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Whistle-blower Program: 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 b​eing 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.

2019 recommendations2018 recommendations

 
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2019 Recommendations

​Year ​Category of Concern ​Nature of Allegation ​Conclusion and Corrective Action
Q3‑2019 Business Integrity It was alleged that an employee, acting in the capacity of hiring manager, was in a conflict of interest.
The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation to be substantiated.

The investigation determined that certain recruiting actions directed by the hiring manager were not aligned with The City’s Conflict of Interest policy, however, did not affect the hiring decision.

As a result of the investigation, corrective action will be taken, including one-on-one coaching to reinforce to the employee The City’s expectation for compliance with the Conflict of Interest policy.

Q3‑2019 HR, Diversity and Respectful Workplace It was alleged that employees acting in the capacity of hiring managers in a specific business unit were not adhering to The City’s hiring procedures and engaging in selective and discriminatory practices.
The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation raised to be unsubstantiated.

The investigation determined that The City’s procedures were respected and that hiring decisions made were complaint with The City’s Employment Policy.

As a result of the investigation, an opportunity was identified strengthen documentation procedures, and the Whistle-blower Program has recommended that Administration provide greater clarity in its guidance regarding documenting hiring decisions.

Q3‑2019 Misuse, Misappropriation of Assets It was alleged that the personal vehicle of a City employee was repaired by City employees, during work hours and on City property.​
The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined that the allegation related to the repairs having been performed to a personal vehicle, on City property by City employees to be substantiated. The investigation did not conclude wrongdoing.

The investigation determined that although the repairs occurred on City property, they were carried out during non-work hours with approval of a supervisor. No City equipment was utilized.

As a result of the investigation, the WBP recommended that employees in this area be reminded of policy regarding the use of City property for personal purposes.

Q3‑2019 Misuse, Misappropriation of Assets It was alleged that a City employee was utilizing a City vehicle for personal purposes.
The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation to be substantiated.

The investigation confirmed that the employee’s use of a City vehicle was not compliant with the City’s Conflict of Interest policy and the Fleet Operator’s Handbook, both of which prohibit use of a City vehicle for non-business purposes.

As a result of the investigation, management has and will continue to take appropriate corrective action.

Q3‑2019 Business Integrity It was alleged that a City employee was not following procurement procedures.
The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation to be substantiated.

The investigation determined that City procurement procedures were not being followed and that management oversight of a specific project was insufficient.

As a result of the investigation, corrective action was taken to ensure the project would proceed with appropriate oversight and adherence to policy and procedure.

Q2‑2019 Health, Safety and Environment It was alleged that The City had inappropriately transported and utilized a cleaning fluid in unlabelled containers.​
The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation to be substantiated. The investigation did not substantiate intentional wrongdoing.

The investigation confirmed that a mixture of cleaning fluid was utilized inappropriately, however, did not pose a risk to the safety of employees or to the public. Additionally, the transportation of the unlabelled liquid did not conform to WHMIS regulations.

As a result of the investigation, appropriate corrective was taken, including the completion of a workplace hazard assessment, steps to ensure legal compliance in the labelling and transport of liquids, and related safety communications provided to workers.
Q2‑2019 Business Intergrity It was alleged that a City employee, acting in the capacity of hiring manager, was in a conflict of interest.
The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation to be substantiated.

The investigation confirmed that the employee had an undisclosed personal relationship with an applicant, sufficient to influence, or appear to influence, the hiring decision.

As a result of the investigation, the employee has declared the conflict of interest and appropriate corrective action will be taken including reinforcement of the City’s expectations regarding conflicts of interest.
Q2‑2019 Business Intergrity​
It was alleged that The City took certain enforcement actions involving a citizen as a result of a conflict of interest. The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation to be unsubstantiated.

The investigation determined that enforcement actions taken were aligned with procedure and not influenced by a conflict of interest.

As a result of the investigation, opportunities were identified to strengthen documentation procedures in order to provide greater transparency and withstand scrutiny. Management has committed to implementing recommendations raised by the Whistle-blower Program.​

Q2‑2019 Business Intergrity
It was alleged that a vendor misrepresented to The City itself and the fulfillment of current and proposed duties.
The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation to be substantiated. 

Investigation confirmed that the vendor had made a number of misrepresentations. 

As a result of the investigation, appropriate corrective action has been taken by The City to ensure misrepresentations do not continue.​
Q2‑2019 H​R, Diversity and Respectful Workplace
It was alleged that a job applicant had been inappropriately excluded from The City’s hiring process​.
The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation to be substantiated. 

The investigation did not, however, determine wrongdoing. The investigation into a specific competition found that guidance on supporting documentation requirements provided to the hiring team was based on previous practice, which is no longer relevant. 

As a result of the investigation, a number of corrective actions have been undertaken, including broadening awareness of the change in procedure allowing for evidence of higher than requested education to satisfy minimum requirements for job postings.
Q2‑2019 Misuse, Misappropriation of Assets It was alleged that specific users of City facilities were provided additional use at no additional cost.​
The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation substantiated the activity, however, concluded that no wrongdoing occurred. 

The investigation determined that there is, at management’s discretion and where no scheduling conflicts exist, an occurring practice of providing high volume users with limited additional rental time at no additional cost. The current practice is considered by senior management to be a form of providing goodwill to valued users. 

At the recommendation of the Whistle-blower Program, management will formalize the practice and incorporate a periodical review to assess the benefit against associated cost and risk.
Q2‑2019 HR, Diversity and Respectful Workplace It was alleged that hiring decisions in a business unit were being influenced by conflicts of interest.
The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation to be unsubstantiated.

The investigation confirmed that hiring decisions were made in alignment with City procedure and free of inappropriate influence.

As a result of the investigation, management accepted recommendations from the WBP to provide greater transparency in how it manages interpersonal relationships to ensure hiring decisions are aligned with City policy and procedure.
Q1‑2019 HR, Diversity and Respectful Workplace It was alleged that a City employee negatively referenced a member of the public, while in conversation with a third party.​
​​​The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation to be unsubstantiated.

The investigation did not confirm that the disparaging comment, as alleged, was made by the city employee.

As a result of the investigation, recommendations were made to strengthen internal training and awareness of effectively responding to citizen concerns.
Q1‑2019 HR, Diversity and Respectful Workplace ​It was alleged that the City’s recruiting procedures were not respected and the outcome of a specific competition was influenced by a familial relationship between a City employee and the successful candidate. ​The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation to be unsubstantiated.

The investigation determined that the successful candidate was qualified for the role and was selected in alignment with The City’s recruiting procedures.

The investigation did not support the alleged influence by a family member. As a result of the investigation, a refresher training opportunity was identified specific to recruiting and selection training.
Q1‑2019 Misuse, Misappropriation of City Assets
​It was alleged that a City employee was stealing time on an ongoing basis. ​​​The Whistle-blower Program’s investigation determined the allegation to be unsubstantiated.

As a result of the investigation, several of the employee’s work practices were identified by management as requiring improvement, resulting in a number of corrective actions including coaching and training on appropriate record keeping.
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