DAOD 7024-1, Internal Procedures for Disclosure of Wrongdoings in the Workplace

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Definitions
  3. Overview
  4. Implementation of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act
  5. Consequences
  6. Responsibilities
  7. References

1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 2010-08-31

Date of Last Modification: 2016-08-24

Application: This DAOD is a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (“DND employees”) and an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (“CAF members”) who exercise any authority of the Deputy Minister (DM).

Supersession: CANFORGEN 097/07, Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act Enters Into Force

Approval Authority: Assistant Deputy Minister Review Services (ADM(RS))

Enquiries: Director Special Examinations and Inquiries (DSEI)

2. Definitions

protected disclosure (divulgation protégée)

Means a disclosure that is made in good faith and that is made by a public servant

(a)  in accordance with this Act;
(b)  in the course of a parliamentary proceeding;
(c)  in the course of a procedure established under any other Act of Parliament; or
(d)  when lawfully required to do so.

(Subsection 2(1) of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act)

public sector (secteur public)

Means

(a)  the departments named in Schedule I to the Financial Administration Act and the other portions
       of the federal public administration named in Schedules I.1 to V to that Act; and
(b)  the Crown corporations and the other public bodies set out in Schedule 1.

However, subject to sections 52 and 53 [of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act], public sector does not include the Canadian Forces, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service or the Communications Security Establishment. (Subsection 2(1) of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act)

public servant (fonctionnaire)

Means every person employed in the public sector, every member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and every chief executive. (Subsection 2(1) of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act)

reprisal (représailles)

Means any of the following measures taken against a public servant because the public servant has made a protected disclosure or has, in good faith, cooperated in an investigation into a disclosure or an investigation commenced under section 33 [of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act]:

(a)  a disciplinary measure;
(b)  the demotion of the public servant;
(c)  the termination of employment of the public servant, including, in the case of a member of the
      Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a discharge or dismissal;
(d)  any measure that adversely affects the employment or working conditions of the public servant;
       and
(e)  a threat to take any of the measures referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (d).

(Subsection 2(1) of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act)

wrongdoing (acte répréhensible)

Means a wrongdoing referred to in section 8 [of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act]. (Subsection 2(1) of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act)

Note – The wrongdoings referred to in section 8 are set out in paragraph 3.2 of this DAOD.

3. Overview

General

3.1 The Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA) provides for DND employees and other public servants to come forward if they believe that a wrongdoing has been committed or is about to be committed in their workplace, or if they have been asked to commit a wrongdoing. The PSPDA:

  1. prohibits the taking of reprisals against a public servant who has made a protected disclosure or, in
    good faith, has cooperated in an investigation; and
  2. provides a fair and objective process for any person alleged to be responsible for a wrongdoing.

3.2 Section 8 of the PSDPA provides that the PSDPA applies in respect of the following wrongdoings in or relating to the public sector:

  1. a contravention of any Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province, or of any regulations made
    under any such Act, other than a contravention of section 19 of the PSDPA;
  2. a misuse of public funds or a public asset;
  3. a gross mismanagement in the public sector;
  4. an act or omission that creates a substantial and specific danger to the life, health or safety of
    persons, or to the environment, other than a danger that is inherent in the performance of the duties or functions of a public servant;
  5. a serious breach of a code of conduct established under section 5 or 6 of the PSDPA; or
  6. knowingly directing or counselling a person to commit any of the above wrongdoings.

Note – The Treasury Board Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces Code of Values and Ethics have been made for purposes of sections 5 and 6 respectively of the PSPDA.

The PSDPA and DND Employees

3.3 To implement the PSDPA, the DM has established internal procedures and processes which permit the disclosure of wrongdoings by DND employees with confidence that they will be treated fairly and protected from reprisals.

Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

3.4 The PSDPA has established the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (PSIC). Any public servant or member of the public may disclose information to the PSIC about alleged wrongdoing.

3.5 Under subsection 19.1(1) of the PSPDA, only the PSIC may deal with a complaint made by a public servant or a former public servant that a reprisal has taken place against the public servant or former public servant as a result of the making of a protected disclosure or, in good faith, cooperating in an investigation. The complaint may also be made by a person designated by the public servant or former public servant for that purpose.

Confidentiality

3.6 The DND is required under the PSDPA to:

  1. protect, subject to any other Act of Parliament and the principles of procedural fairness and natural
    justice, the identity of persons involved in the disclosure process, including that of:

         i.   the person making the disclosure;
         ii.  witnesses; and
         iii. the person alleged to be responsible for the wrongdoing; and

  1. establish procedures to ensure the confidentiality of information collected in relation to a disclosure
    under the PSDPA.

