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AR 71/2013 PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURE (WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION) REGULATION

(no amdt)

ALBERTA REGULATION 71/2013

Public Interest Disclosure
(Whistleblower Protection) Act

PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURE
(WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION) REGULATION

Table of Contents

                1       Definitions

                2       Designation of public entities and chief officers

                3       General review procedures

                4       Reporting

                5       Extension of time

                6       Notices and other communication

                7       Limit on disclosure — quality assurance records

                8       Exemption by Commissioner

                9       Expiry

              10       Coming into force

Schedules

Definitions

1(1)  In this Regulation, “Act” means the Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act.

(2)  In this Regulation and the Act,

                                 (a)    “chief officer” means a chief officer as defined in the Act, or designated under section 2(2) in respect of a public entity;

                                 (b)    “employee” means an employee as defined in the Act and


                                           (i)    an individual employed by, or who has suffered a reprisal and has been terminated by, a public entity designated under section 2(1), or

                                          (ii)    an individual who holds, or who has suffered a reprisal involving the termination of,

                                                  (A)    an appointment as medical staff,

                                                  (B)    an appointment as professional staff, or

                                                  (C)    privileges with a public entity designated in section 2 of Schedule 1;

                                 (c)    “medical staff” means a physician appointed by a public entity designated in section 2 of Schedule 1 to admit, attend or treat, or who utilizes the resources of the public entity in respect of, patients;

                                 (d)    “professional staff” means a health practitioner, other than a physician, who is regulated under a health profession statute and has been appointed by a public entity designated in section 2 of Schedule 1 to admit, attend or treat, or who utilizes the resources of the public entity in respect of, patients.

Designation of public entities and chief officers

2(1)  For the purposes of section 2(1) of the Act, the following are designated as public entities to which the Act applies:

                                 (a)    a Provincial corporation as defined in section 1(1)(r)(i) or (ii) of the Financial Administration Act;

                                 (b)    an entity designated in Schedule 1.

(2)  The chief officer for a public entity is

                                 (a)    the individual designated in Schedule 2, or

                                 (b)    if no individual has been so designated, the individual charged with the administration and operation of the public entity.

General review procedures

3(1)  To assist employees in submitting a disclosure of wrongdoing that complies with section 13 of the Act, a disclosure of wrongdoing form may be provided

                                 (a)    by a designated officer for the purposes of section 9 of the Act, or

                                 (b)    by the Commissioner for the purposes of section 10 of the Act.

(2)  To submit a complaint of reprisal referred to in section 25 of the Act an employee must use the form provided in Schedule 3.

(3)  Without limiting the generality of section 5(2) of the Act, the procedures of a public entity for receiving and reviewing a disclosure of wrongdoing must include a provision regarding the referral of a disclosure of wrongdoing to an alternate that the chief officer considers to be appropriate, if the designated officer is in conflict of interest with respect to the nature of the disclosure or a person involved.

(4)  If the Commissioner determines that he or she has a conflict of interest other than as described in section 12 of the Act, with respect to the nature of a disclosure of wrongdoing or a complaint of reprisal or with respect to a person involved, the Commissioner may delegate or refer the disclosure of wrongdoing or a complaint of reprisal to an alternate that the Commissioner considers to be appropriate.

(5)  If a delegation or referral referred to in subsection (3) or (4) occurs,

                                 (a)    the alternate referred to in subsection (3) may exercise all the powers and shall perform all the duties of a designated officer concerning the disclosure of wrongdoing, and

                                 (b)    the alternate referred to in subsection (4) may exercise all the powers and shall perform all the duties of the Commissioner concerning the disclosure of wrongdoing or complaint of reprisal.

(6)  If more than one disclosure of wrongdoing or complaint of reprisal is received by a designated officer or the Commissioner in respect of the same matter, a single investigation may be conducted rather than a separate investigation with respect to each disclosure of wrongdoing or complaint of reprisal.

