November 13, 2018
New study outlines the critical importance of whistleblowers to uncovering wrongdoing
Vancouver, November 13, 2018 — A report commissioned by the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association posits that while both federal and provincial legislation regarding the protection of whistleblowers exhibits positive advances, there are still necessary steps to take in order to reflect the same safeguards to workers outside governmental jurisdiction.
Currently, employees in the private sector remain vulnerable to retaliation should they partake in the disclosure of wrongdoing. The report coincides with the recent introduction of the Public Interest Disclosure Act of BC (PIDA), which notably introduced new protections to whistleblowers within the provincial government.
”While we strongly support the introduction of whistleblower protection legislation, BC FIPA is concerned that the definition of ‘wrongdoing’ under the Public Interest Disclosure Act does not encompass deliberate efforts to interfere with access to information rights under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA),” said Sara Neuert Executive Director of BC FIPA.
FIPA has received inquiries from the public about the new legislation and looks forward to the provincial government’s implementation of the act and enforcement procedures coming into effect.
Best Practices in Whistleblower Legislation: An Analysis of Federal and Provincial Legislation Relevant to Disclosures of Wrongdoing in British Columbia underscores the critical importance of protecting whistleblowers. Researcher and author Carroll Anne Boydell suggests that a more comprehensive scope of protection displays a level of societal value to the work of whistleblowers. Such recognition is then deemed as possible motivation to incite the continued disclosure of wrongdoing, particularly for those who see their respective acts as a form of civic duty.
The report is available here.
Sara Neuert, Executive Director
BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association
Email: fipa (at) fipa.bc.ca