Statutory responsibilities under the Public Interest Disclosure Act

The pdfPublic Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) was assented to December 20, 2007 and came into force on July 1, 2008. The purpose of the Act is to facilitate the disclosure and investigation of significant and serious matters in or relating to the public service that are potentially unlawful, dangerous to the public or injurious to the public interest and to protect people who make those disclosures. It is commonly known as ‘Whistleblower’ legislation.

Employees of the public service can contact the Ombudsman or the Department concerned if they feel there has been wrongdoing. Wrongdoing is defined in the Act as

  1. an act or omission constituting an offence under an Act of the Legislature or the Parliament of Canada, or a regulation made under an Act;
  2. 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 an employee;
  3. gross mismanagement, including of public funds or a public asset;
  4. knowingly directing or counselling a person to commit a wrongdoing described in paragraphs (a) to (c).

If the Ombudsman receives a complaint from an individual who is not an employee of the Public Service, under section 23 he may forward the claim to the chief executive of that portion of the public service in respect of which the claim is made.

Under the Act, if an employee (or former employee) feels a reprisal has been taken against him or her, they may file a complaint with the Labour and Employment Board.

If you have questions, please contact our Office at 1-888-465-1100 for more information.