Oversight Mechanisms

Traditionally, apart from internal processes in an organization such as grievance processes, harassment policies, internal whistleblowing policies, etc., the courts, and governmental standing committees with oversight responsibilities for a specific department have been viewed as avenues for checking organizational abuses of power. 

Further, it is important that these mechanisms are seen to treat whistleblowers fairly as to do otherwise would suggest a clue as to why reprisals for whistleblowers in Federal and other organizations continue in general, despite legislation forbidding them.   Lack of effective oversight would likely encourage wrongdoers to keep on doing wrong- which includes reprisals against whistleblowers- as no one cares to even investigate them so there are no consequences.  The same chilling effect would likely occur if Courts are perceived to deal harshly and/or unfairly with whistleblowers.

As it now stands, in the case of federal public servants since 2007, the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA) ensures the continuation of the status quo as, in addition to its other weaknesses, under the Act whistleblowers are not permitted access to either the Courts or the Parliamentary Committees.  Instead, they must submit to the decisions of the Public Service Integrity Commissioner, if s/he decides to handle the case, without further recourse.   

Courts

Courts

Governmental Standing Committees

Governmental Standing Committees

 


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