Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner - brochure
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You are protected.
The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada investigates wrongdoing and protects whistleblowers from reprisal.
Who we are
We are an independent federal organization created in 2007 under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (the Act). We are led by an Integrity Commissioner who reports directly to Parliament. We have jurisdiction over most federal public sector organizations, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Crown Corporations.
What we do
We receive, review and investigate allegations of wrongdoing within the federal public sector. We help to protect public servants who have made a protected disclosure of wrongdoing or public servants who cooperate in investigations into disclosures of wrongdoing by investigating their reprisal complaints.
What is wrongdoing?
The Act applies to the following types of wrongdoings in, or relating to, the federal public sector:
- A contravention of any federal or provincial law or regulation
- A misuse of public funds or a public asset
- A gross mismanagement in the public sector
- An act or omission that creates a significant and specific danger to the life, health or safety of people or the environment
- A serious breach of a code of conduct established under the Act
- Knowingly directing or counselling someone to commit a wrongdoing
It’s your choice
As an employee of the federal public sector, you can disclose wrongdoing directly to the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, to a supervisor or to the designated senior officer within your organization.
Even if you are not part of the federal public service, you can still contact our office directly with information about potential wrongdoing in the federal public sector.
What is reprisal?
Any of the following actions taken against public servants because they made a protected disclosure or cooperated in an investigation may constitute a reprisal:
- Disciplinary measures
- Termination of employment
- Any other measure that adversely affects their employment or working conditions
Threatening to do any of these actions or directing another person to commit a reprisal is also prohibited.
You are protected
Our office investigates complaints of reprisal from current and former public servants. If you believe that you have suffered a reprisal, contact our Office as soon as possible. The Act states that you must file your complaint with the Commissioner within 60 days of having knowledge of a possible reprisal. This time period can be extended by the Commissioner, so it is important to file a complaint even if it has been longer than 60 days.
Every reprisal complaint will be thoroughly reviewed to determine if an investigation is warranted. If we investigate your complaint, we may suggest a voluntary conciliation process, depending on the situation. If the complaint is not resolved through conciliation, the Commissioner will decide at the conclusion of the investigation whether an application to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal is warranted. The Tribunal has the power to determine whether a reprisal was taken and can order appropriate corrective measures, including:
- Reinstatement following a dismissal
- Rescinding any measure or action, including disciplinary action, that adversely affected a public servant
- Ordering compensation for pain and suffering and payment of expenses and financial losses resulting from the reprisal
The Tribunal also has the power to order disciplinary sanctions against those who have taken reprisals.
The process is confidential
Disclosures of wrongdoing are confidential. There are strong safeguards in the Act to protect your identity. For example, information that could identify a discloser, witnesses and other persons involved in disclosures, as well as information obtained in the course of an investigation, cannot be released under the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
If I have questions or need more information, how do I contact the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner?
Toll free: 1-866-941-6400
Facsimile: 613-941-6535 or 613-946-2151 (secure transmission)
60 Queen Street, 7th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5Y7