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We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Safe Disclosure Procedures

Classification number LCG 1119.01
Parent policy Safe Disclosure Policy
Framework category Legal, Compliance and Governance
Approving authority Governance, Nominations and Human Resources Committee
Policy owner University Secretary
Approval date April 6, 2016
Review date April 2019
Supersedes Whistleblower Policy, December 2008

Purpose

The purpose of these Procedures is to establish the processes for making and reviewing and/or investigating a Good Faith Disclosure under the Safe Disclosure Policy.

Definitions

For the purposes of these Procedures the following definitions apply:

 “Delegated Decision-Maker” means the:

  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Improper Activity that is finance-related, or the Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee where the disclosure may implicate the CFO; or

  • General Counsel (GC) for Improper Activity that is non-financial, or the Chair of the Governance, Nominations and Human Resources Committee (GNHR) where the disclosure may implicate the GC.

“Good Faith Disclosure” means a written report made by a University Member under this Policy concerning any actual or perceived Improper Activity where the report is:

  • Made to a University Recipient;

  • Based on a reasonable belief or information that the Improper Activity has occurred, or could potentially occur; and

  • Not malicious, frivolous, vexatious and/or knowingly false.

“Improper Activity” means an act of misconduct that a University Member knew or should reasonably have known to be wrong or inappropriate.  Improper Activity includes, but is not limited to:

  • Significant financial misconduct or mismanagement;

  • Theft, fraud, and/or misappropriation of University assets;

  • Significant contravention of University policies and procedures;

  • Violation of the University’s legal or regulatory obligations;

  • Forgery, falsification, and/or inappropriate alternation or destruction of University records (paper and electronic);

  • Making a disclosure that is not in Good Faith.

  • The act of concealing, or attempting to conceal, Improper Activity, and/or knowingly directing or assisting in the commission or concealment of Improper Activity, will also be considered a form of Improper Activity under this Policy.

“Innocent Violation” means an Improper Activity that is inadvertent or where the University Member could not reasonably be expected to have known the Improper Activity is a form of misconduct.

“Investigator” means an individual appointed to conduct an investigation by a Designated Decision-Maker.

“Reprisal” means taking action or threatening to take action against a University Member for making a Good Faith Disclosure. 

“University Member” means any individual who is:

  • Employed by the University;

  • Registered as a student, in accordance with the academic regulations of the University;

  • Holding an appointment with the University, including paid, unpaid and/or honorific appointments; and/or

  • Otherwise subject to University policies by virtue of the requirements of a specific policy (e.g. Booking and Use of University Space) and/or the terms of an agreement or contract.

“University Recipient” means the:

  • Appropriate supervisor or manager;

  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Improper Activity that is finance-related, or the Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee where the disclosure may implicate the CFO; or

  • General Counsel (GC) for Improper Activity that is non-financial, or the Chair of the Governance, Nominations and Human Resources Committee (GNHR) where the disclosure may implicate the GC.

Scope and authority

These Procedures apply to all University Members.

The University Secretary or successor thereof, is the Policy Owner and is responsible for overseeing the implementation, administration and interpretation of these Procedures.

Procedures

Any University Member having information or reasonable grounds to believe Improper Activity has occurred, or is occurring, is encouraged to make a Good Faith Disclosure in accordance with the Safe Disclosure Policy and these Procedures.  University Members who identify the potential for Improper Activity to occur as a result of poor policy, procedures, or other conditions, are encouraged to address their concerns with a University Recipient.

Making a Disclosure

  1. Good Faith Disclosures should be made in a timely manner and generally within thirty (30) days of the University Member concluding that an Improper Activity may be occurring or has occurred.

  2. A Good Faith Disclosure will be provided in writing, signed, and will include a brief summary of the evidence or basis for the belief that an Improper Activity is occurring, as well as the names of the University Members involved.

  3. A Good Faith Disclosure will be submitted to a University Recipient.

    1. Where there are established University procedures governing the Improper Activity in question, the University Recipient will normally be the appropriate Supervisor or Manager and/or other individual as described in the respective procedures.

Receiving Disclosures

  1. Upon receiving a report of Improper Activity, the University Recipient will consider whether or not the disclosure is within the scope of the Safe Disclosure Policy. 

    1. Where there are established policies and procedures governing the activity in question, the disclosure will be considered outside the scope of the Safe Disclosure Policy and will be redirected by the University Recipient to the appropriate authority specified in the relevant policy or procedures.  The University Member making the disclosure will be notified of the referral by the University Recipient.

    2. Where the disclosure is deemed to be within the scope of the Safe Disclosure Policy by the University Recipient, it will be directed to the appropriate Delegated Decision-Maker.

Investigations

  1. Where the disclosure is confirmed by the Delegated Decision-Maker to be within the scope of the Safe Disclosure Policy, the Delegated Decision-Maker will review the matter and, if appropriate in his/her discretion, assign an Investigator to conduct an Investigation in accordance with University’s Investigation Procedures.

  2. Where the Delegated Decision-Maker conducts a review and determines not to appoint an Investigator, the Delegated Decision-Maker will advise the University Member making the Disclosure of his/her decision, including his/her determination as to whether the disclosure is a Good Faith Disclosure, and provide brief written reasons for the decision.

  3. The Investigator will prepare a final investigation report in accordance with the Investigation Procedures and submit it to the Delegated Decision-Maker, as applicable.  The final investigation report will contain a summary of findings that includes:

    1. The Investigator’s opinion regarding whether or not misconduct has occurred and if the misconduct is considered Improper Activity or an Innocent Violation;

    2. Where appropriate, recommendations for preventing similar Improper Activity and/or Innocent Violations in the future.

  4. The Delegated Decision-Maker be responsible for making a final determination regarding the outcome of the Investigation and the recommended action(s) to be taken to resolve or address the issue.

    1. Decisions regarding any disciplinary measures to be taken will be made by the applicable Vice President of the University, or where the matter involves a Vice President, by the President. 

    2. Discipline arising from matters involving the President will be determined by the Chair of the Board, in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Board.  

Protection from Reprisal

  1. Any University Member who suffers Reprisal as a result of making a Good Faith Disclosure will report his/her concerns to a Delegated Decision-Maker.  The Delegated Decision-Maker will review the report and determine the appropriate course of action. 

Monitoring and review

These Procedures will be reviewed as necessary and at least every three years. The University Secretary, or successor thereof, is responsible to monitor and review these Procedures.

Relevant legislation

University of Ontario Institute of Technology Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, Chapter 8, Schedule O

By-Law Number 1 of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, as amended.

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter F. 31

Related policies, procedures & documents

Safe Disclosure Policy

Fair Processes Policy

University Collective Agreements