(7)  The procedures for receiving and reviewing a disclosure of wrongdoing or a complaint of reprisal shall provide for their timely and expeditious management as follows:

                                 (a)    a disclosure of wrongdoing or complaint of reprisal must be acknowledged not more than 5 business days from the date on which the disclosure of wrongdoing or complaint of reprisal is received;

                                 (b)    not more than 10 business days from the date on which the disclosure of wrongdoing or complaint of reprisal is received,

                                           (i)    a decision whether to investigate must be made, and

                                          (ii)    an employee who submitted a disclosure of wrongdoing or complaint of reprisal to which the investigation relates must be notified of that decision;

                                 (c)    an investigation must be concluded not more than 110 business days from the date on which the disclosure of wrongdoing or complaint of reprisal is received.

Reporting

4(1)  For the purposes of section 5(2)(i) of the Act, a designated officer must provide his or her investigation report to the chief officer, in writing, on or before the date identified in section 3(7)(c).

(2)  A Commissioner’s report referred to in section 22 of the Act shall be provided to the chief officer and designated officer of the affected department, public entity or office of the Legislature within 110 business days from the date on which the disclosure of wrongdoing or complaint of reprisal is received.

Extension of time

5(1)  A chief officer may extend a time limit referred to in section 3(7) or 4(1), provided that the overall time period for investigation and the provision of a report is not extended for more than 30 business days.

(2)  A chief officer may, with the Commissioner’s permission, extend a time limit referred to in section 3(7) or 4(1) for a longer period that the Commissioner considers to be appropriate in the interest of a fair and efficient outcome, consistent with the purposes of the Act.

(3)  The Commissioner may extend a time limit referred to in section 3(7) or 4(2) as the Commissioner considers to be appropriate in the interest of a fair and efficient outcome, consistent with the purposes of the Act.

(4)  An extension by the Commissioner under subsection (2) or (3) may be made before or after the time period in question has expired.

(5)  If a time period is extended under this section, the individual who submitted a disclosure of wrongdoing or complaint of reprisal must be promptly advised when he or she may expect the next procedural step to occur or be completed.

Notices and other communication

6   If the Act or this Regulation require a notice or any other communication to be provided, the requirement is validly discharged by communication in writing and sent by mail, transmitted by facsimile or transmitted by e-mail within the time limits established in accordance with the Act or this Regulation.

Limit on disclosure – quality assurance records

7(1)  In this section, “quality assurance activity”, “quality assurance committee” and “quality assurance record” have the same meaning as “quality assurance activity”, “quality assurance committee” and “quality assurance record”  in section 9 of the Alberta Evidence Act.

(2)  For the purposes of section 29(1)(d) of the Act, nothing in the Act or this Regulation authorizes the disclosure of the following:

                                 (a)    a quality assurance record, or

                                 (b)    any other information, document or matter that arises from the quality assurance activities of a quality assurance committee.

(3)  Subsection (2) does not apply to original medical and hospital records pertaining to a patient.

Exemption by Commissioner

8   The Commissioner may exercise the powers and perform the duties set out in section 31 of the Act if, in view of any one or more of the following factors, it would be inappropriate in the opinion of the Commissioner to apply the Act, a requirement of section 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 18, 22, 23 or 29 of the Act, or this Regulation to a person, class of persons, public entity, information, record or thing:

                                 (a)    the small size or management structure of a public entity which is the subject of the disclosure of wrongdoing or complaint of reprisal;

                                 (b)    the nature or content of the disclosure of wrongdoing or complaint of reprisal;

                                 (c)    the persons involved in the disclosure of wrongdoing or complaint of reprisal.

Expiry

9   For the purpose of ensuring that this Regulation is reviewed for ongoing relevancy and necessity, with the option that it may be repassed in its present or an amended form following a review, this Regulation expires on May 31, 2018.

Coming into force

10   This Regulation comes into force on the coming into force of the Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act.

