Image of gas pump and wad of cash to show fuel rewards and the rules on how to use them with VEMA

VEMA has been asked to remind drivers about the implications of using the purchasing power bestowed upon them by the government to obtain personal gain.

Fuel reward programs are incentives that fuel vendors use to encourage customers to purchase their products by giving the customers something “free” in return for their patronage (like flights, cash or products). Examples include Air Miles, Petro Points, CAA dollars and CO-OP dividends.

The use of personal reward cards or accounts to collect patronage points while purchasing fuel and/or supplies for a vehicle conducting government business is considered inappropriate. VEMA suggests that fuel reward program incentives should be declined whenever fuel is being purchased for a vehicle conducting government business.

This suggestion is supported by the following policies:

  • The Conflict of Interest Policy for Manitoba Government employees states that “employees are expected to place the public interest first in carrying out their duties. Part of protecting the public interest involves avoiding or effectively resolving conflict of interest situations where private or personal interests influence, or appear to influence, the performance of their duties and responsibilities. Ultimately, these situations must be resolved in favour of the public interest.” (Civil Service Commission Policy Manual, 3.2.1 Conflict of Interest.)
  • The general provisions of the Conflict of Interest Policy also states that “employees must not, directly or indirectly Undertake outside employment, a business transaction or other private arrangement for personal profit or have any financial or other personal interest that is, or may appear to be in conflict with the performance of their duties” (Civil Service Commission Policy Manual, 3.2.1 Conflict of Interest).

In addition, the General Manual of Administration states “Employees shall not accept any gift or other consideration from any person with whom he or she is conducting (or has conducted) government business, other than one of a token nature with limited value” (General Manual of Administration, PP-30-05, pages 98 and 99.)