The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada (the Office) is an independent federal organization that was established to implement the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (the Act), which came into force in April 2007. The Office investigates wrongdoing in the federal public sector and helps protect from reprisal whistleblowers and those who participate in investigations.
The Office is led by the Commissioner, who reports directly to Parliament and who has jurisdiction over most federal public sector organizations, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Crown Corporations. The President of the Treasury Board is responsible for tabling the Office's Departmental Plan and Departmental Results Report in Parliament.
As a trusted organization where anyone can disclose wrongdoing in the federal public sector confidentially and safely, the Office enhances public confidence in the integrity of public servants and public institutions.
Mandate and Role
The Office contributes to strengthening accountability and increases oversight of government operations by:
- providing an independent and confidential process for receiving and investigating disclosures of wrongdoing in, or relating to, the federal public sector from public servants and members of the public;
- reporting founded cases of wrongdoing to Parliament and making recommendations to chief executives on corrective measures;
- providing a mechanism for handling complaints of reprisal from public servants and former public servants for the purpose of coming to a resolution, including through conciliation and by referring cases to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal.
The Office operates under a set of values that defines who we are and how we interact with our clients and stakeholders.
Respect for democracy
We recognize that elected officials are accountable to Parliament, and ultimately to the Canadian public, and that a non-partisan public sector is essential to our democratic system.
Respect for people
We treat all people with respect, dignity and fairness. This is fundamental to our relationship with the Canadian public and colleagues.
We act in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny.
We use and care for public resources responsibly.
We strive to bring rigour and timeliness as we produce high-quality work.
We arrive at impartial and objective conclusions and recommendations independently.
We protect the confidentiality of any information that comes to our knowledge in the performance of our duties.
The Office operates in a complex and sensitive social, legal and public policy environment. Media and public interest have demonstrated the need and growing demand to respond to concerns about integrity in both the private and public sectors. Whistleblowing protection legislation is increasingly being adopted and updated at provincial, territorial and municipal levels, as well as in other countries. The work requires a high degree of care as each case we handle directly impacts the lives, careers and reputations of individuals and organizations.
The Office is one element of a larger public sector integrity landscape that includes the following entities:
- The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat has overall responsibility for promoting ethical practices in the public sector and for disseminating knowledge about the Act.
- Federal departments and agencies are responsible for administering these ethical practices and are accountable for establishing their own internal disclosure mechanisms.
- The Office receives disclosures of wrongdoing and complaints of reprisal from public servants working in federal and Crown corporations, as well as members of the public. The Office has the exclusive jurisdiction for responding to complaints of reprisal that result from protected disclosures.