Schedule 1

Public Entities

[Section 2(1)(b)]

Education sector

1   The following are designated as public entities in the education sector to which the Act applies:

                                 (a)    the board of a public school district, separate school district, school division or regional division under the School Act;

                                 (b)    the regional authority of a Francophone Education Region under the School Act;

                                 (c)    a private school registered and accredited under the School Act that receives a grant under the Education Grants Regulation;

                                 (d)    a charter school established under the School Act.


Health sector

2   The following are designated as public entities in the health sector to which the Act applies:

                                 (a)    for greater clarity, a regional health authority under the Regional Health Authorities Act;

                                 (b)    the following subsidiary health corporations under the Regional Health Authorities Act:

                                           (i)    Calgary Laboratory Services Ltd.;

                                          (ii)    CapitalCare Group Inc.;

                                         (iii)    Carewest;

                                 (c)                                                                           Covenant Health;

                                 (d)    Lamont Health Care Centre.

Schedule 2

Chief Officers

[Section 2(2)]

Education sector

1   The following are prescribed as chief officers for public entities in the education sector:

                                 (a)    the superintendent of the board of a public school district, separate school district, school division or regional division under the School Act;

                                 (b)    the superintendent of the regional authority of a Francophone Education Region under the School Act;

                                 (c)    the principal of a private school registered and accredited under the School Act that receives a grant under the Education Grants Regulation;

                                 (d)    the superintendent of a charter school established under the School Act;

                                 (e)    the president of a designated university, public college or technical institute;

                                 (f)    the Chief Executive Officer of a corporation established under the Alberta Research and Innovation Act.

Health sector

2   The following are prescribed as chief officers for public entities in the health sector:

                                 (a)    the Chief Executive Officer of a regional health authority under the Regional Health Authorities Act;

                                 (b)    the Chief Operating Officer of Calgary Laboratory Services Ltd.;

                                 (c)    the Chief Executive Officer of CapitalCare Group Inc.;

                                 (d)    the Executive Director of Carewest;

                                 (e)    the Chief Executive Officer of Covenant Health;

                                 (f)    the Executive Director of Lamont Health Care Centre.

Schedule 3

Complaint of Reprisal Form

[Section 3(2)]

This form must be used to submit complaint of reprisal.  Your responses will assist in reviewing the matter under the Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act.  Please send this form directly to the Public Interest Commissioner at:                 [contact info]                  

Reprisal

24   No person shall take or direct, or counsel or direct a person to take or direct, any of the following measures against an employee because the employee has, in good faith, sought advice about making a disclosure, made a disclosure, cooperated in an investigation under this Act, declined to participate in a wrongdoing or done anything in accordance with this Act:

                                 (a)    a dismissal, layoff, suspension, demotion or transfer, discontinuation or elimination of a job, change of job location, reduction in wages, change in hours of work or reprimand;

                                 (b)    any measure, other than one mentioned in clause (a), that adversely affects the employee’s employment or working conditions;

                                 (c)    a threat to take any of the measures mentioned in clause (a) or (b).

General Contact Information

Name___________________Title_________________________

Mailing Address_______________________________________

                    City_________ Province____ Postal Code________

Telephone  Work________ Home_________ Cell/Other_______

Email (Optional)______________________________________

Best Time to Contact    Day      Evening      Weekend  

Name of Employer_____________________________________

Information about the Reprisal

Please provide a brief description of the disclosure of wrongdoing you made or participated in.  Please include all relevant dates, locations, etc.  Please attach any available supporting documents.

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

Please provide a description of the reprisal(s) or threat(s) that have occurred or are occurring.  Be sure to include all relevant dates, locations, etc.  Please attach any available supporting documents.

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

Is there any additional information about this complaint of reprisal you wish to provide?  Please attach any available supporting documents.

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

Declaration

I believe that all the information provided is true to the best of my knowledge.*

                  (Signature)                          (Current Date)               

*Knowingly making a false or misleading statement is an offence pursuant to the Act.