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Feds launching task force to reform public-service whistleblowing law


OTTAWA – The federal government is launching an external review of the legislation that governs whistleblower protection in the public service.

Treasury Board President Mona Fortier is asking a nine-member task force to consider reforms to the federal disclosure process that would strengthen supports for bureaucrats who come forward to report wrongdoing.

The review of the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act will begin in January and is slated to take between 12 and 18 months to complete.

The decision to conduct a review comes after a report commissioned by the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner found “palpable and widespread” pessimism among public servants who were asked about whistleblowing.

The report by Phoenix Strategic Perspectives Inc., delivered earlier this year, said federal workers are increasingly cynical, skeptical and disillusioned about the idea, and they are more likely to fear reprisals than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Treasury Board says the government is committed to promoting a positive and respectful workplace “grounded in values and ethics.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2022.

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