specifications, terms, and conditions. The RFT focuses the evaluation criteria predominately on price and delivery requirements
  • Request for Quotation (RFQ): The RFQ is a document similar to the RFT. The RFQ describes exactly the goods and services to be provided and the proposal evaluation is based solely on price

The documents must include:

  • The name, telephone number, mailing address, and email address of the person to contact for information on the procurement documents and a statement that suppliers who go outside of this contact person may be disqualified
  • Clear description of required goods or services. Good or services must be described in generic and/or function terms specific to the business needs. Where it is necessary to provide specification in non-generic and /or non-functional terms, the specification must set out the performance requirements in a manner that would not unfairly favour certain suppliers
  • Conditions that must be met before obtaining procurement documents such as conflict of interest declarations, confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements; adherence to Kinark’s Code of Conduct
  • The submission rules and competitive clauses to be followed in order for a bid to be compliant. These may include bid format, language, number of copies required, attendance at a bidders’ conference, etc.
  • The process, date, and time limit for the submission of questions on the procurement documents, including a description of how the answers will be provided
  • The address, date, and time limit for submitting bids. Bids received after the closing date and time must be returned unopened
  • The time, place, and method of the opening of the bids
  • Mandatory criteria (e.g., technical standards) that must be met. Competitive documents must clearly outline that submission that do not meet the mandatory criteria will be disqualified
  • Full disclosure of the evaluation criteria, (including weights), process, and methodology to be used in assessing submissions and the bid dispute resolution process
  • A request for a list of any subcontractors to be used to complete the procurement
  • The period of irrevocability of bids where bids cannot be withdrawn (typically 120 days from the closure of the competitive process)
  • For goods, services and construction valued at $100,000 or more, a statement that the procurement is subject to Ontario’s trade agreements
  • Notice that any confidential information supplied to the organization may be disclosed by the organization where it is obliged to do so under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), by an order of a court or tribunal, or otherwise required at law
  • A draft copy of the contract to be signed in the event of an award of the procurement

Posting Competitive Procurement Documents

The posting practices during a competitive process must use accepted media to uphold the principles of fair, open, and transparent dealings; to encourage maximum competitive response; and to ensure that suppliers have a positive experience in dealing with the organization. In accordance with the Agreement on Internal Trade, calls for competitive procurements shall be made through an electronic tendering system that is equally accessible to all Canadian suppliers.

If Kinark uses an outside service to manage the posting, the Procurement Officer is responsible for managing the posting process through the third party vendor.

Timelines for Posting Competitive Procurement

All publicly advertised bids must provide suppliers a minimum response time of 15 calendar days for procurements valued at $100,000 or more.

For products or services that are more complex, consideration must be given to providing response times longer than 15 days to ensure that suppliers have a reasonable period of time to submit a bid. The timeline should also take into account the complexity of the procurement and the time needed by the organization to properly disseminate the information.

Communications during Competition

The competition process begins when the competitive procurement documents are issued (Start Date) and ends on the when the Kinark signs an agreement with a supplier (End Date). All communication with suppliers involved in the process must occur formally through the contact person identified in the competitive documents. From the Start Date to the deadline for submitting bids (Closing Date), the competitive sourcing documents may be clarified or modified through the use of one of two types of responses:

  • An addendum response
  • A question and answer (Q&A) response

Addenda and Q& A’s are posted in the same manner as the competitive documents were advertised to the market and therefore will be made available to all potential suppliers.

Addendum Response

An addendum is prepared if modifications to the competitive sourcing documents are necessary (e.g., amending, adding or deleting information due to errors, conflicts, or deficiencies in the documents). An addendum allows modifications of the documents through:

  • Insertion of new or omitted provisions or drawings
  • Revision or deletion of provisions or drawings

All addenda must be issued at least seven calendar days prior to the closing date. If an addendum is issued within seven days of the closing date, the date may be extended accordingly.

Question and Answer Responses

A Q&A response is prepared if clarification of the documents is required without the need to modify the posted competitive procurement documents. Any answer that results in a change to any aspect of the competitive procurement documents must be addressed by making corresponding modifications to the documents by an addendum. Generally, questions are requested to be submitted no less than seven days prior to the closing date, although questions may be considered after that and, if warranted, consideration may be given to extending the closing date.

The objective is to ensure that all suppliers receive as much relevant information as possible to respond to the bid.

Communications during Proposal Evaluation

During the evaluation period (Closing Date to the End Date), the Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers must not communicate with supplier on matters related to the competitive procurement process unless it is to seek clarification of a bid or notify the successful supplier. All competitive process-related communication must be documented.

Communications after Proposal Evaluation

After the evaluation process is completed and an agreement is signed, the Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers may discuss the competition with the participants. Where the procurement value is $100,000 or more, the Procurement Officer must inform the unsuccessful supplier about the outcome of the competition. Where the procurement value is $100,000 or more the Procurement Officer must offer suppliers a debriefing.

Bidders’ Conferences

Bidders conferences are optional, and may be held if the Procurement Lead believes there is information that potential suppliers will better understand if the information is presented to them in person (e.g., asking contractors to outfit a building with electricity is easier to respond to after being given a site tour).

Bidders’ conferences are identified in the bid documents and usually held shortly after the posting of the competitive documents. The competitive documents must contain information about the conference, including but not limited to:

  • Time and location
  • Items to be covered
  • If attendance is mandatory, the Procurement Officer must specify in the competitive documents, that bids of proponents who do not attend the conference will be returned unopened

At the bidders’ conference, only the procurement in question can be discussed and any questions and answers discussed need to be documented. When attendance is not mandatory, documentation will be provided to suppliers, whether or not they were in attendance. When attendance is mandatory documentation will only be provided to suppliers that were in attendance.

Evaluation

Bid Receipt

Competitive sourcing documents must clearly state the date, time, and location for submission.

The closing date is set on a normal working day (Monday to Friday, excluding provincial and national holidays), and submissions that are delivered after the closing time must not be considered.

For bids where paper copies are required, it is important to identify bid opening information in the competitive documents.

The process for opening paper bids is as follows:

  • Stamp each bid as it arrives with the date, time, location, company name, and contact information
  • Do not open any bids until after the competitive process has closed
  • Ensure there is at least one witness to view the bid openings
  • Open the bids following the same process that was documented in the posted competitive documents

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation criteria and weightings must be developed, reviewed, and approved by an appropriate authority before the competitive process begins.

These criteria must be included in the competitive documents. The competitive documents must also identify those criteria that are considered mandatory and any technical standards that need to be met. The evaluation criteria cannot be changed or altered once the competitive process has begun.

The Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers may utilize price, quality, quantity, transition costs, delivery, servicing, environmental considerations, the capacity of the supplier to meet requirements of procurement, experience, financial capacity of the supplier as well as any other factor directly related to the procurement as evaluation criteria. The Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers must ensure that the price/cost criteria have the maximum justifiable weighting.

Bid documents must not request information from suppliers that will not be evaluated or that might affect the evaluation process. It is recommended that the bid evaluation team ensures the criteria and weighting will deliver the result that best meets the requirements.

