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The Commission scolaire de langue française (CSLF) says it is satisfied with the results of an inquiry into its hiring of a communications director last February.
Officials with CSLF, the Prince Edward Island’s French Language School board, said the investigation confirmed the ethics of its employees, the professionalism of its human resources management, and the validity of its hiring process.
After concerns were raised about the process, the CSLF hired an expert in human resource management from the firm HR Reflexion to look into the hiring.
Micheline Roy’s investigation was conducted in July. She submitted her findings during a private meeting of the board’s trustees on Aug. 8, 2018.
To come to her conclusions, Roy conducted an analysis of the recruitment process and of the hiring process, including a detailed analysis of the interview results.
She verified the policies and procedures in effect, including clause 9.04 of the Public Service Commission’s manual on conflicts of interests. She also surveyed all pertinent documents, including emails and texts, advertisements for the position, candidate resumes, interview questions and answers, and the evaluation matrix.
Roy provided several key conclusions in her report:
- confirmation that “the validity of the results and the integrity of the process followed”, and that “the hiring process was conducted in good faith and followed the hiring policy”;
- the Superintendent, Anne Bernard-Bourgeois, recused herself from the hiring process and “acted in conformity with the policy and avoided putting herself in a conflict of interest”;
- “there appeared to be a conflict of interest between the chair of the board, Emile Gallant, and the hired candidate”
- “based on his performance during the interview, his education and his competencies, in spite of an appearance of a conflict of interest, the selection of the hired candidate was justified and supported by the documentation and the interview results”.
The chair of the board conceded that he should have asked the board to validate his participation in the hiring process or should have recused himself.
“In human resource management, the appearance of a conflict of interest should be treated as a conflict of interest, and unfortunately this was not the case,” Gallant concluded.
The HR expert also submitted recommendations to the board. Among others, maintaining the hiring of Daniel Bourgeois as director of communications and community and cultural affairs, implementing a process to ensure that the supervision of the director protects the superintendent and avoids any perception of conflicts of interests between the director and the superintendent, improving the CSLF’s policy on conflicts of interest, notably by developing a protocol, and conducting a training session for the board and CSLF employees on the matter.