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A serious breach of a code of conduct
In September 2010, the office of the Senior Officer for internal Disclosure for the Canada Border Services Agency received a complaint that an employee who had made a protected disclosure to a manager did not receive appropriate confidentiality protections. A probe was conducted, and it was determined that the allegation was founded, in that the manager permitted the discloser’s name to be used when describing the initial allegation to potential witnesses. This failure to protect the confidentiality of the identity of the discloser constitutes a wrongdoing under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA).
In response to this finding, three recommendations were made. (1) A formal apology will be made to the discloser for the failure to respect his/her confidentiality. (2) The manager involved will be formally advised that failure to protect the confidentiality of the identity of the discloser constitutes a wrongdoing under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, and that appropriate discipline will be considered. (3) A message will be prepared for issuance to all offices drawing the attention of managers and staff to the provisions of the PSDPA, and to the procedures for making and receiving protected disclosures of wrongdoing. In addition, a new measure will be implemented making it mandatory that all managers consult with the Senior Officer for Internal Disclosures when they receive a disclosure of wrongdoing in order to obtain advice on procedures for dealing with that disclosure.
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