Evaluation Process

The Bid documents must fully disclose the evaluation methodology and process to be used in assessing a supplier’s submission.

A full disclosure of the evaluation methodology and process must include the following:

  • A clear articulation of all mandatory requirements. The document must indicate if the mandatory requirements will be assessed on a pass/fail basis and indicate how suppliers achieve a passing grade. Where a supplier is disqualified for non- compliance with a mandatory requirement, no further evaluation should take place
  • All weights, including sub-weights, for the rated criteria
  • Description of any short-listing processes, including any minimum rated score requirements
  • The role and weighting, if applicable, of reference checks, oral interviews and demonstrations
  • Descriptions of the price/cost evaluation methodology, including the use of examples in the evaluation process, to determine costs for specific volumes and/or service levels. The evaluation of price/cost must be undertaken only after completion of the evaluation of the mandatory requirements and any other rated criteria for all  bids
  • The method of resolving a tie score

The first step in the evaluation process is to determine if submissions are compliant. Submissions may be considered to be materially compliant, but certain clarifications may be sought. Materially non-compliant submissions should be rejected. Once the compliant submissions have been identified, the Procurement Officer should proceed with the balance of the evaluation process.

Evaluation Team

Every competitive process requires an evaluation team that will be responsible for reviewing all the compliant bids and scoring each of those bids.

The following should be considered:

  • Evaluation team members should be selected and their participation confirmed before the competitive documents have been posted and the evaluation team members should be included in the development of the evaluation criteria and weighting. Team members may include end users, educators, supply chain experts, subject matter experts, financial experts and representatives of the sourcing or purchasing function, as appropriate. Evaluation teams should be comprised of appropriate members to ensure that a proper evaluation is conducted
  • Typically the Procurement Officer will assume the evaluation team lead responsible for the evaluation process. If the Procurement Officer cannot fulfill this role then an alternate will be appointed
  • It is recommended that the Procurement Officer, at minimum, participate in the oversight of the process, but it is preferred that they act as  the “team lead”
  • The Evaluation team members must be aware of the restrictions related to confidential information shared through the competitive process and refrain from engaging in activities that may create or appear to create a conflict of interest. The Procurement Officer must require team members to sign a conflict-of-interest declaration and non-disclosure agreement

Selection Process

The Procurement Officer must ensure that each member of the evaluation team has completed an evaluation matrix rating each of the suppliers.

Records of evaluation scores must be auditable. Evaluators should be aware that everything they say or document must be fair, factual, fully defensible, and may be subject to public scrutiny.

The evaluation team must select only the highest ranked submission(s) that have met all mandatory requirements set out in the related procurement document.

Unless expressly requested in the purchasing documents, organizations must not consider alternative strategies or solutions proposed by a supplier.

Additional considerations during the selection process include:

  • The Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers are entitled to ask suppliers for clarification on their bid as long as it does not change their bid in any way
  • A revised solicitation can be issued when bids are received in response to a solicitation but exceed Kinark’s budget, are not responsive to the requirement or do not represent fair market value, in an effort to obtain an acceptable bid

Any supplier whose submission is rejected during the evaluation process will be notified of the rejection in writing as soon as possible after completion of the evaluation. With the exception of any pricing that was made publicly available at the time of a public opening, all submission evaluation details must be kept confidential

Non-Discrimination

Kinark must refrain from any discrimination or preferential treatment in awarding a contract to the qualified supplier from the competitive process (keeping in compliance with the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT).   Decisions based on discrimination may be subject to bid protests or disputes from suppliers who believe the process may have been unfair or biased.

Discriminatory procurement practices include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Registration requirements and restrictions on calls for bids based upon the location of a supplier and its subcontractors, or the place where the goods or services are produced and, generally, qualification procedures that discriminate between suppliers by province of origin
  • The biasing of specifications in favour of, or against, a particular good or service for the purpose of circumventing the Broader Public Service Procurement Directive
  • The timing of bid opening and closing dates so as to prevent qualified suppliers from submitting bids
  • The specification of quantities and delivery schedules of a scale and frequency that may reasonably be judged as deliberately designed to prevent qualified suppliers from meeting the requirements of the procurement
  • The division of required quantities or the diversion of budgetary funds to subsidiary organizations in a manner designed to circumvent the Broader Public Service Procurement Directive
  • The consideration, in evaluating bids, of provincial or local content or economic benefits that favour a supplier or good
  • The giving of preference to selected bids after bids have been submitted and without any mention of the intended preference in the competitive procurement documents
  • The use of price discounts or preferential margins to favour certain supplier
  • The unjustifiable exclusion of a qualified supplier from bidding
  • The requirement that a construction contractor or subcontractor use workers, materials or suppliers of materials originating from the Province where the work is being carried out

Exemptions from discriminatory procurement practices are allowed if Kinark can demonstrate that:

  • The purpose of the measure is to achieve a legitimate objective
  • The measure does not operate to impair unduly the access of persons, goods, services or investments of a Province that meet that legitimate objective
  • The measure is not more trade restrictive than necessary to achieve that legitimate objective
  • “Legitimate objective” means one of the following objectives:
    • Public security and safety
    • Public order
    • Protection of human, animal, or plant life or health
    • Protection of the environment
    • Consumer protection
    • Protection of the health, safety, and well-being of workers
    • Affirmative action programs for disadvantaged groups

Contract Award

Executing the Contract

Following the procurement process, a signed written contract must be established. In situations where an immediate need exists for goods or services and the Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers and the supplier are unable to finalize a contract, an interim purchase order may be used. The justification of such decisions must be documents and approved by the appropriate authority.

The contract must be finalized using the form of agreement that was released with the procurement documents. Where the form of the agreement was not released with the procurement document, the agreement between Kinark and the successful supplier must be defined formally in a signed written contract before the provision of supplying goods or services commences.

The term of the agreement and any options to extend the agreement must be set out in the procurement document. Changes to the term of the agreement may change the procurement value. Prior written approval by the appropriate authority is necessary before changing contract start and end dates. Extensions to the term of agreement beyond what is set out in the procurement document are considered non-competitive procurements and therefore the Procurement Officer, Business, and Functional Managers must seek appropriate single-source approval authority prior to proceeding.

All contracts must contain the following:

  • Dispute resolution process
  • Appropriate cancellation or termination clauses

Contracts for services must contain the following:

  • Clear terms of reference for the assignment. The terms should include objectives, background, scope, constraints, staff responsibilities, tangible deliverables, timing, process reporting, approval requirements, and knowledge transfer requirements

Managing the Contract

Payments must be made in accordance with the provisions of the contract. All invoices must contained detailed information, sufficient to warrant payment. Any overpayments must be recovered in a timely manner.

For services, any expenses claimed and reimbursed must be compliant with the Broader Public Sector Expenses Directive and Kinark’s Travel, Meals, Accommodations and Hospitality policy and procedures. http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/bpssupplychain/documents/bps_expenses_directive.html

The Business and Functional Managers will forward a complete copy of the contract to the Finance Department. Upon receipt of invoices, they will review the invoices to ensure they contain sufficient detail to warrant payment and that invoiced amounts are consistent with contract terms. If in compliance, invoices are approved and forwarded to the Finance Department.

