- What can a disclosure under PIDA be about?
A disclosure can be made about a "wrongdoing". A wrongdoing is a very serious act or omission that is defined by PIDA as:
- an act or omission that is an offence under another law
- an act or omission that creates a specific and substantial danger to the life, health or safety of persons or the environment
- gross mismanagement, including mismanagement of public funds or a public asset (government property)
PIDA also includes "knowingly directing or counselling a person to commit a wrongdoing" as a wrongdoing.
A wrongdoing does not include routine operational or human resource issues.
- Which public bodies can I make a disclosure about?
- provincial government departments
- Crown corporations
- boards and commissions
- child and family services authorities and agencies
- regional health authorities
- personal care homes
- school divisions and districts
- municipalities identified by regulation under the act
- independent offices of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba
- some other organizations that receive at least 50% of their operating costs from government funds
The PIDA regulation identifies the health, education, municipalities and other public bodies to which PIDA applies.
- Who can make a disclosure of wrongdoing?
Any employee or officer of any of the organizations covered by PIDA can make a disclosure of wrongdoing.
Anyone else not employed in the public service who believes that a wrongdoing has been committed or is about to be committed can also make a disclosure.
- To whom can I make a disclosure?
If you are an employee or officer, a disclosure of wrongdoing can be made to one of three people:
- your supervisor
- the designated officer for your organization (each public body covered by PIDA has a designated officer)
- Manitoba Ombudsman
If you are not an employee of one of the organizations covered by PIDA, you may make a disclosure to Manitoba Ombudsman.
A list of designated officers for provincial government departments is maintained on the Civil Service Commission's website at:
- Must the disclosure be in writing?
Yes, PIDA requires that disclosures be made in writing. If you are making a disclosure to the ombudsman, write a letter to us or print a "Disclosure of Wrongdoing" form from our website, or request a copy by calling 204-982-9130. You can also make a disclosure using our secure online disclosure form.
- What information must I include in my disclosure?
A disclosure must include:
- a description of the wrongdoing
- the name of the person or persons alleged to have committed the wrongdoing, or be about to commit the wrongdoing
- the date of the wrongdoing
- whether the wrongdoing has already been disclosed and a response received.
- Can a disclosure be made anonymously?
Yes, but it can be difficult to investigate a disclosure without confirming details about the alleged wrongdoing with you.
- Do all disclosures get investigated?
No. PIDA outlines several situations where an investigation is not required, including when:
- the subject matter of the disclosure could more appropriately be dealt with, initially or completely, according to a procedure provided for under another act.
- the disclosure is frivolous or vexatious, or has not been made in good faith or does not deal with a sufficiently serious subject matter.
- so much time has elapsed between the date when the subject matter of the disclosure arose and the date when the disclosure was made that investigating it would not serve a useful purpose.
- the disclosure relates to a matter that results from a balanced and informed decision-making process on a public policy or operational issue.
- the disclosure does not provide adequate particulars about the wrongdoing as required by the act.
- the disclosure relates to a matter that could more appropriately be dealt with according the procedures under a collective agreement or employment agreement.
- What is reprisal?
"Reprisal" refers to any of the following measures taken against an employee because the employee has sought advice about making a disclosure, made a disclosure, or cooperated in an investigation:
- a disciplinary measure
- a demotion
- termination of employment (being fired)
- any measure that adversely affects employment or working conditions
- a threat to take any of the above measures
- How am I protected from reprisal if I make a disclosure?
It is an offence, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, for any person to take a reprisal against an employee, or direct that one be taken against an employee, because the employee has, in good faith:
- sought advice about making a disclosure
- made a disclosure; or
- cooperated in an investigation under PIDA
Any employee or officer within a public body may file a written complaint with if they believe reprisal action has been taken against them. Write a letter to us or print a "Complaint of Reprisal" form from our website (coming soon!), or request a copy by calling 204-982-9130. Manitoba Ombudsman may investigate the complaint in the same manner as a disclosure.