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

Act current to 2017-09-27 and last amended on 2017-06-19. Previous Versions

Contracts

Marginal note:Prohibition — termination of contract or withholding of payments
  •  (1) A public servant or any person purporting to act on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada or a portion of the public sector shall not terminate any contract with Her Majesty in right of Canada or any portion of the public sector, or withhold any payment that is due and payable in respect of any such contract, by reason only that the other party to the contract or any of that other party’s employees has, in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, provided information concerning an alleged wrongdoing in the public sector to the Commissioner or, if the alleged wrongdoing relates to the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, to the Auditor General of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition — entering into contract

    (2) A public servant or any person purporting to act on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada or a portion of the public sector shall not, in considering whether to enter into a contract with a person, take into account that the person or any of the person’s employees has, in the past, in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, provided information concerning an alleged wrongdoing in the public sector to the Commissioner or, if the alleged wrongdoing relates to the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, to the Auditor General of Canada.

  • Meaning of contract

    (3) In this section, contract includes, but is not limited to, an agreement for the supply of goods or the provision of services, an agreement relating to real property or immoveables, a loan, a grant and a contribution, but does not include an agreement by a public servant, or by a person appointed by the Governor in Council or by a minister of the Crown, to perform the duties to which their employment or appointment relates.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 215.

Offence

Marginal note:Offence and punishment

 Every person who knowingly contravenes section 19 or contravenes any of sections 40 to 42.2 commits an offence and is guilty of

  • (a) an indictable offence and liable to a fine of not more than $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years, or to both that fine and that imprisonment; or

  • (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine of not more than $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both that fine and that imprisonment.

  • 2006, c. 9, s. 215.

Confidentiality

Marginal note:Security requirements

 The Commissioner and every person acting on behalf of or under the direction of the Commissioner who receives or obtains information relating to an alleged wrongdoing must, with respect to access to and the use of that information, satisfy any security requirements applicable to persons who normally have access to and use of that information and take any oath of secrecy required to be taken by them.

Marginal note:Confidentiality

 Unless the disclosure is required by law or permitted by this Act, the Commissioner and every person acting on behalf of or under the direction of the Commissioner shall not disclose any information that comes to their knowledge in the performance of their duties under this Act.

Marginal note:Canada Evidence Act

 Nothing in this Act is to be construed as limiting the application of the Canada Evidence Act to any disclosure, or proposed disclosure, of information under this Act by the Commissioner or any person acting on behalf of or under his or her direction.

Protection

Marginal note:Protection

 No criminal or civil proceedings lie against the Commissioner, or against any person acting on behalf of or under the direction of the Commissioner, for anything done or omitted to be done, or reported or said, in good faith in the course of the exercise or performance, or purported exercise or performance, of any power or duty of the Commissioner under this Act.

Marginal note:Not compellable witness
  •  (1) The Commissioner or any person acting on behalf of or under the direction of the Commissioner is not a competent or compellable witness in any proceedings, other than a prosecution for an offence under this Act, in respect of any matter coming to the knowledge of the Commissioner, or that person, as a result of performing any duties under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Exceptions

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to

    • (a) the Commissioner or any person acting on behalf of or under the direction of the Commissioner, with respect to the Commissioner’s participation in any proceedings before the Tribunal; or

    • (b) a person designated as an investigator under section 19.7 with regard to his or her participation in the investigation for which he or she was so designated.

  • 2005, c. 46, s. 46;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 216.
Marginal note:Libel or slander

 For the purposes of any law relating to libel or slander,

  • (a) anything said, any information supplied or any document or thing produced in the course of an investigation under this Act by or on behalf of the Commissioner is privileged if it was said, supplied or produced in good faith; and

  • (b) any report under this Act made in good faith by the Commissioner is privileged, and any fair and accurate account of the report made in good faith in a newspaper or any other periodical publication or in a broadcast is privileged.

General

Marginal note:Disclosure not waiver

 The disclosure of information to the Commissioner under this Act does not, by itself, constitute a waiver of any privilege that may exist with respect to the information.

Marginal note:Restriction
  •  (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), when referring any matter under section 34 or making a report under section 38, the Commissioner shall not disclose any information that the Government of Canada or any portion of the public sector is taking measures to protect, including, but not limited to, information that

    • (a) is a confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada in respect of which subsection 39(1) of the Canada Evidence Act applies;

    • (b) is subject to solicitor-client privilege;

    • (c) is special operational information within the meaning of subsection 8(1) of the Security of Information Act;

    • (d) is subject to any restriction on disclosure created by or under any other Act of Parliament;

    • (e) could reasonably be expected to cause injury to international relations, national defence or national security, or to the detection, prevention or suppression of criminal, subversive or hostile activities;

    • (f) could reasonably be expected to cause injury to the privacy interests of an individual; or

    • (g) could reasonably be expected to cause injury to commercial interests.

  • Marginal note:Exception — previously disclosed information or consent

    (2) The Commissioner may disclose any information referred to in subsection (1) if it has already been disclosed following a request under the Access to Information Act or with the consent of the relevant individual or an authorized person in the organization that has a primary interest in the information.

  • Marginal note:Exception — disclosure necessary for referral or report

    (3) The Commissioner may disclose any information referred to in subsection (1) if, in his or her opinion,

    • (a) the disclosure is necessary to refer any matter under section 34 or to establish the grounds for any finding or recommendation in a report under section 38; and

    • (b) the public interest in making the disclosure clearly outweighs the potential harm from the disclosure.

  • Marginal note:Compliance and consultation

    (4) Before disclosing any information as permitted by subsection (3), the Commissioner must

    • (a) comply with subsection 38.02(1.1) of the Canada Evidence Act; and

    • (b) except for information that only affects the privacy interests of an individual, consult with the organization that has a primary interest in the information.

  • 2005, c. 46, s. 49;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 217.
Marginal note:Personal information

 Despite 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 despite any other Act of Parliament that restricts the disclosure of information, a report by a chief executive in response to recommendations made by the Commissioner to the chief executive under this Act may include personal information within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of that Act, or section 3 of the Privacy Act, depending on which of those Acts applies to the portion of the public sector for which the chief executive is responsible.

 
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