Public Sector Integrity Commissioner finds wrongdoing by the Ottawa Air Section of the RCMP

For immediate release


Ottawa, December 2, 2014 – As a result of whistleblowers coming forward, the tenth founded case of wrongdoing was tabled by the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, Mario Dion, in both Houses of Parliament today. This report found that in 2012, the Ottawa Air Section (OAS) of the RCMP's Air Services Branch contravened the Canadian Aviation Regulations which constituted wrongdoing under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act.

The investigation found that some pilots of the OAS would, on occasion, enter incorrect data or worked backwards when completing the Aircraft Journey Logbooks for two aircraft of the RCMP fleet in 2012 (Piaggio P-180 and the Pilatus PC-12). The Commissioner therefore determined that the RCMP failed to ensure that each aircraft operated within the weight and balance limits specified in their respective flight manuals. The RCMP sold the Piaggio in July 2014.

"Our investigation did not conclude that the life, health or safety of persons was compromised as a result of these overweight flights," stated Commissioner Dion. "Canadian Aviation Regulations were nonetheless breached, which resulted in my making this finding of wrongdoing today. I am satisfied with the RCMP's response on this matter, as they proactively put in place Corrective Action Plans to ensure full compliance with the Canadian Aviation Regulations."

It is imperative that all federal public sector employees understand that any contravention of any Act of Parliament or of any regulations made under any such Act, does constitute wrongdoing under the Public Sector Disclosure Protection Act.

"We take every disclosure of wrongdoing submitted to us by a federal public servant or a member of the public very seriously. When the information provided is sufficient and suggests that wrongdoing as defined by the Act may have taken place, an investigation would be launched," added Commissioner Dion. "I am pleased that the Federal Court did not grant the interlocutory injunction requested by the Attorney General of Canada on behalf of the RCMP. This decision ensured that I could respect the legislated timelines established in the Act, thereby allowing me to present my finding of wrongdoing to Parliament within 60 days of making my decision."

Please consult the report for further details.

-30-

For more information, contact:
Edith Lachapelle
Manager, Communications
Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada
Telephone: 613-946-2138 or 613-294-1678
Email: Lachapelle.Edith@psic-ispc.gc.ca

2015-09-29