Access to Information Act and Privacy Act

 3.7 In order to protect the identity of persons involved in the disclosure process, the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act were amended to provide that the head of a government institution is required to refuse to disclose any record requested under either of these Acts that contains information created for the purpose of making a disclosure under the PSDPA or in the course of an investigation into a disclosure under the PSDPA.

4. Implementation of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act

DND Disclosure Organizational Structure

4.1 The DM has designated the ADM(RS) as the senior officer responsible for the implementation of the PSDPA. The DSEI assists the ADM(RS) in this role. To ensure that there is effective, fair and impartial day-to-day management of the disclosure of wrongdoings, the ADM(RS) has established the Internal Disclosure Office (IDO).

Choices for Making a Disclosure

4.2 A DND employee may make a disclosure under the PSDPA to:

  1. their supervisor;
  2. the ADM(RS); or
  3. the PSIC.

Note – A disclosure made to the ADM(RS) should be forwarded to the IDO.

Disclosure to the Public

4.3 In accordance with section 16 of the PSDPA, a disclosure that a public servant may make under sections 12 to 14 of the PSPDA may be made to the public if there is not sufficient time to make the disclosure under those sections and the public servant believes on reasonable grounds that the subject-matter of the disclosure is an act or omission that:

  1. constitutes a serious offence under an Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province; or
  2. constitutes an imminent risk of a substantial and specific danger to the life, health and safety of persons, or to the environment.

CAF Members Acting as Supervisors of DND Employees

4.4 A DND employee may make a disclosure to a CAF member if the CAF member acts as their supervisor and exercises any authority of the DM. A CAF member may exercise the authority of the DM in several areas, including:

  1. supervision, staffing, leave approval and other personnel functions in respect of DND employees; and
  2. financial matters under the Financial Administration Act.

4.5 If a DND employee is uncertain as to whether the CAF member acting as their supervisor exercises any authority of the DM, the DND employee should contact the IDO.

Wrongdoing by CAF Members

4.6 As the CAF is an organization that is excluded from the definition of “public sector” for purposes ofthe PSDPA, a DND employee may not make a protected disclosure as to wrongdoing that is in or relating to the CAF. However, a DND employee may make a protected disclosure in respect of a wrongdoing by a CAF member in respect of the exercise of any authority of the DM by that CAF member.

Disclosure Made to a Supervisor or the ADM(RS)

4.7 The DND is committed to promoting openness and dialogue within the workplace so that DND employees who have concerns about wrongdoings can raise the matter informally using the usual reporting relationship.

4.8 Should a DND employee wish to make a disclosure under the PSDPA, the DND employee may request information and assistance from the IDO on the PSDPA and advice on making a disclosure.

4.9 There are five basic steps, as summarized in the following table, in the internal procedures for a disclosure made to a supervisor or the ADM(RS) (see the Disclosure of Wrongdoing – Guidelines for Department of National Defence (DND) Managers and Employees, and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Supervisors and Members for a complete description of each step): 

StepActionDescription
1 Disclosure of wrongdoing

The DND employee discloses wrongdoing to their supervisor or the ADM(RS).

The supervisor who receives the disclosure must report it to the IDO. The IDO must ensure that all disclosures are:

  • logged in the IDO database;
  • given a file identifier number; and
  • acknowledged in writing.

Note – A DND employee should normally not engage another organization or process while a disclosure is being reviewed or investigated.

2 Preliminary assessment

The IDO, or the supervisor in consultation with the IDO if appropriate, must:

  • review the information received;
  • apply the definition of “wrongdoing”;
  • determine if there are sufficient grounds for further action; and
  • if so, take action in accordance with step 3.

If a disclosure is rejected, the DND employee must be informed in writing and a copy sent to the IDO.

3 Review or Investigation

The IDO must make a decision as to the appropriateness of conducting an informal review or if the disclosure should be referred to another organization or process.

The supervisor or IDO may conduct the review.

If a formal investigation is required, the disclosure should normally be referred to the DSEI for action. However, a supervisor may conduct an investigation if the supervisor received the disclosure.

4 Reporting

At the conclusion of a review or investigation, the supervisor, IDO or DSEI must provide:

  • a finding as to the validity of the disclosure; and
  • a written report to the ADM(RS).

The ADM(RS) must review the results of the report and decide how best to disseminate the report's findings and recommendations.

 If the ADM(RS) determines that corrective action is required, applicable senior authorities in the DND must take the corrective action and inform the ADM(RS) when the action is taken. The IDO must follow up as required.

