Approval Date: 2017-05-11

Effective Date: 2017-05-11

Review Date: 2021-05-11

Authority:
The Board of Regents

Protected Disclosure


Purpose:

To provide a disclosure mechanism by which Members of the University can report Wrongdoing; and to provide protection to Members of the University who report Wrongdoing.

Scope:

Members of the University

Definitions:

Associate a person: who is related to a University employee by blood or adoption, or is or has been related to the employee by marriage or common-law marriage; or with whom a University employee has or has had in the previous five years a financial, intimate, other close or substantial professional relationship.

Day(s) - A day, other than a Saturday or Sunday, statutory holiday, or other day on which the University is not open for administrative business.

Discloser a Member of the University who chooses to make a Protected Disclosure under this Policy and Procedures.

Frivolous - Devoid of merit.

Member of the University - Any person who teaches, conducts research, studies or works at or under the auspices of the University.

Protected Disclosure - Any disclosure made under this Policy and related procedures when one is acting in good faith, on the basis of a reasonable belief of Wrongdoing provided that the disclosure is not Frivolous or Vexatious.

Protected Disclosure Coordinator (PDC) – The individual appointed under this Policy and related procedures to receive and report on Protected Disclosures made in accordance with this Policy.

Respondent(s) the subject or subjects of a report of alleged Wrongdoing under this Policy.

Retaliation - Any threat of reprisal, an attempt to intimidate and any adverse behaviour or action taken against a Member of the University in response to that initial person having:

(a) invoked this Policy;
(b) participated or cooperated in any process under this Policy; or
(c) been associated with a Member of the University who has invoked this Policy or participated in any of its processes.

Unit Head – Deans, Department Heads, Division Heads, Heads of Schools, Directors, Executive Directors, University Librarian, University Registrar and other senior administrators at a comparable level; Associate Vice-Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and the President, as applicable.

University - Memorial University of Newfoundland

University-Related Activity - Any activity that is directly related to or rises out of the operations of the University at any location.

Vexatious - To intentionally annoy, embarrass, harass or harm.

Wrongdoing – Any activity or conduct engaged in by a Member of the University in or relating to the University, as follows:

(a) an act or omission constituting an offence of municipal, provincial or federal laws or regulations
(b) an act or omission that creates a substantial and specific danger:

i. to the life, health or safety of individuals other than a danger that is inherent in the performance of the duties or functions of a Member of the University, or
ii. to the environment;

(c) gross mismanagement, including of University funds or University assets; and
(d) knowingly directing or counseling an individual to commit Wrongdoing.

Policy:

1.0 Protected Disclosure
1.1  All Members of the University have an obligation to conduct University-related Activities in accordance with the University’s statement of Core Values, which includes integrity and accountability, applicable codes of conduct, and the University’s policies and procedures. As part of this obligation, and to protect the University and individuals from Wrongdoing, Members of the University are encouraged to report conduct that they reasonably believe to be Wrongdoing and, which they observe or encounter in the context of University-related activities.

1.2  Reporting of Wrongdoing is a necessary and valuable service to the University and must not be cause for Retaliation.

1.3  Any Member of the University who has reasonable grounds to believe that another Member of the University has committed Wrongdoing is encouraged to make a Protected Disclosure in accordance with the Procedure for Filing a Protected Disclosure. The Protected Disclosure shall be made within twelve (12) months of discovering or observing the Wrongdoing.

1.4  This policy does not replace other University policies and processes that allow Members to report allegations of Wrongdoing

1.5  Nothing in this Policy relieves Unit Heads from the responsibility of addressing situations of improper conduct in accordance with existing policies, procedures and guidelines.

1.6  Conduct in the workplace involving disruptive, threatening or violent behaviour where a Member of the University’s personal safety and security may be in danger must be reported immediately to appropriate campus enforcement or security officials on the respective campus or to Legal Authorities, in accordance with the University’s Assessment and Care Protocol.

2.0 Confidentiality
2.1  All persons involved in any process related to this Policy are required to maintain confidentiality. Confidential matters are handled in accordance with the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015, SNL 2015, C A-1.2 (ATIPPA), other privacy legislation to which the University is subject, and University policies.

2.2  Only persons with a bona fide need to know the details of a situation will have access and such access is limited to the scope of their responsibilities. Third parties attempting to gain or gaining access to personal information with respect to a Protected Disclosure, where such information is not needed to perform the scope of their responsibilities, does so in violation of this Policy and may be in violation of the ATIPPA.

2.3  A breach of confidentiality by persons involved in any process related to this Policy may be subject to discipline or other appropriate action.

2.4  Confidentiality may not apply to persons subject to extra-University judicial processes, or where disclosure is permitted or required by law, or where the well-being, safety and security of a person or persons is a concern.  In such circumstances, information, as appropriate, would be shared only with those with a bona fide need to know.

2.5  The identity of a Discloser shall be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law and consistent with the need to conduct a proper investigation.

3.0 Frivolous or Vexatious Complaints
3.1 A Frivolous or Vexatious Disclosure may result in disciplinary or other appropriate action against the Discloser.

4.0 Retaliation
4.1  No person shall retaliate against another for filing a Protected Disclosure or for being involved in any process under this Policy, including as a witness. The University considers retaliation at any stage to be a serious matter that may result in discipline or other appropriate action.

4.2  A breach of confidentiality by any person with respect to a Protected Disclosure may also constitute Retaliation.

5.0 Records and Retention
5.1  All records will be handled in accordance with ATIPPA, the University’s Information Management and Privacy policies and related procedures and other privacy legislation applicable to the University.

5.2  The Protected Disclosure Coordinator (PDC) shall be the official custodian of records created as a result of the filing of a Protected Disclosure and shall manage those records in accordance with the University’s Information Management policy and procedures.

6.0 Reports
6.1  The PDC shall provide an annual report to the Board of Regents of Protected Disclosures, respecting the anonymity of Disclosers and Respondents. The report shall include:

(a) the number of reports filed by Disclosers;
(b) the number of reports investigated;
(c) the findings of investigations conducted pursuant to a report;
(d) any action taken pursuant to an investigation.

Related Documents:

Memorial University of Newfoundland's Vision, Mission and Values
Memorial University of Newfoundland Code
Purchasing Code of Ethics
Student Code of Conduct
Appropriate Use of Computing Resources policy
Conflict of Interest policy
Ethics of Research Involving Human Participants policy
Information Management policy
Integrity in Scholarly Research policy
Internal Audit policy
Postdoctoral Fellows policy
Privacy policy
Respectful Workplace policy
Sexual Harassment policy
Workplace Accommodation policy

 

 

Procedures:

For inquiries related to this policy:

Office of the Board of Regents (709) 864-4474

Sponsor: The President

Category: Operations

Previous Versions:

There is at least one previous version of this policy. Contact the Policy Office to view earlier version(s):


Approval Date:2007-10-18, Effective Date:2007-10-18


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