Ethical Procurement Practices

Western University is committed to high standards of ethical, legal, environmental and professional behavior by its members when carrying out their responsibilities and managing the resources entrusted to them.  All University faculty, staff and personnel who, during the course of their duties, are involved in the process of acquiring goods or services shall perform their duties to the following standards:

Accountability & Transparency

  • Goods and services shall be procured in an open, fair and transparent manner.
  • All procurement activities will be conducted in a competitive environment to ensure best value is obtained and University resources are optimized.

Compliance & Continuous Improvement

  • The support of collaborative purchasing, the adoption and sharing of leading procurement practices and the highest standards of professional competence will be sought and demonstrated.
  • Suppliers will be encouraged to consider accessibility, sustainability and social responsibility in their product or service offerings.


The majority of transactions relating to purchasing are of a confidential nature and should be treated as such, especially with regard to our suppliers.  It is unethical, as well as damaging to the University's reputation, to allow information about a vendor's quotation to pass to another vendor.  This includes indirect methods of communication such as overheard telephone conversations or vendor interviews and documentation left open and available at workstations.

Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest exists when an employee can make personal gains from an outside interest by their ability to influence dealings for the University or any other transaction which otherwise inhibits the impartiality of the employee's business judgment.  Consequently, the University, as a general rule, does not enter into purchasing contracts with students, faculty, staff or members of their immediate families.

Acquisitions from a business in which an employee has an interest is prohibited unless full disclosure of the background facts are presented to Procurement Services.  This information is reviewed by the Director of Procurement Services for a decision on whether a conflict of interest is present and, if so, what course of action is to be taken.

Personal Integrity & Professionalism

  • A high standard of integrity, honesty, respect, professionalism and due diligence will be exercised in all activities and relationships.
  • Any personal interest that may impinge ones' impartiality must be declared immediately to the Director of Procurement Services.
  • Respect for each other will be demonstrated.
  • Respect for the environment will be demonstrated.
  • The confidentiality of information received in the course of duty will be respected, subject to legislative requirements.
  • Information given in the course of duty should be true, fair and factual.
  • Activities that create, or may appear to create, a conflict of interest such as accepting gifts or favour or providing preferential treatment are not acceptable.

All procurement activities carried out for the University are to be conducted in accordance with:

  • The laws of Ontario and Canada
  • Recognized professional and ethical business practices
  • All University Manual of Administrative Policies & Procedures (MAPP), including but not limited to:

Additional reference material:
Broader Public Sector (BPS) Accountability Directive
Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA)

Western University - Code of Ethics