Prior to processing payment, the Finance Department will review approved invoices against the terms of the contract. Only compliant invoices will be processed for payment. All others will be returned to the Business and Functional Managers for clarification and/or revision.

Throughout the engagement, supplier performance must be managed and documented by Business and Functional Managers to ensure satisfactory completion of assignments on schedule and within budget. Any performance issues must be addressed.

Award Notification

Once the qualified supplier has been selected and the contract has been awarded and signed, the Procurement Officer must notify all suppliers that a contract has been signed and the competitive process is complete.

For purchases valued at $100,000 or greater, the Procurement Officer must post, in the same manner as the procurement documents were posted, the name(s) of the successful supplier(s). Contract award notification must occur only after the agreement between the successful supplier and Kinark has been executed. The contract award notification must include the agreement start and end dates, including any options for extension. The award notification must be posted electronically within 40 calendar days of the award.

Supplier Debriefing

For purchases valued at $100,000 or greater, the Procurement Officer must inform all suppliers who participated in the procurement process of their entitlement to a debriefing.

The details of the supplier debrief should be included in the competitive documents, including the process for booking debrief sessions at the conclusion of the procurement process. Kinark must allow suppliers 60 calendar days following the date of the contract award notification to respond.

In conducting supplier debriefing meetings, the Procurement Officer must:

  • Confirm the date and time of the debriefing session to the supplier in writing;
  • Conduct separate debriefings with each supplier
  • Ensure that the same participant(s) from Kinark participate in every debriefing conducted.
  • Not disclose information concerning other suppliers, other than the names and addresses of suppliers who participated in the competitive process
  • Not respond to questions unrelated to the competitive process
  • Retain all correspondence and documentation related to debriefing sessions
  • Provide a general overview of the evaluation process set out in the procurement document
  • Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the supplier’s submission in relation to the specific evaluation criteria and the supplier’s evaluated score. If more than price is evaluated, the organization may provide the supplier’s evaluation scores and their evaluation ranking (e.g., third of five)
  • Provide suggestions on how the supplier may improve future submissions
  • Be open to feedback from the supplier on current procurement processes and practices
  • Address specific questions and issues raised by the supplier in relation to their submission
  • Where a supplier threatens to take legal action, record details and notify the Chief Administrative Officer

Bid Dispute Resolution

Competitive procurement documents must outline bid dispute resolution procedures to ensure that any dispute is handled in an ethical, fair, reasonable and timely fashion. Vendor bid disputes requires that an independent third party be appointed for resolution.  The cost of the independent third party is paid by the vendor. A vendor may seek financial compensation as a result of the bid dispute.

Records Management

All procurement documentation as well as any other pertinent information for reporting and auditing purposes, must be maintained for a period of seven years and be in recoverable form.

Types of documentation to be retained include:

  • A copy of the procurement justification or business case
  • Information about supplier consultations, including requests for information, undertaken in the process of development of the procurement documents
  • Evidence that all required approvals were obtained
  • Copies of all procurement documents used to qualify and select suppliers
  • Where procurement was conducted using a non-competitive method, justification, applicable exemptions, and associated approvals
  • Copies of all advertisements of procurement documents
  • Copies of all successful and unsuccessful submissions, including conflict-of-interest declarations and other attached forms
  • Information regarding any procurement process issues
  • Information regarding evaluation of all submission
  • Information regarding all supplier debriefings, including written documentation of the offer of supplier debriefing
  • Copies of all award letters, notices, and posted announcements
  • Copies of all agreements
  • Information regarding all changes to the terms and conditions of the agreement, including any changes that resulted in an increase in the agreement price
  • Information regarding supplier performance after agreement execution, including performance monitoring and management, as well as the knowledge transfer mechanisms
  • Information regarding risk assessments and contingency plans
  • Contractor security screening decisions
  • Information regarding procurement-related protests, disputes or supplier complaints, including any agreement disputes
  • Evidence of receipt of the deliverables
  • Any other documentation related to procurement

Refer to Finance Records Management policy and procedures for information about handling, storing, and maintaining procurement records.

Definitions: Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT): A national agreement that regulates trade between the provinces to ensure equal access to public sector procurement for all Canadian suppliers. The Agreement aims to reduce barriers to the movement of persons, goods, services and investments within Canada. Refer to http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ait-aci.nsf/eng/home for more information.

 

Approval Level: Criteria, often dollar levels, which define which approvals are needed for various business transactions. Limits are set on the size and nature of the business transactions and are assigned to the individual or job role authorized to execute based on the appropriate level of responsibility.

 

Bidders’ Conference: A meeting chaired by the soliciting organization to discuss with potential proponents, technical, operational and performance specifications, and/or the full extent of financial, security and other contractual obligations related to a bid solicitation.

 

Bid Protest: A dispute raised against the methods employed or decisions made by a contracting authority in the administration of a process, leading to the award of a contract.

 

Bid Repair: The improper alteration or modification of a bid either by the bidder or by the procuring entity after the deadline for the receipt of bids has passed.

 

Ceiling Price of VOR Arrangement: Dollar value of an individual procurement under the VOR arrangement above which organizations must conduct procurement using an open competitive process instead of utilizing the VOR arrangement.

 

Competitive Procurement: A set of procedures for developing a procurement contract through a bidding or proposal process. The intent is to solicit fair, impartial, competitive bids.

 

Consulting Services: The provision of expertise or strategic advice that is presented for consideration and decision-making.

 

Electronic Tendering: A computer-based system that provides suppliers with access to information related to open competitive procurements.

 

Equipment: All capital equipment, supplies, operational and service documents to be delivered including all parts provided during the warranty period, and further includes all work necessary to deliver and install the equipment.

 

Evaluation Criteria: A benchmark, standard or yardstick against which accomplishment, conformance, performance and suitability of an individual, alternative activity, produce or plan is measure to select the best supplier through a competitive process. Criteria may be qualitative or quantitative in nature.

 

Evaluation Matrix: A tool allowing the evaluation team to rate supplier proposals based on multiple pre-defined evaluation criteria.

 

Evaluation Team: A group of individuals designated/responsible to make an award recommendation. The evaluation team would typically include representatives from the purchasing organization and subject matter expert(s). Each member participates to provide business, legal, technical and financial input.

 

Evaluation Team Lead: The individual selected by the evaluation team to be responsible for coordinating the evaluation process.

 

Fair Market Value: The price that would be agreed to in an open and unrestricted market between knowledgeable and willing parties dealing at arm’s length who are fully informed and not under any compulsion to transact.

 

Goods and Services: All goods and services including construction, consulting services and information technology.

 

Information Technology: The equipment, software, services and processes used to create, store, process, communicate and manage information.

 

Invitational Competitive Procurement: Any form of requesting a minimum of three (3) qualified supplies to submit a written proposal in response to the defined requirements outlined by an individual/organization.

 

Kinark Personnel: All Kinark employees, students, volunteers and 3rd party contracted personnel.

