The Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA) was created to protect Canadians who blow the whistle on Federal government wrongdoing.
A central part of the Federal Accountability Act, the PSDPA establishes a regime for allegations of wrongdoing to be investigated, and for whistleblowers to seek protection from reprisals.
The Act creates a new Agent of Parliament, the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (PSIC), whose role is to investigate allegations of wrongdoing and to protect federal government whistleblowers from reprisals.
What's Wrong with the Act
A plain English analysis of the pitfalls contained Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act: recommended for anyone who is considering using this process. Written by FAIR.
What's wrong with the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act...
The Act Explained
Written by FAIR: a concise, plain English explanation of the main provisions of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act and how it works.
The Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act Explained...
Click here for a .pdf version
The Text of the Act
The official text of the PSDPA on the Justice Department's website.
The Integrity Commissioner
The Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (PSIC) is required to issue annual reports. We have compiled the performance data from these reports for the past three years.
See PSIC performance 2007-2010 and PSIC case rejections 2008-2010.
Also see our OPSIC Case Analysis 2007-2010 which provides detailed information on how cases were handled during the first three years of OPSIC's existence, and our PSIC Chronology which provides a detailed timeline of significant events.
The Integrity Commissioner is required to publish annual reports with statistics on the operations of her office, including the numbers of disclosures, investigations, and founded cases of wrongdoing.
Fifth annual report 2011-2012
Commissioner Mario Dion reports that during the fifth year of operation of the office, he has found one case of wrongdoing and referred to the Tribunal three cases of possible reprisals against whistleblowers.
Fourth annual report 2010-2011
Interim commissioner Mario Dion reports that during the fourth year of operation of the office, he has found zero cases of wrongdoing and zero cases of reprisals against whistleblowers.
Third annual report 2009-2010
Commissioner Christiane Ouimet reports that during the third year of operation of her office, she has found zero cases of wrongdoing and zero cases of reprisals against whistleblowers.
Second annual report 2008-2009
Commissioner Christiane Ouimet reports that during the second year of operation of her office, she has found zero cases of wrongdoing and zero cases of reprisals against whistleblowers.
First annual report 2007-2008
Commissioner Christiane Ouimet reports that during the first year of operation of her office, she has found zero cases of wrongdoing and zero cases of reprisals against whistleblowers.
The Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal (PSDPT) is a special-purpose administrative body created to adjudicate complaints of reprisal. Public servants cannot go directly to the Tribunal – their complaints of reprisal must first be investigated by the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner. If the Commissioner investigates a complaint and rules that it is founded, she may refer it to the Tribunal. However during the first three years of operation of this legislation, not a single case was referred to the Tribunal – it never sat.
- Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal website
- Active cases before the Tribunal
- Summaries of decisions made by the Tribunal
Departmental Senior Officers
Departments are required to have their own internal system for investigating disclosures of wrongdoing. Annual performance statistics for are published, as well as a report on each founded case of wrongdoing. See FAIR's Analysis of Departmental Performance
Most departments and crown corporations have designated a senior officer to whom internal disclosures can be made. These are listed on the Public Service Agency's website.
Senior Officers for Disclosure of Wrongdoing...
- Departmental performance reports 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. These reports provide statistics on the internal disclosure procedures of all departments covered by the PSDPA, including the number of disclosures, investigations, and founded cases of wrongdoing.
Departmental Reports of Founded Wrongdoing...
Reports on the specific cases of wrongdoing uncovered through departmental internal procedures.
Values and Ethics Code
The PSDPA required a new code of conduct for the public service to be created by Treasury Board, and for departments to write their own codes of conduct consistent with the Treasury Board version. However, Treasury Board did not produce the new draft code until late 2011, to come into force April 2012 -- six years after the passage of the PSDPA and five years after it was supposed to be produced.
Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service
- The Government Operations Committee is responsible for operational oversight of the PSDPA.
- The Public Accounts Committee is responsible for legislative oversight of the PSDPA.
History of the Act
- PSDPA History. The story of how the PSDPA was developed: what was promised during the 2006 election campaign, and FAIR's comments on what was delivered.
- The Public Service Integrity Officer – the predecessor to the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner.
- Documents showing the changes that took place during the evolution of the Act.