The Government of Canada is committed to promoting a positive and respectful public service grounded in values and ethics. Today, the Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board, announced the appointment of an external task force that will explore revisions to the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA).
The nine-member task force’s review will consider opportunities to enhance the federal disclosure process and strengthen protections and supports for public servants who come forward to disclose wrongdoing. It will be co-chaired by Suzanne Craig and Mary McFadyen, who each bring significant experience to bear in the field. The task force members bring diverse expertise and include academics, individuals with expertise in other Canadian jurisdictions, Senior Officers for Internal Disclosure, and bargaining agent representatives.
The task force will produce a public report that provides the government with recommendations on possible amendments to the act to further support and protect federal employees who come forward to disclose wrongdoing. Their work will begin in January 2023 and is expected to take 12 to 18 months.
The review will consider the recommendations of the 2017 report issued by the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates (OGGO) as well as Canadian and international research and experience. It will also consider the parliamentary debate, the testimony at committee and the final outcome of the Private Members’ Bill C-290, An Act to amend the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act in its report. Experts as well as public servants will also be given an opportunity to participate.
Since the act was first introduced in 2007, several enhancements have been implemented to support disclosure. These include guidance for the internal disclosure process; awareness activities and training for public servants, supervisors and managers; and enhanced reporting of disclosures and acts of founded wrongdoing.
The government is committed to continually improving its disclosure regime so that employees feel confident bringing forward cases of wrongdoing and Canadians continue to have the utmost faith in the integrity of our institutions.