Whistleblower Group Criticizes Federal Review of Misconduct Disclosure Program

OTTAWA—An advocacy group for those who reveal wrongdoing says it can’t support a new task force to consider a federal whistleblowing system because no one has “lived experience” as an actual whistleblower. increase.

Whistleblower Canadian Research Association president Pamela Forward said in a letter to Finance Board chairman Mona Fortier that the absence was a “shocking omission.”

The group, which works to promote education and understanding of the whistle-blowing phenomenon, believes that the task force’s independence is significant given that four of its nine members are current or former employees at various levels of government. They also expressed concerns about gender.

Co-Chair Suzanne Craig was Integrity Commissioner for the City of Vaughan, Ontario, and Co-Chair Mary McFadyen served as Ombudsman and Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner for Saskatchewan.

Fortier appointed a task force in late November to review opportunities to improve federal disclosure processes and better protect and support officials who disclose wrongdoing.

According to the Treasury Office, many task force members, including researchers and trade union representatives, were selected through consultation with experts in the field, bringing diverse expertise to their roles.

Secretariat spokesperson Rola Salem said:

The review will also consider the recommendations of a 2017 report on government operations and estimates issued by a House committee, and will consider testimony from 52 eyewitnesses, Salem said.

The task force will produce a public report containing recommendations for possible amendments to the Civil Service Disclosure Protection Act. Work on the panel is expected to take 12 to 18 months to complete.

Despite opposing the government’s approach to the task force, the 2017 Commons Commission report is “now outdated” and requires an independent review by the Ottawa-based Whistleblowing Research Association. agree that

“Since then, there has been a lot of new knowledge about properly drafting and implementing laws and disclosure mechanisms,” Forward wrote to Fortia.

She told the minister that the task force should also include members with expertise in neuroscience research, based on evidence that harassment and bullying suffered by whistleblowers causes physical damage to the brain. .

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on December 24, 2022.

Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press

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