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Five years after requirements became law, has Treasury Board ensured that all federal government institutions provide legally-required whistleblower protection?

Conservatives could have avoided more than $500,000 payoff to former Integrity Commissioner if they had waited for Auditor General's report and Deloitte report

Join the Facebook group to get the $500,000 back, and to strengthen the federal whistleblower protection system

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

OTTAWA— Last week the Globe and Mail reported that for three national security institutions “five years after Parliament ordered federal departments to protect whistle-blowers... soldiers and spies still lack crucial protections that would allow them to highlight wrongdoing without risk to their careers.


This problem likely extends much farther than CSIS, the Canadian Security Establishment and the Canadian Forces.


An analysis by the Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform of statistics provided in Treasury Board reports indicates that:

  • Of the 183 organizations subject to the Act, only 12 have found any wrongdoing during the past three years;
  • Six of the largest federal employers have not found a single case of wrongdoing between them in three years;
  • Canada Post has reported no activity– not even an inquiry from one of its 60,000 employees – for three consecutive years, and;
  • About 80% of public servants work for departments that have not reported any activity (inquiries, disclosures, investigations or findings of wrongdoing) in three years.


These statistics call into question the diligence of many departments’ efforts to designate a senior official and provide effective channels for internal reporting of suspected wrongdoing – as required by the federal Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act.  The lack of results from many large employers is a red flag reminiscent of disgraced former Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet’s “perfect score”.  She also found zero cases of wrongdoing during her three years of tenure, despite receiving hundreds of disclosure complaints.


The question is, five years after the requirements became law, how many of the 183 federal government institutions subject to the Act have in place a whistleblower protection system that Treasury Board has verified, for example through an audit or evaluation?

"There is some clear evidence that the federal Conservatives have delayed effective whistleblower protection for five years after the law was passed, but the government must come clean about just how many institutions and agencies have failed to comply with the law, and how many are covering up wrongdoing," said Duff Conacher, Board member of Democracy Watch and Chair of the nation-wide Government Ethics Coalition.


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David Hutton, Executive Director, Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform
Tel: (613) 567-1511

Duff Conacher
, Board member of Democracy Watch and Chairperson of the Government Ethics Coalition:
Tel: (613) 241-5179


To see FAIR’s analysis, click here.

To see the list of federal Senior Officers for disclosure of wrongdoing, click here.

To see the December 2010 report on former disgraced Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet by Auditor General Sheila Fraser, click here.

To see why a full audit is still needed of past cases that Ouimet failed to investigate properly, click here.

To see the list of needed reforms to the Act, click here.

NOTE: FAIR and the Government Ethics Coalition call on federal parties to penalize Ouimet for her misconduct and claw back her obscene, undeserved $500,000 severance payoff (NOTE: The alliance has demanded that the payoff be cancelled and has also requested that the Auditor General audit the payoff and all other similar recent payoffs by the federal government).

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