Monday, June 18, 2012

Annual Report of the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

Mario Dion, the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada, tabled his 2012-2012 annual report last week in the Canadian Senate.

The role of the Commissioner is to investigate:
  • disclosures of wrongdoing in the federal public sector from public servants or members of the public; and
  • complaints of reprisal from public servants and former public servants
According to Dion:
"This year, our Office achieved a number of significant milestones in the ongoing implementation of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (the Act).  These achievements underscore the breadth and range of our mandate, and they speak to the importance and sensitivity of the responsibilities given to us by Parliament to deal with both disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal."
"In March of this year, we tabled in Parliament the first report of a founded case of wrongdoing (...)"
"In the past year, the first three complaints of reprisal were filed with the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal. This Tribunal is composed of three judges of the Federal Court. Under the Act, the Commissioner applies to the Tribunal after the Office investigates a complaint and determines that there were reasonable grounds to believe that a reprisal has occurred (...) In the three cases currently before the Tribunal, retaliation actions were alleged to have been taken against public servants who had made disclosures of wrongdoing in their workplace. Regardless of whether wrongdoing had occurred, actions taken against a public servant for having made a disclosure of wrongdoing, or for participating in an investigation, are able to be investigated by our Office and ruled upon by the Tribunal. The definition of reprisal in the Act covers a wide range of possible actions. In the three cases currently before the Tribunal, the alleged reprisals are the termination of employment, the termination of an acting assignment and the withholding of a security clearance.We will report on the progress and/or outcome of these cases in the next Annual Report, as all three were still in progress at the end of this fiscal year."
The Office finished the year (ending March 31, 2012) with 39 ongoing investigations, more than double the number of cases from the previous year.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:31 pm

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