 

Non-Discrimination: Fairness in treating suppliers and awarding contracts without prejudice, discrimination or preferred treatment.

 

Offer: A promise or a proposal made by one party to another, intending the same to create a legal relationship upon the acceptance of the offer by the other party.

 

Procurement Card (P-Card): An organizational credit card program primarily used for low-cost, non-inventory, non-capital items, such as office supplies. The card allows procurement or field employees to obtain goods and services without going through the requisition and authorization procedure. P-cards may be set up to restrict use to specific purchases with pre-defined suppliers or stores, and offer central billings.

 

Procurement: Acquisition by any means, including by purchase, rental, lease or conditional sale, of goods, services or construction.

 

Procurement Value: The estimated total financial commitment resulting from procurement, taking into account optional extensions.

 

Purchase Order: A written offer made by a purchaser to a supplier formally stating all terms and conditions of a proposed transaction.

 

Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI): A document used to gather information on supplier interest in an opportunity or information on supplier capabilities/qualifications. This mechanism may be used when an organization wishes to gain a better understanding of the capacity of the supplier community to provide the services or solutions needed. A response to a RFEI must not pre-qualify a potential supplier and must not influence their chances of being the successful proponent on any subsequent opportunity.

 

Request for Information (RFI): A document issued to potential suppliers to gather general supplier, service or product information. It is a procurement procedure whereby suppliers are provided with a general or preliminary description of a problem or need and are requested to provide information or advice about how to better define the problem or need, or alternative solutions. A response to an RFI must not pre-qualify a potential supplier and must not influence their chances of being the successful proponent on any subsequent opportunity.

 

Request for Proposal (RFP): A document used to request suppliers to supply solutions for the delivery of complex products or services or to provide alternative options or solutions. It is a process that uses predefined evaluation criteria in which price is not the only factor.

 

Request for Quotation (RFQ): A document similar to an RFT where an organization describes exactly what needs to be purchased and the evaluation is based solely on price.

 

Request for Supplier Qualifications (RFSQ): A document used to gather information on supplier capabilities and qualifications, with the intention of creating a list of pre-qualified suppliers. This mechanism may be used either to identify qualified candidates in advance of expected future competitions or to narrow the field for an immediate need. Organizations must ensure that the terms and conditions built into the RFSQ contain specific language that disclaims any obligation on the part of the organization to call on any supplier to provide goods or services as a result of the pre-qualification.

 

Request for Tender (RFT): A document used to request supplier responses to supply goods or services based on stated delivery requirements, performance specifications, terms and conditions. An RFT usually focuses the evaluation criteria predominantly on price and delivery requirements.

 

Requisition: A formal request to obtain goods or services made within an organization, generally from the end-user to the procurement department.

 

Segregation of Duties: A method of process control to manage conflict of interest, the appearance of conflict of interest, and errors or fraud. It restricts the amount of power held by any one individual. It puts a barrier in place to prevent errors or fraud that may be perpetrated by one individual.

 

Service: An intangible product that does not have a physical presence. No transfer of possession or ownership takes place when services are sold and they (1) cannot be stored or transported, (2) are instantly perishable, and (3) come into existence at the time they are bought and consumed.

 

Single Sourcing: The use of a non-competitive procurement process to acquire goods or services from a specific supplier even though there may be more than one supplier capable of delivering the same goods, services or construction.

 

Sole Sourcing: The use of a non-competitive procurement process to acquire goods or services where there is only one available supplier for the source of the goods or service.

 

Supplier/Vendor: Any person or organization that, based on an assessment of that person’s or organizations financial, technical and commercial capacity, is capable of fulfilling the requirements of procurement.

 

Supply Chain Management: The full range of processes that manage the flow of goods and services, information, and funds between suppliers and end-users, as well as the supporting infrastructure required to enable these processes.

 

Supply Chain-Related Activities: Any activities, whether directly or indirectly related to the organization’s plan, source, procure, move and pay processes.

 

Total Cost of Ownership: Total costs of ownership includes items such as the purchase prices, implementation fees, upgrades, maintenance contracts, support contracts, license fees and disposal costs.

 

Total life-cycle Cost: The total cost of using goods, equipment or services over the entire time of use or service including initial, operating and maintenance costs.

 

Trade Agreements: Any applicable trade agreement to which Ontario is a signatory (e.g. Agreement on Internal Trade and Ontario-Quebec Trade and Cooperation Agreement).

 

Value for Money / Best Value: A value-for-money approach aims to deliver products and services with a lower total life-cycle cost while maintaining a high standard.

 

Vendors-of-Record (VOR) Arrangement: A procurement arrangement that authorizes organizations to select from pre- qualified supplier(s) through a formal second-stage process, for a defined period on terms and conditions set out in the VOR arrangement.

 

References: Broader Public Sector Procurement Directive

Financial Records Management

Travel, Meals, Accommodations and Hospitality

Appendices: Appendix A: Approval Authority Matrix

Appendix B: Single/Sole Source template

Consultation and Guidance

Interpreting the Code of Conduct

If in doubt about what is the right thing to do in a particular situation, speak to your supervisor. If they are not available, or you feel that you need to seek advice elsewhere, speak to your Director or to Kinark’s Vice-President, Human Resources.

Dispute Resolution Procedure

An employee who has a grievance, dispute or concern can seek resolution through Kinark’s Grievance Policy without fear of reprisal. At any time an employee may contact the Vice-President, Human Resources to discuss work place issues. The Vice-President, Human Resources will respond in a timely manner.

No attempt can be made to deny or frustrate the attempts of an employee to seek counsel or outside assistance.  Kinark will protect any complainants, witnesses, advisors, representatives of complainants and witnesses, investigators and decision makers/management from reprisal. However, discussion through the media will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

If you require a copy of Kinark’s Human Resource Policy Manual please contact Human Resources via email at HR@kinark.on.ca

Reporting Violations and Third Party Reporting

In cases where we feel that our own actions or the actions of others may have contravened this Code of Conduct, we should follow a similar course of action to that described above: speak to your supervisor. If they are not available, or you feel that you need to seek advice elsewhere, speak to your Director or to Kinark’s Vice-President, Human Resources.

Kinark guarantees the freedom for employees to report unlawful, legally questionable, ethical concerns, or misconduct and provides a safe, confidential, and anonymous process for reporting corporate or professional wrongdoing. Concerns within this policy may be communicated, in confidence, to an external firm retained for this purpose: Whistleblower Security at 1-866-921-6714 or by e-mail at kinark@whistleblowersecurity.com.

Communication will be strictly confidential and all initial responses to the staff member making the complaint will be made by a Board Member or the Chief Executive Officer. Anyone bringing forward a concern in this manner is protected against reprisal.

Access to the Board of Directors

In exceptional circumstances – for example, a complaint regarding a member of the Kinark Executive Team – Kinark provides direct, confidential access to the Board of Directors for all employees, students and volunteers. This is done by sending an e-mail to the board secretary at:
board.secretary@kinark.on.ca
Indicating a desire to access the Chair of the Board. The e-mail will be forwarded by the Board Secretary to the Chair.

