Acts of Founded Wrongdoing

Reference Number: FW-2018-Q1-01

Organization: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

File Identification Number: 2018-01

File Identification Date: 2018-03-07

Findings and Conclusions: a serious breach of a code of conduct established under section 5 or 6

Case Description: A protected disclosure was received under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA), alleging that an executive of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) had committed wrongdoing pursuant to subsection 8(e) of the Act, a serious breach of a code of conduct. It was alleged that the executive created a toxic work environment, verbally abused employees, displayed anger, belittled employees and exerted excessive control. After conducting a preliminary analysis, the Senior Officer for Internal Disclosure engaged an external investigator to conduct a thorough investigation under the provisions of the PSDPA. The investigation concluded that the allegations were founded.

Recommendations and Corrective Measures: The Senior Officer for Internal Disclosure made four recommendations, one of which was directed at the executive and the remaining recommendations were targeted at the organizational and institutional level. Specifically, it was recommended that: disciplinary action against the executive be considered; a workplace assessment be conducted in the unit that this took place as a step towards rebuilding the trust of employees and restoring the health of the workplace; the department identify ways to better leverage and integrate available information to build a clearer understanding of the Values and Ethics issues and trends, and towards supporting informal interventions and earlier resolution where possible; and, more emphasis be placed on "how" results are achieved when assessing the performance of executives. These recommendations were accepted. The corrective action was a suspension. The recommendations targeted at the organizational unit and department are in the process of being implemented.