Yukon Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner
Frequently Asked Questions
- If I make a disclosure of wrongdoing will I be protected?
If you are an employee of a public entity you may disclose a wrongdoing and be protected from reprisal under the PIDWA provided the wrongdoing is disclosed in good faith.
- Who can I disclose a wrongdoing to?
If you reasonably believe that you have information that will show a wrongdoing has occurred in a public entity or is about to occur, you may disclose the wrongdoing to:
- your supervisor,
- your designated officer for your public entity, or
- the Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner (PIDC).
If your public entity has disclosure procedures, the PIDC cannot investigate until:
- you disclose the wrongdoing to your public entity using the procedures established, the investigation by your public entity is complete, a final is decision is issued, and you are unsatisfied with the decision made or action taken; or
- your public entity has not completed the investigation within a reasonable amount of time.
The PIDC can investigate your disclosure anytime if it involves your chief executive or designated officer, or the PIDC determines it would be inappropriate in the circumstances to require you to use your public entity’s disclosure procedures.
- Can I disclose a wrongdoing publicly?
You may only disclose a wrongdoing publicly if you reasonably believe there is an imminent risk of a danger that is both substantial and specific to the life, health or safety of individuals or the environment, and there is insufficient time for you to disclose the wrongdoing to your public entity or the PIDC. When making a public disclosure, you must not disclose any information that is restricted from disclosure by a law or regulation of Yukon or Canada (ss. 15(c)).
Before disclosing the wrongdoing publicly you must first contact the appropriate law enforcement agency and follow any direction they provide. After the public disclosure, you must disclose the wrongdoing to your supervisor or your designated officer (if any).
- Will I be required to put my disclosure of wrongdoing in writing?
You are required to put your disclosure of wrongdoing in writing and provide a description of the wrongdoing, the name of the alleged wrongdoer, the date of the wrongdoing, and whether you disclosed the wrongdoing to your public entity, if you received a response from the public entity, and other information as may be required.
- Will my identity be protected if I disclose a wrongdoing?
The PIDWA requires the PIDC to protect information, and all staff in the Office of the PIDC swear or affirm an oath of secrecy.
Efforts are made to ensure your confidentiality as much as possible. However, depending on the specific nature of a case, it may not be possible to protect your identity. For example, if you work in a small office environment, your disclosure may be apparent to other staff.
- Can I obtain advice prior to making a disclosure of wrongdoing?
If you are thinking about making a disclosure of wrongdoing you can seek advice from a supervisor, your designated officer (if one exists), or the PIDC. You may be asked to put your request for advice in writing.
- What is the process for arbitration?
It is up to the arbitrator to determine the procedure to be used. The PIDWA requires, however, that the arbitrator provide the PIDC, you, the alleged reprisor, and the public entity the opportunity to make submissions and present evidence.