(Ottawa) The Public Sector Integrity Commissioner concludes that the Department of National Defense committed a “reprehensible act” by contravening the Act respecting the protection of public servants who disclose.
Joe Friday’s office on Tuesday released what it called “troubling” findings regarding whistleblowers within government departments.
The commissioner found that the Department of Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces had a pattern of keeping the public in the dark about internal investigations into wrongdoing within their organizations.
Commissioner Friday’s report said that when his office opened an investigation in 2020, the Department of Defense had not updated its webpage since 2015 that communicates wrongdoing to the public.
The commissioner underlines that reports from whistleblowers had led to three findings of wrongdoing committed between 2015 and 2020.
However, following a finding of wrongdoing within an organization, “the Law requires that the deputy head must promptly make information concerning these reprehensible acts available to the public,” underlines the commissioner.
But National Defense and the Armed Forces only made this information public in 2021 and 2022, after the Integrity Commissioner opened its investigation.
Mr. Friday concludes that there are “serious cases of mismanagement” within the Ministry of Defense. He maintains that this lack of transparency does not meet the ministry’s obligations regarding the application of the Act respecting the protection of public servants who disclose of wrongdoing.