Policy 2.9.4 : Disclosure of Wrongdoings (Whistleblower Policy)

Effective Date: September 21, 2004 amended May 9, 2007
Responsibility: Vice-President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary


Statement

It is in the public interest to maintain confidence in the integrity of the operation of CBC/Radio-Canada as Canada’s public broadcaster. CBC/Radio-Canada’s internal controls and operating procedures are intended to detect and to prevent or deter improper activities; however, at times these systems may not provide perfect safeguards against improper conduct. CBC/Radio-Canada Employees owe a duty of loyalty to their employer, which includes a responsibility to bring to the attention of the Corporation instances of Wrongdoing. CBC/Radio-Canada is committed to complying with the laws and regulations to which it is subject and to protecting the funds, assets and resources of CBC/Radio-Canada. Accordingly, it is the Policy of CBC/Radio-Canada to ensure that when an Employee has reasonable grounds to believe that another CBC/Radio-Canada Employee has committed or is about to commit a financial or other Wrongdoing, as defined in this Policy:

  1. the Employee may disclose this information through a clearly defined process;
  2. the matter will be reviewed and, if warranted, investigated by the Senior Officer;
  3. the Employee will be protected from reprisals;
  4. d. the subject of the disclosure will be provided an opportunity to respond to allegations;
  5. all parties to an investigation will be treated fairly;
  6. confidentiality will be maintained to the greatest extent possible;
  7. if Wrongdoing is found, appropriate remedial and disciplinary actions will be taken.


Application

This policy applies to all CBC/Radio-Canada Employees.

Objectives

To provide an effective process that allows Employees to bring concerns or information about illegal activities or other Wrongdoing as defined in this Policy (including improper use of CBC/Radio-Canada funds, assets or resources) to the attention of their supervisor or the Senior Officer for review and resolution without fear of reprisal, to provide that participants in an investigation be treated fairly and appropriately, and to ensure that CBC/Radio-Canada has a process which favours transparency and accountability.

Definitions

  • Discloser means an Employee who makes a Disclosure under this Policy. This person is commonly referred to as a “whistleblower”.
  • Protected Disclosure means a disclosure that is made in good faith by an Employee in accordance with this Policy or in accordance with the provisions of the PSDPA.
  • Employee means any individual who is employed by CBC/Radio-Canada but for greater certainty does not include freelance talent or individuals working for personal services corporations.
  • Senior Officer means an individual designated by the President and CEO to be responsible for receiving and dealing with disclosures of wrongdoings made by employees of CBC/Radio-Canada.
  • Improper Disclosure means a disclosure made in bad faith, which includes but is not limited to providing false information, making disclosures that the Discloser knows are baseless, or making repeated disclosure concerning matters that have been previously examined and determined by the Senior Officer.
  • PSDPA means the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act
  • Reprisal means any of the following measures taken against an Employee by reason that the Employee has, in good faith, made a Protected Disclosure or has, in good faith, cooperated in an investigation carried out under this Policy or pursuant to the PSDPA:
    1. a disciplinary measure including demotion or termination;
    2. any measure that adversely affects the employment or working conditions of the Employee; or
    3. a threat to take any of the measures referred to in paragraphs (a) or (b).
  • Subject means the person(s) whom the Discloser believes has committed or is about to commit a Wrongdoing that is covered by this Policy.
  • Wrongdoing for purposes of this Policy means any act or omission in or relating to the public sector that is more than trivial in nature, and that is:
    1. 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 s. 19 of the PSDPA;
    2. a misuse of public funds or assets;
    3. gross mismanagement;
    4. a serious breach of the CBC/Radio-Canada Code of Conduct;
    5. knowingly directing or counselling a person to commit a wrongdoing set out in any of paragraphs (a) to (e).


Confidentiality

Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible, consistent with the procedural requirements of this Policy. A file will be created when the Disclosure Process set out in the guidelines is initiated. That Disclosure File will be maintained separately from the personnel files of the Discloser or the Subject, and will normally be under the control of the Senior Officer. Information collected may be subject to considerations such as privacy legislation and the rules governing court or other legal proceedings.

Rights And Responsibilities

Employees

All CBC/Radio-Canada Employees who participate in or are involved in any way in any process under this Policy shall be responsible to:

  1. keep information relating to any process under this Policy, strictly confidential;
  2. refrain from discussing any Disclosure or the fact of their involvement, except to the extent required for the purposes of any investigation and resolution.

Disclosers and Subjects have the right to be represented or accompanied by another person of their choice (including legal counsel, at their own cost).

Reprisal Protection

Any Employee who has reasonable grounds to believe that a reprisal has been taken against him or her may file a complaint with the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (“PSIC”). Details of the reprisal complaint process and information about remedial actions may be obtained from the PSIC website or by contacting the PSIC at:

Public Sector Integrity Commissioner
60 Queen Street, Suite 605
Ottawa ON
K1P 5Y7
Telephone: 613-941-6400
Toll free: 1-866-941-6400

Improper Disclosure

Improper Disclosure will be viewed as Employee misconduct and will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment for cause, where warranted.


Person Responsible for Interpretation and Application

Vice-President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

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