5 Communication of disclosure outcome

Once a report has been finalized and approved, the supervisor, IDO or ADM(RS), as appropriate, must notify in writing, subject to the provisions of the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act, the DND employee who made the disclosure and other relevant parties, including persons who have been implicated in the alleged wrongdoing, of the outcome of the review or investigation and of any corrective action that has been taken.

In the event that a review or investigation finds wrongdoing as a result of the disclosure, paragraph 11(1)(c) of the PSDPA requires that certain information be made public. In respect of a disclosure concerning the DND, this information is posted on the ADM(RS) Internet and intranet sites.

 Disclosure by DND Employee Working in the Office of the DND/CAF Ombudsman

 4.10 If a DND employee working in the Office of the DND/CAF Ombudsman makes a disclosure of wrongdoing to their supervisor or the ADM(RS) and the wrongdoing relates to that Office, the ADM(RS) must engage an independent investigator from outside of the DND and the CAF to conduct the investigation. Based on the findings of the investigator, the ADM(RS) must take action as considered appropriate.

5. Consequences

Consequences of Non-Compliance

5.1 Non-compliance with this DAOD may have consequences for both the DND and the CAF as institutions, and for DND employees and CAF members as individuals. Suspected non-compliance with this DAOD may be investigated. The nature and severity of consequences resulting from non-compliance will be commensurate with the circumstances of the non-compliance.

Note – In respect of the compliance of DND employees, see the Treasury Board Framework for the Management of Compliance for additional information.

6. Responsibilities

Responsibility Table

6.1 The following table identifies the major responsibilities for the implementation of the PSDPA

(see the Disclosure of Wrongdoing – Guidelines for Department of National Defence (DND) Managers and Employees, and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Supervisors and Members for a complete list of responsibilities): 

The ...is or are responsible for …
DM
  • reviewing reports and recommendations from the ADM(RS) and making decisions; and
  • establishing the DND code of conduct, consistent with the Treasury Board code of conduct.
ADM(RS)
  • ensuring that procedures are in place to provide public access to required information in accordance with the PSDPA; and
  • ensuring that corrective measures are taken when wrongdoing is found as the result of a disclosure.
level one advisors
  • providing an environment in which DND employees in their organizations are encouraged to come forward if they perceive that a wrongdoing has been committed or may be committed in the workplace, or if they have been asked to commit a wrongdoing; and
  • ensuring that all supervisors of DND employees in their organizations are made aware of the provisions of the PSDPA and the internal procedures for disclosure.
DSEI
  • providing oversight of the internal procedures for disclosure.
Principal, IDO
  • developing and implementing the internal procedures for disclosure;
  • developing procedures to ensure the protection of the identity of any persons involved in, and information created during, the internal procedures for disclosure, including any resulting review or investigation;
  • initiating reviews or investigations, if required; and
  • ensuring that any disclosure concerning an alleged breach of the Code of Service Discipline or the Criminal Code, is discussed with the Office of the Judge Advocate General or the Office of the DND/CF Legal Advisor, as appropriate, and reported to the CF National Investigation Service or the appropriate police service, as required.
supervisors of DND employees
  • providing a positive environment in which DND employees may, in good faith, disclose information concerning wrongdoings in the workplace;
  • being knowledgeable about the provisions of the PSDPA and the internal procedures for disclosure;
  • informing DND employees about the PSDPA, their choices for making disclosures, protection under the PSDPA and sources of additional information;
  • providing guidance to DND employees who are considering disclosing a wrongdoing or who are involved in the disclosure process, and informing them that the process provides a degree of confidentiality and protection from reprisal;
  • protecting the identity of DND employees who make disclosures and that of others involved in the disclosure process;
  • protecting DND employees from reprisals when they make disclosures or are involved in reviews or investigations; and
  • compiling appropriate statistics on disclosures received and their disposition and forwarding them to the IDO.
DND employees
  • becoming familiar with the major provisions of the PSDPA, including the meaning of wrongdoing and the procedures for disclosure, confidentiality and protection from reprisals;
  • understanding the choices in making a protected disclosure and where to get related information and advice;
  • following the internal procedures for disclosure unless the disclosure is made to the PSIC;
  • respecting the reputation of other persons by not making trivial or vexatious disclosures; and
  • cooperating and assisting in the conduct of a review or investigation and disclosing only the information necessary for the review or investigation.
DND employees who make a disclosure
  • maintaining confidentiality with respect to the details of a disclosure, including the identity of any person alleged to be responsible for the wrongdoing.

7. References

Acts, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD

Other References