Blogs & Comment

Fix the whistleblower agency

Christiane Ouimet, the bureaucrat formerly in charge of handling whistleblower complaints within the federal public service, appeared in front of the Public Accounts Committee today. She was asked how her commission could receive 228 complaints and find no wrongdoing. As mentioned in my column posted earlier on Canadian Business Online, it was likely she would say she had to defer to other jurisdictions and that is what she did.
Hopefully, Harper will now move to restore faith in the system by fixing the legislation that allowed this situation to arise, and by appointing a new Public Service Integrity Commissioner who will permit complaints to go forward. One encouraging step: some of the files closed under Ouimet have been re-opened.
The whistleblowing commission created by the Conservatives (in 2007) was a ray of hope that the public would finally get an inking of whats going on in the public service. As a former public servant who has had a few glimpses of how the sausage is made, its been my view the public could be enlightened more about the stewardship of public monies and programs.
The spendingof tax dollars and administration of programs affects every aspect of Canadians lives their health-care, house values, retirements, food consumed and so on. If pilfering and mismanagement is allowed to become endemic under a shroud of secrecy and silence, the public willlikely find that not much of value remains in the services for which their taxes paid.