 

Appendix B

Privacy and Confidentiality: Security of Client Information and Records

Purpose

To ensure the security and confidentiality of client information at all times.

Policy

Kinark will take all necessary steps to protect personal health information within its custody or control against theft, loss and unauthorized use or disclosure. Methods of protecting client information will include physical safeguards, administrative procedures and technical security mechanisms.

Procedures

General

1. Within agency offices and facilities, confidential client information will be maintained in locked cabinets and/or file rooms designated for the specific purpose, and will be accessible only by authorized personnel. Agency offices and facilities will be secured by lock and alarm.

2. Appropriate measures will be established to safeguard the security of file rooms, observation rooms, computer/electronic devices, printers, fax machines, audiovisual equipment and tapes, and all other means of storage.

3. Authorized personnel will follow specific sign-out and tracking procedures prior to removing any client file or information from the designated storage area, to ensure the whereabouts of client records is known at all times.

4. Client files or information will be returned promptly to secure storage when no longer required and not later than the close of the workday.

5. Client records will only be removed from an agency office or facility with prior approval of the Chief Executive Officer, Program Director, or the Kinark Privacy Officer. Prior approval will include confirmation of the purpose for removal, the  means of securely transporting the record, and the intended destination and return date.

6. Upon termination of active service, a closed file will remain in secure storage in the local office or facility for a period not to exceed six months, when it will be transferred by secure means and established procedures to the corporate office to be archived. Contracted offsite archive storage will be administered according to agency standards and applicable legislation.

7. Unless otherwise authorized by the Chief Executive Officer or designate, all client records will be retained indefinitely.

Community-based, home-based or mobile staff

Generally, all agency privacy policies and requirements apply to all staff regardless of location. Additionally, for staff providing community-based or mobile service, or service in any location other than a Kinark office, the following procedures will apply:

8. The official client record/file will be maintained in a Kinark office. Staff will deliver original hard copy client documents and information to the main file in a secure manner and as promptly as possible. Electronic information will be entered into the Kinark client information system (KIDS) from remote locations in an approved manner and according to established guidelines. Any working copies of client records kept in offsite or non-office locations (e.g., school-based programs, community-based residential facilities) will be maintained in a secure manner, as outlined in general procedures above.

9. Community-based, home-based and mobile staff will transport and maintain client information in a secure manner at all times (e.g., locked briefcase or records case; locked vehicle trunk,) and will prevent unauthorized access to client information at all times.

10. Wherever possible, client-related documents prepared in the community should omit identifying information such as the client’s name. Client initials may be replaced with the full name once the documents are transferred to the main file.

11. Staff may complete rough written notes in the course of providing client service (e.g., during a family session, during assessment procedures). If the purpose of these notes is to provide material for another form of client documentation (e.g., contact notes in KIDS; clinical reports on approved agency format or template), the rough notes are not considered part of the client record and should be destroyed upon transfer of the information to the client record. If the information is not intended for transfer to the client record in another format, then the rough notes become part of the client record and should be maintained, filed and managed in the same manner as all client information.

In addition to specific policies and procedures regarding Kinark’s information system and information technology, the following procedures apply to management of client information:

Electronic Communication

12. Staff may communicate client information to authorized personnel within the agency by means of the agency’s secure password-protected e-mail system. Wherever possible, such internal communication should contain client initials as opposed to full names.

13. With a client’s consent, and only after a client has initiated such contact, staff may communicate with clients electronically (e.g., e-mail, texting) for the purpose of coordinating or confirming service, and not for the communication of personal health information. Staff will not use electronic methods to share or communicate clinical information or the agency’s reports. At the client’s discretion, Kinark may receive but not send personal health information, whether between Kinark and the client or Kinark and another organization or individual.

14. In exceptional time-sensitive circumstances, electronic transmission of client information may occur with the prior approval of the Chief Executive Officer or designate (Privacy Officer).

Voice Mail

15. Agency voice mail will be password protected to ensure messages left by clients are retrieved only by authorized personnel.

16. To protect client information during extended staff absence, voice mail greetings will inform callers of the expected duration of the absence.

Use of home or personal phones to contact clients

17. The use of staff home or personal telephones for client contact is discouraged and should only occur in exceptional circumstances. If such contact is required, staff are expected to ensure client privacy during the call and with respect to any documentation made in relation to the call. Staff should also take reasonable steps to ensure their own privacy and to maintain professional boundaries for themselves and clients (e.g., use of call blocking).

Answering Machines

18. Staff will not leave messages on a client’s answering machine that identifies Kinark or the client’s status with Kinark. Staff may indicate for whom the message is intended, the staff’s name, a return number, and basic non-detailed information regarding the purpose of the call (e.g., concerns an appointment).

Fax Machines

19. Unless otherwise required or approved by the Chief Executive Officer or designate (Privacy Officer), identifying personal health information will not be sent from Kinark to other parties by fax. Exceptions include Ministry Serious Occurrence reporting or in situations where information sharing is required with Youth Justice personnel or courts in a time sensitive manner.

20. Kinark’s office procedures will ensure that fax messages containing client-related information include:

a. Incoming faxes are received in a confidential manner (e.g., location of machines, machines checked and cleared regularly, password-protected access, no messages left at close of business).
b. Outgoing faxes are sent in a confidential manner (material marked confidential, follow-up call to ensure material was received securely).
c. Tracking system to record the receipt and sending of faxes (i.e., cover sheets filed in the client file).

Computer Networks

21. Electronic client information will be entered and stored in the secure Kinark Information Database System (KIDS). Authorized access to KIDS is approved by the appropriate Supervisor and facilitated by Kinark’s Information Technology (IT) support staff. Specific IT policies and procedures ensure the safety of electronic client information and establish rules related to password protection, encryption, server security, and all matters related to data storage and security.

22. Staff with approved access to KIDS are expected to manage their work, workspace and computer terminals to ensure confidentiality (e.g., logging off upon completion of work or when the monitor will be unattended) in accordance with the Electronic Communications policy.

Cellular Phones

23. The preferred and most secure form of telephone communication with clients is by means of an agency landline, established for business purposes. When an agency-provided cellular phone is used for client contact, or for staff–to–staff communication regarding specific clients, staff will take reasonable precautions to protect client information (e.g., minimize length of call, avoid use of client names).

Laptop and Personal Computers

24. Agency laptops are used primarily to connect with the secure agency information system and are not to be used for saving and storing confidential client information. All laptop computers will be password-protected and will be checked regularly upon being signed out and returned to ensure they are free of client information.

25. Staff may use personal computers, including personal laptops, at home or away from the office to prepare or access client information and data, but only by accessing Kinark’s secure information system. At no time will staff be permitted to prepare or store client-related information on personal computers independent of the secure Kinark information and technology system.

Portable Electronic Storage Devices

26. Portable electronic storage devices, including diskettes, disks and USB “memory sticks” will not be used to store confidential client information. Staff will use remote access to the secure Kinark information system to prepare, save or store confidential client information.

