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PIDA FAQ

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 government 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
  • hospitals
  • personal care homes
  • universities
  • colleges
  • independent offices of the Legislative Assembly
  • some other organizations that receive at least 50% of their operating costs from government funds

The PIDA regulation identifies the health, education, 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 government organization covered by PIDA has a designated officer)
  • the Manitoba Ombudsman

If you are not an employee of one of the organizations covered by PIDA, you may make a disclosure to the Manitoba Ombudsman.

A list of designated officers for provincial government departments is maintained on the Civil Service Commission's website at:

http://www.gov.mb.ca/csc/whistle/index.html

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 in the Manitoba public service may file a written complaint with the Manitoba Labour Board if they believe reprisal action has been taken.