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Whistle-blower Program: 2017 recommendations

A component of each whistle-blower investigation is, where possible and appropriate, to determine underlying causes of procedural failure or control weakness leading to a concern being reported. Recommendations are raised to the attention of Management with a view that, if implemented, these corrective actions would mitigate opportunity for similar activities to reoccur. Recommendations are made based on the concern or issue reported and are not limited to substantiated allegations.

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2017 Recommendations

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​Year ​Category of Concern ​Nature of Allegation ​Conclusion and Corrective Action
​Q4-2017 ​Business Integrity ​It was alleged that an employee was in conflict of interest due to having supervisory functions over a family member.

​The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation substantiated the allegation raised.

The investigation substantiated the alleged conflict of interest although no harm or benefit was gained.

As a result of the investigation, corrective action has, and will continue to be taken, to ensure responsibilities of the role can continue without creating conflict.

At the recommendation of the Whistle-blower Program, Management has further undertaken to provide employees in this work area with training and awareness regarding conflicts of interest.

​Q4-2017 ​Misuse, Misappropriation of City Assets ​It was alleged an employee accessed the City network utilizing the electronic identity of another employee ​The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation substantiated the allegation raised.

The investigation determined that a breach of the Acceptable Use of City Technology Resources policy occurred when one employee provided their electronic identity to another employee who then used the identity to access the City network. The investigation further determined that nature of the inappropriate access to the City network was absent the intent to cause harm. Both employees were found to have breached the policy.

As a result of the investigation, both employees were provided coaching.
​Q4-2017 ​HR, Diversity and Respectful Workplace ​It was alleged that an employee within a specific work area was provided preferential treatment in the form of an opportunity to take on additional responsibilities in a special project not provided to other employees in the same work area. ​The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation as raised was unsubstantiated.

The investigation however, identified opportunities for improvement in how the special project role could be more transparent.

At the recommendation of the Whistle-blower Program, management has undertaken to (1) re-evaluate how the special projects role is positioned within the department, clarifying its scope of responsibilities and competencies, and (2) apply a more structured approach toward career development conversations and assignment of special projects as a way to mitigate against the perception that opportunities are not available to all qualified employees.
​Q4-2017 ​Misuse, Misappropriation of Assets ​It was alleged that an employee was utilizing a City vehicle for personal purposes during work hours. ​The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation substantiated the allegation raised.

The investigation confirmed the personal use of a City vehicle by the employee was minimal and limited to short durations during allowable break periods. The activity was determined to be contrary to the Labour Relations policy.

Prior to conclusion of the investigation, Management had taken corrective action to provide the employee with one-on-one coaching on the City’s expectations regarding use of a City vehicle. Following the investigation, additional discussion regarding use of City vehicles was held with the broader employee group in this work area.
​Q4-2017 ​Accounting, and Financial Reporting ​It was alleged that an employee was attempting to credit a vendor account without justification. ​The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation was not substantiated.

The investigation identified opportunities to improve the vendor credit clearing process.

At the recommendation of the Whistle-blower Program, Management has undertaken to further clarify roles and responsibilities of relevant finance employees to ensure ongoing effective monitoring and timely application of vendor credits.
​Q3-2017 ​Misuse, Misappropriation of City Assets
 
Business Integrity
​It was alleged that an employee accrued undocumented overtime and took more time off than was earned, with the knowledge and approval of a second employee in a management position.

​The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation substantiated the allegations raised.

The investigation determined that the employee accrued overtime, and took time off in a manner known to be inappropriate, contrary to the labour agreement, and in breach of the Labour Relations policy. The investigation further determined that the employee’s activity occurred with the knowledge and approval of an employee in a management position.
 
As a result of the investigation, corrective action was taken. The City has ended its employment relationship with each employee.
 
At the recommendation of the Whistle-blower Program, Management has further undertaken to provide other employees in this work area with coaching opportunities raised by this investigation.
​Q2-2017 ​​HR, Diversity and Respectful Workplace ​It was alleged that an employee was abusing Sickness & Accident benefits by traveling out of country without claiming vacation time. ​ ​The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation substantiated the employee’s travel, however, did not substantiate intentional wrongdoing.
 
The investigation determined that the employee provided a supervisor and Return to Work Coordinator with timely notification of the intent to travel; however, the employee was not instructed to notify the City’s benefits insurer. The breakdown in process and communication resulted in the employee receiving Sickness & Accident benefits rather than utilizing available vacation time.
 
As a result of the investigation corrective action was taken. The employee repaid to The City the value of the benefits received during the vacation period, and the employee’s vacation records were corrected. In addition, Management undertook to increase awareness of the procedure and necessity for accurate time records and clear communication regarding an employee’s obligation to contact the insurer for any travel during medical leave
​Q1‑2017 ​Misuse, Misappropriation of City Assets ​It was alleged that (1) an employee authorized to operate a 24 hour/Special Purpose Vehicle was not completing required travel logs; and (2) an employee was not being assessed applicable taxable benefit income by The City.

​The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation substantiated both allegations, however, did not substantiate intentional wrongdoing.

As a result of the investigation corrective action was taken. The employee was provided coaching regarding proper recording procedures necessary for the use and operation of a 24 hour/Special Purpose Vehicle. In addition, appropriate adjustments were made to ensure correct allocation of employee taxable benefit income for prior and ongoing use of the vehicle.
Q1‑2017 ​Misuse, Misappropriation of City Assets ​It was alleged than an employee was utilizing City time and resources to further a private business interest. ​The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation substantiated the allegation.
 
As a result of the investigation corrective action was taken. The employee was provided coaching. In addition, increased supervision oversight and monitoring has occurred to support employee’s compliance with the Acceptable Use of City Technology Resources Policy.
Q1‑2017 ​Misuse, Misappropriation of City Assets ​It was alleged that (1) an employee acting in the capacity of hiring manager selectively recruited candidates during employment competitions; and (2) an employee was utilizing City time and resources in a manner not in alignment with the Acceptable Use of City Technology Resources Policy. ​The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation raised in relation to hiring practices was not substantiated.
 
The investigation substantiated the allegation regarding inappropriate the use of City time and resources.
 
As a result of the investigation corrective action was taken. The employee was provided coaching regarding acceptable use of the internet. In addition, increased monitoring of the employee’s internet activity has been implemented to ensure ongoing compliance with the Acceptable Use of City Technology Resources Policy.
Q1‑2017

​Misuse, Misappropriation of City Assets

Business Integrity
​It was alleged that (1) on an ongoing basis, an employee left a designated work area prior to the completion of a scheduled shift; and (2) a second employee facilitated the activity through manipulation of time entry records.

​The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation substantiated the allegation involving the employee’s early departure from a work area without approval.

As a result of the investigation corrective action was taken. The employee received discipline in the form of a letter of expectation. In addition, the Supervisor has increased monitoring of workplace attendance to support the employee’s compliance with the Labour Relations policy.
 
The investigation determined the alleged falsification of time records by an employee was not substantiated.
 
At the recommendation of the Whistle-blower Program, Management undertook to reinforce controls related to the time entry system and ensure alignment between access privileges and an employee’s role and job function

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