Videotapes, Audiotapes and Digital recording

27. Upon admission to voluntary Kinark services, clients have the option of providing or withholding consent regarding the use of audiovisual technology during the course of assessment and service provision. Typically, when such technology is employed, tapes will be permanently erased once the intended purpose has been met (e.g., staff supervision and training, clinical consultation). During the period of active use, and for any tapes retained as part of the client record, the taped information will be stored and maintained securely according to existing client records management practices.

28. Where audiovisual technology is employed for general program or facility security purposes (e.g., secure custody and treatment settings), posted notices will inform all occupants, including clients, of the presence and use of such technology. The technology and tapes will be maintained in a secure manner consistent with established client records management practices, and will be accessible only by authorized personnel.

Responding to a Privacy Breach

29. Upon becoming aware that client personal health information has been lost, stolen or disclosed to unauthorized individuals, staff will notify their immediate Supervisor, who will ensure that Kinark’s Privacy Officer is also notified. At the first opportunity, Kinark will notify the client or a person authorized to act on his or her behalf, and will take steps required to locate and retrieve the personal health information, and to minimize the likelihood of a similar breach in the future. Should clients wish to make a compliant regarding a breach, they should be directed to the agency’s Complaints Policy.

Disposal of Client Information

30. Kinark retains original client records indefinitely. Some client information may be destroyed promptly upon completion of its intended use (e.g., draft reports, rough notes, recording media, working or additional copies of reports). For paper hard copy records, such information will be shredded using agency-provided and approved shredders or contracted records destruction services. For electronic records, information will be deleted according to established agency information technology systems and procedures.

Definitions

Electronic Communication devices include smart phones, PDA’s, instant messaging devices, and cell phones.
Appendix C

Privacy and Confidentiality: Client Information

Purpose

To respect and protect the privacy of the agency’s clients and their personal health information.
To establish a framework for the collection, use and disclosure of clients’ personal health information.

Policy

Kinark recognizes the importance of, and the legal right of clients to, privacy regarding personal health information. As a health information custodian, Kinark requires that all staff, volunteers and agents maintain the highest standard of confidentiality and perform their duties in compliance with applicable legislation.

Unless specified otherwise in law, Kinark will only collect, use or disclose a client’s personal health information with knowledgeable consent of the individual client or other person authorized to consent on the client’s behalf. Exceptions to consent and limitations to confidentiality will be explained to clients upon admission to service.

Procedure

1. Relevant material regarding the agency’s information policies and practices will be made available to individual clients upon admission to service, and to all clients and the community at large on an ongoing basis (e.g., Kinark’s website).

2. Staff, volunteers and other agents (e.g., consultants, accreditors) will be made aware of the agency’s information policies and practices upon commencing employment or involvement with Kinark, and will sign an oath of confidentiality (Agreement Regarding Confidentiality, Conflict of Interest and Protecting Information Resources). This oath will continue indefinitely, including upon completion of an individual’s employment or involvement with Kinark.

3. Unless stated otherwise, the terms “client information”, “personal Information”, and “information practices” refer to personal health information, defined in PHIPA as follows:

Identifying information about an individual in oral or recorded form, if the information:

  • relates to the physical or mental health of an individual, including information that consists of the health history of the individual’s family;
  • relates to the providing of health care to an individual, including the identification of a person as a provider of health care to an individual;
  • identifies an individual’s substitute decision maker or
  • identifies an individual’s health card number.

4. Kinark will maintain a client record for each identified client. “Client record” refers to all client information in the agency’s custody and control, in any form or medium, whether written, printed, photographic, electronic or otherwise.

5. Non-identifying aggregate client information may be used to support the agency’s and community’s commitment to effective analysis, planning, management, research and accountability. Client consent will be obtained if identifying case-specific information is to be used for these purposes or for the purpose of public education or public relations.

6. Agency staff will make every effort to collect and use only personal information considered reasonably necessary for the provision of assessment, counseling, treatment or other services requested by, or recommended for, a particular client.

7. If there is any doubt with respect to confidentiality, consent or other matters regarding client information, staff, volunteers and agents will consult with agency management, including the Privacy Officer as required.

8. From time to time, Kinark may revise or establish specific operational procedures to support its privacy policies and information practices. If such revisions or additions significantly alter how the agency uses, maintains or discloses previously collected personal information, affected individuals will be notified and consent will be obtained where required.

9. Kinark will provide relevant privacy education and training to ensure the staff is knowledgeable regarding its obligations in this area.

 

Appendix F

Client Complaints

 Policy

All clients and their parents / legal guardians will be informed of the internal and external complaint procedures at admission to service and upon request.

Definition

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with Kinark’s policies, procedures, employees or quality of service, or a perceived violation of rights.
The complaint resolution process is used as a positive means of promoting client satisfaction and as a way of identifying opportunities to improve service delivery.

Procedures

All clients will be given the internal complaint procedures upon signing the Authorization of Provision of Service. The complaint procedures will be reviewed every six months with clients in residential services.

Clients, families / guardians will be informed that they will not experience reprisals or duress as a result of raising an internal or external compliant.

Steps in the Complaint Process

1. The client should be directed to discuss his/her concern or complaint with the staff most directly involved with him/her. Every effort should be made to resolve the concern at this level. If resolution cannot be reached, the matter will be directed to the next supervisory level, up to and including the responsible Program Director.

2. If the complaint cannot be resolved within the program area, it will be forwarded to the Director, Program Services and/or Chief Executive Officer. A client does have the right to take a complaint directly to a more senior staff person within the agency, including the Director, Program Services or the Chief Executive Officer.

3. A client has a right to take a complaint directly to the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth.

4. The appropriate staff will assist the young person, family member, or person advocating on the child’s behalf to forward the complaint.

5. Any staff interference in the complaint procedure will be cause for disciplinary action.

6. If a complaint investigation is warranted, this will be conducted by the Director, Program Services or the Chief Executive Officer and involve others as he/she determines. Details of the complaint and the results of the review will be documented in the agency complaint log and noted in the client file as appropriate.

7. For significant complaints that may significantly impact Kinark, the Chief Executive Officer will notify the Board immediately where required and no later than two weeks after learning of the complaint.

Community-Based Residential Treatment Services

8. Upon admission to residential care, each client will be given a sealed envelope with his or her name inside, addressed to the Program Director, to keep in his or her personal possession. If required, the client may contact the Program Director by depositing the envelope in a prearranged location in the residence. Staff will check daily and forward any envelopes to the Program Director. Staff will not tamper with the envelope or do anything to impede the Director’s receipt of it. Within 24 hours, the Director will contact the client to discuss the concern.

9. This procedure allows the resident to raise a concern outside of the residence without being dependent upon residential staff to convey an identifying message.
Appendix G

Conflict of Interest and Professional Ethics

Policy Statement

It is the responsibility of all employees to declare to Kinark any potential conflict of interest. Kinark Child and Family Services will review all such declarations.

Purpose

To avoid any activity or outside interest that might reflect unfavorably upon the integrity of individual staff members or that of Kinark Child and Family Services as a whole.

