What To Expect if There's an Internal Public Interest Disclosure Act Investigation
Allegations of serious wrongdoing made under the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) are taken seriously. Investigations under PIDA done internally in the public service follow a similar process to Investigations of Allegations of Employee Misconduct reported under the Standards of Conduct. Additional steps are also taken when investigating a PIDA disclosure.
After Submitting a Disclosure
After you submit your disclosure, a representative of the Agency designated officer will:
- Acknowledge receiving your disclosure
- Assess whether it is appropriate to investigate under PIDA or a different process
Other actions during this phase include:
- Initial assessment of the risk of reprisal. You may be contacted during this period to provide more information. After the assessment is complete, you will be notified if there will be an investigation. If there will be no investigation conducted, you will be notified about the reasons why
- There are additional steps in the process when employees may be contacted by the Agency designated officer to let them know what updates can be provided
How is an Investigation Conducted?
- If an investigation is required, an investigator will be appointed to gather and examine all the relevant facts regarding the issue
- This will usually include conducting interviews with individuals that are relevant to the case, including the discloser, witnesses and the respondent, and reviewing relevant documents
- After the necessary evidence has been gathered, the investigator assesses the evidence, makes findings of fact and determines whether the findings support or refute the allegations or concerns that prompted or were subsequently identified during the course of the investigation
PIDA requires that:
- The identity of the disclosing employee be protected
- Steps be taken during the investigative process to protect their identity
- The risk of reprisal to that employee continue to be monitored
What Happens at the End of an Investigation?
At the end of a PIDA investigation, a report will be provided to the deputy minister of the appropriate ministry and a summary of the report will be provided to the disclosing employee.
What Information is Provided to Employees Who are Involved in Investigations?
During an investigation, it is important that the individuals involved are provided with information about the investigative process. The investigator will provide a copy of the Employee Handout: PIDA Investigations (.PDF, 241KB) to witnesses, disclosers and respondents.
If employees make a disclosure under PIDA about a serious wrongdoing, they will have a natural interest in knowing that steps have been taken and what the outcome will be. They may also have some worry because they have brought allegations forward. If there is an investigation under PIDA, the disclosing employee will receive an appropriate summary of the findings and outcomes at the end of the investigation. The information the disclosing employee in the investigation receives about the details of the investigation will be limited because there is a need to protect the privacy of everyone involved in the investigative process.
If you've disclosed something under PIDA and need support during or after an investigation, you can contact your union or an association that you may be a member of. You can also get support from Employee & Family Assistance Services.
The BCGEU can be reached by calling 1-800-663-1674.
Employee & Family Assistance Services
Employee & Family Assistance Services (EFAS) are available to employees and their family members for confidential support for a work, health or life concern. Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the EFAS provider. For access, call 1-800-655-5004 (toll-free) or visit WorkHealthLife.