Public Sector Integrity Commissioner Finds Wrongdoing at the Department of National Defence
For immediate release
Ottawa, September 19, 2023 - The Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada, Joe Friday, tabled a Case Report in Parliament today regarding the Department of National Defence (DND).
As a result of whistleblowers coming forward, Commissioner Friday launched an investigation to determine whether senior managers at DND provided prompt public access to information about founded cases of wrongdoing at DND and in the Canadian Armed Forces. Commissioner Friday concluded that DND committed gross mismanagement and contravened the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act.
According to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s policy, when an internal disclosure leads to a founded case of wrongdoing, information about the wrongdoing should normally be made public within 60 days from the day on which the Chief Executive confirms the finding.
Commissioner Friday identified three cases investigated internally by DND for which publication of the information was delayed for at least 18 months. In one of these cases, the time elapsed between the conclusion of the internal report and the publication of the information was 43 months. In fact, the information was only made public following the launch of our investigation.
“The results of our investigation are troubling. Public servants must be able to have confidence in their senior leadership. Making a disclosure of wrongdoing is an extremely difficult and courageous act, and those who make a disclosure have a right to be made aware of actions stemming from their disclosures and to expect that any founded cases will be shared with the public. Unfortunately, in this case, disclosers were left in the dark and had no choice but to raise the alarm again, this time about the very individuals who were meant to shine light on wrongdoing.”
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