Standards

Kinark requires a detailed review of potential conflict interest situations which are guided by concern for the highest standards of client service and professional ethics. Kinark will take into consideration that some employees may wish to consider private practice, volunteer, and/or employment opportunities in the social service, education, or health service sectors while employed at Kinark. Kinark also recognizes the potential
for real or perceived conflict of interest, dual relationship or professional boundary issues when conducting its review. It shall be a breach of the employee’s duty to Kinark Child and Family Services to use Kinark’s resources in connection with an outside business or activity, whether or not it
is a competing business. Kinark?s premises shall be used for Kinark Child and Family Services business only. Kinark Child and Family Services, through the Director, HR in consultation with the President & Chief Executive Officer reserves the right to deal with each conflict or potential conflict on a case-by-case basis. This will be done while taking into consideration the best interests of the Agency and its clients. Efforts will be made to cooperate with employees in dealing with any problems that arise. All disclosures will be treated as confidential between the employees involved and the Supervisor, Director, HR Services, President & Chief Executive Officer, and the Board of Directors. All applications for consideration of a conflict of interest situation must be submitted before proceeding with either employment or volunteer opportunities outside of the current Kinark employment relationship.

Furthermore, employees must identify any contact with clients occurring outside of Kinark where those clients have subsequently entered service with Kinark. These contacts may be through either work or volunteer situations, but all will require the appropriate waivers and/or consents for the release of information acquired in that external setting. Similarly, the employee must respect the confidentiality of all information obtained as a result of his/her work at Kinark. It shall also be a breach of the employee?s duty to fail to disclose any interest or relationship, monetary or otherwise, with any individual, company or organization with which Kinark has any business dealings. The conflict of interest policy includes, but is not restricted to the following rules and guidelines covering conflict of interest, professional boundary, dual relationship and/or private practice situations.

General

Kinark employees will not become foster parents to Kinark clients (current or past).
Kinark employees may use Kinark services as long as no preferential treatment is given or perceived to be given to children of employees.
Kinark employees do not take Kinark clients to their homes.
Kinark employees do not socialize with Kinark clients.
Kinark employees working for another agency, including temporary/contract-service organizations, are not permitted to work for Kinark under the auspices of the other organization.

Note:
Unless otherwise noted, client is defined as a client currently receiving service and Kinark employee is defined as a current employee regardless of employment status.

Private Practice

Private practice treatment, counseling, assessments and other interventions with children, youth and families eligible for Kinark services (i.e. residing in Kinark catchment areas) will only be allowed if these services are not provided by Kinark, which are not planned by Kinark in the immediate future, and which fall outside the mandate of Kinark services. Because of the risk of breach of confidentiality, privacy concerns, dual relationships, and
perceptions which may inhibit staff from using needed services, no employment with Kinark’s EAP provider will be approved. There must be a full declaration to private practice clients and referral sources from the professional that states the professional is employed at Kinark. Referral sources should inform clients of the employment relationship before referring the client to the professional. In any case, the professional has the obligation for full disclosure to the client before service begins. No professional services should be given to Kinark clients or nuclear families whose service at Kinark ended less than two years ago. No professional services should be given to current Kinark staff members or their families. If former staff members or their families are seen, the former staff member should have terminated his/her employment relationship two or more years ago. Kinark employees? private practice clients are not referred to Kinark for service for similar service. Kinark clients are not referred to Kinark employees for service in their private practices. Because of the unique nature of many private practice arrangements, other considerations and information may be required to determine whether the work represents a conflict of interest. Kinark reserves the right to judge each situation on its own merit.

Extracurricular Employment

Kinark employees who intend to establish or become involved in related employment/consulting/ educating/ volunteer activities must inform their immediate Supervisor/Director and the Director, HR Services in writing to initiate a review and ensure there is no conflict of interest between the external business activity and Kinark Child and Family Services activities. The written request for review must be submitted at least one month prior to the commencement of the potential conflict of interest situation. Kinark employees must identify dual relationships and any professional boundary issues
that may arise in the course of their work with Kinark clients. Each such situation must be declared in the same way that a conflict of interest is declared. It will receive the same review and considerations.

Roles and Responsibilities

Employees are Responsible for:
Declaring, in writing, a conflict or potential conflict of interest and/or professional ethics, as defined above to the supervisor.

Supervisors are Responsible for:
Forwarding the declaration, as defined above, to the Director, who will then forward to the Director, HR Services with a recommendation for the request.

HR is Responsible for:
Reviewing the declaration and determining whether a conflict of interest and/or professional ethics, as defined above, does exist and responding appropriately.

Glossary of Terms

Accountability – The obligation of an employee, agent or other person to answer for or be accountable for, work, action or failure to act following delegated authority.

Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) – A national agreement that regulates trade between the provinces to ensure equal access to public sector procurement for all Canadian suppliers. The Agreement aims to reduce barriers to the movement of persons, goods, services and investments within Canada.
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ait-aci.nsf/eng/home

Approval Authority – The authority delegated by the organization to a person designated to occupy a position to approve on its behalf one or more procurement functions within the plan-to-pay cycle up to specified dollar limits subject to the applicable legislation, regulations and procedures in effect at such time.

