Last December, I accepted a seven-year term as Canada’s public sector integrity commissioner because I strongly believed in the mandate of the office and felt that I would be able to successfully implement the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, as Parliament intended it to be.
After reading David Hutton’s opinion piece in The Hill Times, I felt it would be appropriate for me to take this opportunity to explain the mandate of my office and to counter the assertion that we are involved in any inconsequential work.
As an agent of Parliament, I am directly accountable to the Senate and the House of Commons. I am guided by the act, at all times, as well as the law, in general. I consider each case to be of great importance to the discloser and the complainant; I understand the difficulty of coming forward, the importance of the issues at stake, and the impact of my decisions on individuals, organizations, and on public confidence in them.
My mandate is to investigate to make an appropriate and fair determination in each and every case, having regard to all the facts, as analysed and investigated by my staff. I can only deal with cases that are brought to my office, whether through a disclosure or a reprisal complaint. My role is to decide the outcome of each case independently, in accordance with the act and in light of the public interest.
I am confident that over the course of the next year, Canadians will have a chance to better understand the scope and breadth of the cases that are under analysis and investigation, and the impact my office will have in promoting integrity within the public sector.
Canada’s Integrity Commissioner
Original article on Hill Times website (subscription required)