Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (S.C. 2005, c. 46)

Assented to 2005-11-25

Marginal note:Chief executives shall establish codes of conduct
  •  (1) Every chief executive shall establish a code of conduct applicable to the portion of the public sector for which he or she is responsible.

  • Marginal note:Consistency

    (2) The codes of conduct established by chief executives must be consistent with the code of conduct established by the Treasury Board.

Marginal note:Application
  •  (1) The codes of conduct applicable to a portion of the public sector apply to every public servant employed in that portion of the public sector.

  • Marginal note:Conflict — RCMP

    (2) In the event of a conflict between the code of conduct established under subsection 5(1) or 6(1) and the code of conduct established under section 38 of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act, the code of conduct established under that section prevails to the extent of the conflict.

WRONGDOINGS

Marginal note:Wrongdoings

 This Act applies in respect of the following wrongdoings in or relating to the public sector:

  • (a) a contravention of any Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province, or of any regulations made under any such Act;

  • (b) a misuse of public funds or a public asset;

  • (c) a gross mismanagement in the public sector;

  • (d) 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;

  • (e) a serious breach of a code of conduct established under section 5 or 6;

  • (f) the taking of a reprisal against a public servant; and

  • (g) knowingly directing or counselling a person to commit a wrongdoing set out in any of paragraphs (a) to (f).

Marginal note:Disciplinary action

 In addition to, and apart from, any penalty provided for by law, a public servant is subject to appropriate disciplinary action, including termination of employment, if he or she commits a wrongdoing.

DISCLOSURE OF WRONGDOINGS

Marginal note:Establishment of internal disclosure procedures
  •  (1) Each chief executive must establish internal procedures to manage disclosures made under this Act by public servants employed in the portion of the public sector for which the chief executive is responsible.

  • Marginal note:Designation of senior officer

    (2) Each chief executive must designate a senior officer to be responsible for receiving and dealing with, in accordance with the duties and powers of senior officers set out in the code of conduct established by the Treasury Board, disclosures of wrongdoings made by public servants employed in the portion of the public sector for which the chief executive is responsible.

  • Marginal note:Senior officer from other portion of public sector

    (3) A chief executive may designate as a senior officer for the portion of the public sector for which the chief executive is responsible a person who is employed in any other portion of the public sector.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (4) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to a chief executive if he or she declares, after giving notice to the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada, that it is not practical to apply those subsections given the size of that portion of the public sector.

Marginal note:Protection of identity

 Each chief executive must

  • (a) subject to any other Act of Parliament and to the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice, protect the identity of persons involved in the disclosure process, including that of persons making disclosures, witnesses and persons alleged to be responsible for wrongdoings; and

  • (b) establish procedures to ensure the confidentiality of information collected in relation to disclosures of wrongdoings.

Marginal note:Disclosure to supervisor or senior officer

 A public servant may disclose to his or her supervisor or to the senior officer designated for the purpose by the chief executive of the portion of the public sector in which the public servant is employed any information that the public servant believes could show that a wrongdoing has been committed or is about to be committed, or that could show that the public servant has been asked to commit a wrongdoing.

Marginal note:When disclosure can be made to the Commis- sioner
  •  (1) A public servant may disclose information referred to in section 12 to the Commissioner if

    • (a) the public servant believes on reasonable grounds that it would not be appropriate to disclose the information to his or her supervisor, or to the appropriate senior officer, by reason of the subject-matter of the wrongdoing or the person alleged to have committed it;

    • (b) the public servant has already disclosed the information to his or her supervisor or to the appropriate senior officer and is of the opinion that the matter has not been appropriately dealt with; or

    • (c) the portion of the public sector in which the public servant is employed is subject to a declaration made under subsection 10(4).

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) Nothing in this Act authorizes a public servant to disclose to the Commissioner a confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada in respect of which subsection 39(1) of the Canada Evidence Act applies or any information that is subject to solicitor-client privilege. The Commissioner may not use the confidence or information if it is disclosed.

Marginal note:Disclosure concerning the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner

 A disclosure that a public servant is entitled to make under section 13 that concerns the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner may be made to the Auditor General of Canada who has, in relation to that disclosure, the powers, duties and protections of the Commissioner under this Act.

Marginal note:Restriction re portions named in Schedule 2

 Despite sections 12 to 14, a public servant employed in a portion of the public sector that has a statutory mandate to investigate other portions of the public sector and that is named in Schedule 2 may disclose information under any of those sections only if the wrongdoing to which the information relates involves the portion of the public sector in which he or she is employed.

Marginal note:Application of ss. 12 to 14

 Sections 12 to 14 apply despite

  • (a) section 5 of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, to the extent that that section relates to obligations set out in Schedule 1 to that Act relating to the disclosure of information; and

  • (b) any restriction created by or under any other Act of Parliament on the disclosure of information, other than a restriction created by or under any provision set out in Schedule 3.

 
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