Approval Level – Criteria, often dollar levels that define which approvals are needed for various business transactions. Limits are set on the size and nature of the business transactions and are assigned to the individual or job role authorized to execute based on the appropriate level of responsibility.
Award – The notification to a proponent of acceptance of a proposal, quotation or tender that brings a contract into existence.
Bid – A proposal, quotation or tender submitted in response to a solicitation from a contracting authority. A bid covers the response to any of the three principal methods of soliciting bids, i.e., Request for Tender, Request for Proposal and Request for Quotation.
Bid Protest – A dispute raised against the methods employed or decisions made by a contracting authority in the administration of a process, leading to the award of a contract.
Bidders’ Conference – A meeting chaired by the soliciting organization to discuss with potential proponents, technical, operational and performance specifications, and/or the full extent of financial, security and other contractual obligations related to a bid solicitation.
Bid Repair- A term used to describe the improper alteration or modification of a bid either by the bidder or by the procuring entity after the deadline for the receipt of bids has passed.
Ceiling Price of VOR Arrangement – Dollar value of an individual procurement under the VOR arrangement above which organizations must conduct procurement using an open competitive process instead of utilizing the VOR arrangement.
Competitive Procurement- A set of procedures for developing a procurement contract through a bidding or proposal process. The intent is to solicit fair, impartial, competitive bids.
Conflict of Interest – A situation in which financial or other personal considerations have the potential to compromise or bias professional judgment and objectivity. An apparent conflict of interest is one in which a reasonable person would think that the professional’s judgment is likely to be compromised.
Construction-  Construction, reconstruction, demolition, repair or renovation of a building, structure or other civil engineering or architectural work and includes site preparation, excavation, drilling, seismic investigation, the supply of products and materials, the supply of equipment and machinery if they are included in and incidental to the construction, and the installation and repair of fixtures of a building, structure or other civil engineering or architectural work, but does not include professional consulting services related to the construction contract unless they are included in the procurement.
Consultant – A person or entity that under an agreement, other than an employment agreement, provides expert or strategic advice and related services for consideration and decision-making.
Consulting Services- The provision of expertise or strategic advice that is presented for consideration and decision-making.
Contract – An obligation, such as an accepted offer, between competent parties upon a legal consideration, to do or abstain from doing some act. It is essential to the creation of a contract that the parties intend that their agreement shall have legal consequences and be legally enforceable. The essential elements of a contract are an offer and an acceptance of that offer; the capacity of the parties to contract; consideration to support the contract; a mutual identity of consent or consensus ad idem; legality of purpose; and sufficient certainty of terms.
Electronic Tendering – A computer-based system that provides suppliers with access to information related to open competitive procurements.
Equipment – All capital equipment, supplies, operational and service documents to be delivered including all parts provided during the warranty period, and further includes all work necessary to deliver and install the equipment.
Evaluation Criteria – A benchmark, standard or yardstick against which accomplishment, conformance, performance and suitability of an individual, alternative activity, produce or plan is measure to select the best supplier through a competitive process. Criteria may be qualitative or quantitative in nature.
Evaluation Matrix- A tool allowing the evaluation team to rate supplier proposals based on multiple pre-defined evaluation criteria.
Evaluation Team- A group of individuals designated/responsible to make an award recommendation. The evaluation team would typically include representatives from the purchasing organization and subject matter expert(s). Each member participates to provide business, legal, technical and financial input.
Evaluation Team Lead -The individual selected by the evaluation team to be responsible for coordinating the evaluation process. Fair Market Value The price that would be agreed to in an open and unrestricted market between knowledgeable and willing parties dealing at arm’s length who are fully informed and not under any compulsion to transact.
Goods – Moveable property (including the costs of installing, operating, maintaining or manufacturing such moveable property) including raw materials, products, equipment and other physical objects of every kind and description whether in solid, liquid, gaseous or electronic form, unless they are procured as part of a general construction contract.
Goods and services, Goods or Services- All goods and/or services including construction, consulting services and information technology.
Information Technology – The equipment, software, services and processes used to create, store, process, communicate and manage information.
Invitational Competitive Procurement – Any form of requesting a minimum of three (3) qualified supplies to submit a written proposal in response to the defined requirements outlined by an individual/organization.
Non-Discrimination- Fairness in treating suppliers and awarding contracts without prejudice, discrimination or preferred treatment.
Offer – A promise or a proposal made by one party to another, intending the same to create a legal relationship upon the acceptance of the offer by the other party.
Procurement – Acquisition by any means, including by purchase, rental, lease or conditional sale, of goods, services or construction.
Procurement Card (P-Card) – An organizational credit card program primarily used for low-cost, non-inventory, non-capital items, such as office supplies. The card allows procurement or field employees to obtain goods and services without going through the requisition and authorization procedure. P-cards may be set up to restrict use to specific purchases with pre-defined suppliers or stores, and offer central billings.
Procurement Lead – The individual assigned for each procurement to ensure it is conducted in an ethical, lawful, effective and accountable manner.
Procurement Policies and Procedures -A framework and mandatory requirements to govern how organizations conduct sourcing, contracting and purchasing activities, including approval segregation and limits, competitive and non-competitive procurement, conflict of interest, and contract awarding.
Procurement Value- The estimated total financial commitment resulting from a procurement, taking into account optional extensions.
Purchase Order – A written offer made by a purchaser to a supplier formally stating all terms and conditions of a proposed transaction.
Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) – A document used to gather information on supplier interest in an opportunity or information on supplier capabilities/qualifications. This mechanism may be used when an organization wishes to gain a better understanding of the capacity of the supplier community to provide the services or solutions needed. A response to a RFEI must not pre-qualify a potential supplier and must not influence their chances of being the successful proponent on any subsequent opportunity.
Request for Information (RFI) – A document issued to potential suppliers to gather general supplier, service or product information. It is a procurement procedure whereby suppliers are provided with a general or preliminary description of a problem or need and are requested to provide information or advice about how to better define the problem or need, or alternative solutions. A response to an RFI must not pre-qualify a potential supplier and must not influence their chances of being the successful proponent on any subsequent opportunity.
Request for Proposal (RFP) -A document used to request suppliers to supply solutions for the delivery of complex products or services or to provide alternative options or solutions. It is a process that uses predefined evaluation criteria in which price is not the only factor.
Request for Quotation (RFQ) – A document similar to an RFT where an organization describes exactly what needs to be purchased and the evaluation is based solely on price.
Request for Supplier Qualifications (RFSQ) – A document used to gather information on supplier capabilities and qualifications, with the intention of creating a list of pre-qualified suppliers. This mechanism may be used either to identify qualified candidates in advance of expected future competitions or to narrow the field for an immediate need. Organizations must ensure that the terms and conditions built into the RFSQ contain specific language that disclaims any obligation on the part of the organization to call on any supplier to provide goods or services as a result of the pre-qualification.
Request for Tender (RFT): A document used to request supplier responses to supply goods or services based on stated delivery requirements, performance specifications, terms and conditions. An RFT usually focuses the evaluation criteria predominantly on price and delivery requirements.
Requisition – formal request to obtain goods or services made within an organization, generally from the end-user to the procurement department.
Segregation of Duties – A method of process control to manage conflict of interest, the appearance of conflict of interest, and errors or fraud. It restricts the amount of power held by any one individual. It puts a barrier in place to prevent errors or fraud that may be perpetrated by one individual.
Service – An intangible product that does not have a physical presence. No transfer of possession or ownership takes place when services are sold and they (1) cannot be stored or transported, (2) are instantly perishable, and (3) come into existence at the time they are bought and consumed.
Single Sourcing – A non-competitive method of procurement of goods or services from a supplier in situations where there is or may be another supplier or suppliers capable of delivering these goods or services.
Sole Source – The use of a non-competitive procurement process to acquire goods or services where there is only one available supplier for the source of the goods or service.
Supplier/Vendor – Any person or organization that, based on an assessment of that person’s or organizations financial, technical and commercial capacity, is capable of fulfilling the requirements of procurement.
Supply Chain Management – The full range of processes that manage the flow of goods and services, information, and funds between suppliers and end-users, as well as the supporting infrastructure required to enable these processes.
Supply Chain-Related Activities – Any activities, whether directly or indirectly related to the organization’s plan, source, procure, move and pay processes.
Total Cost of Ownership- Total costs of ownership includes items such as the purchase prices, implementation fees, upgrades, maintenance contracts, support contracts, license fees and disposal costs.
Total life-cycle Cost – The total cost of using goods, equipment or services over the entire time of use or service including initial, operating and maintenance costs.
Trade Agreements – Any applicable trade agreement to which Ontario is a signatory (e.g. Agreement on Internal Trade and Ontario-Quebec Trade and Cooperation Agreement).
Value for Money/ Best Value – A value-for-money approach aims to deliver products and services with a lower total life-cycle cost while maintaining a high standard.
Vendors-of-Record (VOR) Arrangement – A procurement arrangement that authorizes organizations to select from pre-qualified supplier(s) through a formal second-stage process, for a defined period on terms and conditions set out in the VOR arrangement.