Our Mission:

Protecting Whistleblowers Who Protect The Public Interest

FAIR (Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform) promotes integrity and accountability within government by empowering employees to speak out without fear of reprisal when they encounter wrongdoing. Our aim is to support legislation and management practices that will provide effective protection for whistleblowers and hence occupational free speech in the workplace.

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Top Stories

Audit finds 'gross mismanagement' in two integrity watchdog cases

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Chris Cheadle – April 15, 2014

Whistleblower protection groups are demanding the Harper government dump its second consecutive public service integrity commissioner after two damning audits of his office.

The auditor general has found "gross mismanagement" of two separate case files in the troubled Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada, which was created by the Conservative government in 2007.  "It sounds so familiar, this story did not surprise," Allan Cutler, a civil service whistleblower on the Liberal sponsorship scandal, said in an interview.

Canada's integrity commissioner should be fired: Watchdogs

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Giuseppe Valiante – April 15, 2014

Several watchdog groups have called for Canada's integrity commissioner to be fired after the auditor general accused him of gross mismanagement in the handling of two government whistleblower files.

Mario Dion is the second integrity commissioner in a row accused of incompetence and mismanagement by the auditor general. Government watchdog groups Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform, Canadians for Accountability, and Democracy Watch demanded Tuesday that Dion be dismissed in order for government whistleblowers to feel safe disclosing wrongdoings.

Groups call for dismissal of Integrity Commissioner

Today, in response to the federal Auditor General's new report that found two cases of gross mismanagement by federal Integrity Commissioner Mario Dion and his staff, three groups that speak on whistleblower issues, FAIR, Canadians for Accountability and Democracy Watch called on the House and Senate to remove Dion from office, and to strengthen the federal whistleblower protection law in key ways to make it actually effective.

Since the resignation of disgraced Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet in fall 2010, there have been just three independent examinations of cases handled by the current commissioner, Mario Dion – one by a federal judge and two by the Auditor General. All three were harshly critical of the conduct of PSIC investigations.

Auditor general raps integrity commissioner over handling of whistleblowers

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Mario Dion

Kathryn May – April 11, 2014

Auditor General Michael Ferguson has found Canada’s public service integrity commissioner, his deputy and an investigator guilty of gross mismanagement and wrongdoing in the handling of two whistleblowers’ complaints made against the integrity’s watchdog’s office.

The auditor general’s report rapped the office for delays, mismanaging the files and committing a “wrongdoing” under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. The act lays out the procedure for the disclosure of wrongdoing in the public service, including protection from reprisal for whistleblowers who disclose the wrongdoing.

Statement on 25th Anniversary of USA Whistleblower Protection Act

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Today, the Make It Safe Coalition (MISC) marks the 25th anniversary of the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA), the primary law ensuring freedom of speech and accountability in the federal workplace, and the model for occupational free speech globally.

The MISC statement reads: "The Whistleblower Protection Act continues to be a work in progress. Congress put off controversial decisions on court access and administrative due process hearings until completion of a four-year study. Also, notably, the WPA does not provide our military and most national security and intelligence community workers with protections."

Edward Snowden to Receive Truth-Telling Prize

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Noam Cohen – April 6, 2014

The Ridenhour prize for truth-telling will be given to Edward J. Snowden and Laura Poitras, the filmmaker and journalist who helped Mr. Snowden disclose his trove of documents on government surveillance.

The award, named for the Vietnam veteran who helped expose the My Lai massacre and later became an investigative journalist, is expected to be announced on Monday morning. It’s the latest honor for the reporting based on the top-secret material leaked by Mr. Snowden, who was a contractor for the National Security Agency.

TransCanada dismissive of employees’ concerns about pipeline safety, records reveal

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The following are selected extracts

Mike De Souza – April 13, 2014

Management at TransCanada Corp. were dismissive to employees who raised concerns in recent years about the safety of the company’s existing and brand new North Americanpipeline infrastructure, newly released company records reveal.

The thousands of pages of records, released over the past month by the Senate energy and environment committee, show cases where engineers were told in internal emails to stop searching for potential pipeline defects.

USA Senator plans new whistleblower-protection caucus

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Josh Hicks – April 10, 2014

A co-author of the 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act plans to create a new Senate caucus dedicated to upholding the federal-workforce legislation, which became law 25 years ago to the day.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) will announce his intentions on the Senate floor on Thursday and spend the next six months encouraging colleagues to join the caucus, with a goal of establishing the group by the start of the next session of Congress, according to an announcement from his office.

'A watchdog as opposed to a lap dog’: Senate ethics officer unchained

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Jordan Press – March 16, 2014

The Senate ethics watchdog could soon be allowed to speak about her work. The changes introduced in the upper chamber Wednesday would allow the upper chamber’s ethics officer to review any complaint she wishes without requiring the approval, in some instances, of a committee of senators.

Senate ethics officer Lyse Ricard would also be allowed to speak publicly about preliminary reviews into senators who have run afoul of the conflict of interest code if the review is already publicly known, or if she has cleared the accused senator of wrongdoing.

Whistleblower site already receiving files

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DJ Brooks – April 1, 2014

A Niagara-based whistleblower website has already received ten files – four of them are considered to have merit and provide enough information for further investigation. Of the files that will go forward, three are related to bid tender issues, and one is connected to a billing issue.

Stephen Megannety, co-creator of the service, uses retired government employees, high ranking not-for-profit employees, law enforcement, and legal experts, to investigate the files depending on the needs of the individuals.

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