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

Act current to 2016-06-06 and last amended on 2016-01-01. Previous Versions

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, other than a contravention of section 19 of this 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; and

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

  • (g) [Repealed, 2006, c. 9, s. 197]

  • 2005, c. 46, s. 8;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 197.
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 Chief Human Resources Officer appointed under subsection 6(2.1) of the Financial Administration Act, that it is not practical to apply those subsections given the size of that portion of the public sector.

  • 2005, c. 46, s. 10;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 198;
  • 2010, c. 12, s. 1679;
  • 2011, c. 24, s. 177.
Marginal note:Duty of chief executives
  •  (1) Each chief executive must

    • (a) subject to paragraph (c) and 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;

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

    • (c) if wrongdoing is found as a result of a disclosure made under section 12, promptly provide public access to information that

      • (i) describes the wrongdoing, including information that could identify the person found to have committed it if it is necessary to identify the person to adequately describe the wrongdoing, and

      • (ii) sets out the recommendations, if any, set out in any report made to the chief executive in relation to the wrongdoing and the corrective action, if any, taken by the chief executive in relation to the wrongdoing or the reasons why no corrective action was taken.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) Nothing in paragraph (1)(c) requires a chief executive to provide public access to information the disclosure of which is subject to any restriction created by or under any Act of Parliament.

  • 2005, c. 46, s. 11;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 199.
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:Disclosure to the Commissioner
  •  (1) A public servant may disclose information referred to in section 12 to the Commissioner.

  • 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.

  • 2005, c. 46, s. 13;
  • 2006, c. 9, s. 200.
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.

Marginal note:Requirements when making a disclosure

 In making a disclosure under this Act, a public servant must

  • (a) provide no more information than is reasonably necessary to make the disclosure; and

  • (b) follow established procedures or practices for the secure handling, storage, transportation and transmission of information or documents, including, but not limited to, information or documents that the Government of Canada or any portion of the public sector is taking measures to protect.

Marginal note:Disclosure to public
  •  (1) A disclosure that a public servant may make under sections 12 to 14 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

    • (a) constitutes a serious offence under an Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province; or

    • (b) constitutes an imminent risk of a substantial and specific danger to the life, health and safety of persons, or to the environment.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (1.1) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of information the disclosure of which is subject to any restriction created by or under any Act of Parliament, including the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

  • Marginal note:Rights not affected

    (2) Nothing in subsection (1) affects the rights of a public servant to make to the public in accordance with the law a disclosure that is not protected under this Act.

Marginal note:Exception — special operational information

 Section 12, subsection 13(1) and sections 14 and 16 do not apply in respect of any information that is special operational information within the meaning of subsection 8(1) of the Security of Information Act.

 
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