Date Approved: October 16 2023
The Board of Education of School District No.52 (“School District”) is committed to honesty, integrity and accountability in its operations, programs and services, and to promoting a culture of openness and transparency. The School District encourages and supports all personnel in bringing forward reports of unlawful acts and acts of wrongdoing in a manner consistent with the provisions of the British Columbia Public Interest Disclosure Act (“PIDA”).
The purpose of this Policy and related Procedures is to establish a process, in compliance with PIDA, for employees and trustees to report, in good faith, wrongful or unlawful conduct without fear of retaliation or reprisal.
SCOPE OF POLICY
This Policy applies to alleged wrongdoing related to the School District’s operations or personnel. This Policy does not displace other mechanisms set out in School District Policy for addressing and enforcing standards of conduct, disputes, complaints, or grievances, including issues of discrimination, bullying and harassment, occupational health and safety, or disputes over employment matters or under collective agreements.
In this Policy and the Procedures, the following capitalized terms are defined as indicated:
“Advice” means advice that may be requested in respect of making a Disclosure or a complaint about a Reprisal under this Policy or PIDA;
“Discloser” means an Employee or Trustee who makes a Disclosure or seeks Advice or makes a complaint about a Reprisal;
“Disclosure” means a report of Wrongdoing made under this Policy and includes allegations of Wrongdoing received by the School District from the Ombudsperson or another government institution for investigation in accordance with PIDA;
“Employee” refers to a past and present employee of the School District;
“FIPPA” means the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and all regulations thereto;
“Investigation” means an investigation undertaken by the School District under this Policy or by the Ombudsperson under PIDA;
“Personal Information” has the same meaning set out in FIPPA, namely “recorded information about an identifiable individual”, and includes any information from which the identity of the Discloser or any person who is accused of Wrongdoing or participates in an Investigation can be deduced or inferred;
“PIDA” means the Public Interest Disclosure Act of British Columbia, and all regulations thereto;
“Procedure” means the School District’s Administrative Procedure associated with this Policy, as amended;
“Reprisal” means the imposition of, and any threat to impose, discipline, demotion, termination or any other act that adversely affects employment or working condition of an Employee or Trustee because they made a Disclosure, sought Advice, made a complaint about a Reprisal or participated in an Investigation;
“Trustee” means a past or present member of the School District’s Board of Education; and
“Wrongdoing” refers to:
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
The School District is committed to supporting ethical conduct in its operations, and seeks to foster a culture in which Employees and Trustees are encouraged to disclose Wrongdoing, including by receiving, investigating and responding to Disclosures and by providing information and training about PIDA, this Policy and the Procedures.
PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY
All Personal Information that the School District collects, uses or shares in the course of receiving or responding to a Disclosure, a request for Advice, a complaint of a Reprisal, or conducting an Investigation will be treated as confidential and will be used and disclosed as described in this Policy, the Procedures, PIDA or as otherwise permitted or required under FIPPA and other applicable laws.
Each year, the Superintendent shall prepare, in accordance with the requirements of PIDA, and make available, a report concerning any Disclosures received, Investigations undertaken and findings of Wrongdoing. All reporting under this Policy will be in compliance with the requirements of FIPPA.
The Superintendent is responsible for the administration of this Policy, and shall ensure that training and instruction is available to all Employees and Trustees concerning this Policy, the Procedures and PIDA.
In the event that the Superintendent is unable or unavailable to perform their duties under this Policy, the Superintendent may delegate their authority in writing to the Secretary-Treasurer or other senior members of the School District.