Whistle-blower Program: what to report
The Whistle-blower Program (WBP) responds to specific allegations of waste and/or wrongdoing by City of Calgary employees and those who do business with The City.
If your concern is about the Mayor, members of Council or Council staff, contact the Integrity and Ethics Office.
Examples of what to report
What to report
Examples of what to report to the WBP include:
- misuse and abuse of City resources,
- any operation, process or activity where use of taxpayer funds may be inappropriate,
- breaches of the Code of Conduct with intent to cause harm to The City or other individuals, or
- any other clearly communicated allegation of waste and/or wrongdoing raised in good faith.
What not to report
Examples of what not to report to the WBP include:
- matters involving decisions of Council,
- operational decisions of City management,
- wrongful dismissal concerns,
- citizen to citizen matters,
- matters which are not whistle-blower matters or which do not involve City employees or operations, or
- issues under review through other channels (e.g. legal, labour grievances).
Complete information is essential for the WBP to conduct a thorough review of your concern. Before submitting a concern, review what information you have. Gather all the details useful in supporting your report.
Consider if your concern:
- is a clearly stated allegation of waste and/or wrongdoing, reported in good faith and based on reasonable belief/grounds,
- includes key information such as names, dates, times, locations relevant to the allegation,
- includes any lawfully obtained evidence supporting your concern, such as photographs, correspondence, or invoices, and
- is not made with malicious intent, solely for self-interest and/or in support of a political agenda,
Consider if you are willing to have ongoing involvement in the process by responding to information requests from the WBP. Your active and continued involvement in this process can be valuable to the WBP. Ongoing communication allows us to clarify your concern and seek additional detail. Staying involved lets you track the progress of your report.
When concerns are reported online, you can maintain active communication with the WBP until the matter is closed. The WBP’s online reporting tool is operated by an independent external service. Any communication you with the WBP through the online reporting tool is automatically anonymous unless you disclose your identity to the WBP.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Wrongdoing involving employees of The City of Calgary, or City operations which result in wasteful use of City funds.
A report made to the WBP should consist of a frank, timely and well-articulated allegation of suspected waste and/or wrongdoing supported by verifiable evidence.
There are many reporting options available to City employees. The Code of Conduct guides employees to first report concerns to their supervisor and then to Human Resources, as necessary. In some instances, it may be appropriate to report concerns to a safety representative or to Labour Relations. If you are uncertain, you may contact the WBP office for assistance. Where it is impractical to discuss a concern with a supervisor, or HR Business Partner, or where fear of reprisal is real, reports to the WBP are appropriate, and can be anonymous, if preferred.
Your report should contain timely, factual and specific evidence about the concern. Documented evidence is not always necessary, but can greatly support an allegation, as does knowing the "who, what, where, when, why and how" of the alleged activity. You should have first-hand knowledge of the issue you are reporting. See for Before Reporting for guidance.
City employees should never collect information to which they do not have access through the normal course of daily duties and should not obtain any information in a manner which would be contrary to a City policy, or unlawful in nature.
City employees should also not conduct their own investigation. Doing so may create harm to others and may impact your protection from reprisal.
Yes, the Whistle-blower policy allows for anonymous reporting where an employee fears reprisal. However, reporting anonymously may not always be the best course of action as it can inhibit the successful investigation of an allegation, particularly when there is insufficient information provided and there is no method to reach out to you to respond to additional questions.
Protection against reprisal cannot be effectively provided to non-employees or to those who choose to keep their identity anonymous.
Ongoing communication will be supported anonymously if you utilize the independently operated platform provided by ClearView Connects.
The WBP process
Learn what to expect from the WBP process.