Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA)
What is PIDA
Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA or the Act) is whistleblower legislation. Its purpose is to provide employees within the school system to raise serious or systemic issues or wrongdoing for investigation, without exposing those employees to any risk of retaliation.
Vancouver School Board Obligation
Effective December 1st, 2023, it is the Vancouver School Board obligation to receive, investigate and respond to complaints of wrongdoing that are made under the PIDA.
Who Can Make a Public Interest Disclosure under PIDA?
- You are a Vancouver School Board Employee.
- You were a Vancouver School Board Employee in the past at the time you experienced or learned of the wrongdoing.
What conduct does PIDA apply to?
The PIDA is intended to encourage transparency, accountability and ethical decision making by creating a process for employees to report serious wrongdoing within an organization.
- a serious act or omission that, if proven, would breach any laws of British Columbia or Canada
- an act or omission that creates a substantial and specific danger to the life, health or safety of persons, or to the environment (other than a danger that is inherent in the performance of an employee's duties or function)
- a serious misuse of public funds or public assets
- gross or systemic management. Mismanagement is the inappropriate or irresponsible management of government resource, such as staff, a contract, or a project.
- knowingly directing or counselling a person to commit a wrongdoing described (1) to (4)
How does an employee make a Disclosure under PIDA?
An employee can make a report to their supervisor or the Designated Officer at the School District by completing the on-line disclosure form.
Reports can be made anonymously, but the Vancouver School Board may not be obliged to investigate an anonymous report made under the Act unless the report provides sufficient detail to conduct a fair investigation.
Employees are also permitted to make a report under the ACT directly to the Office of the Ombudsperson of British Columbia. The office of the Ombudsperson of British Columbia is an independent office of the legislature that has responsibility under the Act to receive and investigate complaints or reports that are made under the Act.
Employees have the right to make reports directly to the Ombudsperson and, in some circumstances, it may be necessary for the Designated Officer to refer reports under the Act to the Ombudsperson for investigation. Employees may also make complaints about reprisals to the Ombudsperson.
Who is responsible for compliance with the PIDA?
PIDA vests responsibility for compliance with the "head" of the school district.
All personal information that the Vancouver School Board collects, uses or shares in connection with the Disclosure shall be treated as confidential.
Each year the superintendent shall prepare a report, in accordance with the requirements of the PIDA, and make available to the public, an annual report concerning all disclosures received, any investigation undertaken and findings of wrongdoing.
Annual PIDA Reporting
The Vancouver School Board will publish information and data related to PIDA annually. The annual report will include the number of disclosures received, the number of investigations initiated, details of the investigation if wrongdoing is confirmed and any information prescribed by the regulation.
The annual report will not contain any information that could lead to the identification of the individuals who have made the disclosure or participated in a PIDA investigation. No personal information will be disclosed as part of any public reports issued about PIDA.