Handling disclosures

Disclosures are handled with complete confidentiality. Personal information is protected and can only be accessed by the people authorized to see it as part of their job. 

Before handling the disclosure, we make sure that it is within our jurisdiction.Before handling the disclosure, we make sure that it is within our jurisdiction. If it is not, we refer you to the appropriate resource: Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation (MAMH), a police force, Anti-Corruption Commissioner (UPAC), Autorité des marchés publics, Commission municipale du Québec, Inspecteur général de la ville de Montréal, a professional order, etc

Investigation procedure

  • When is disclosure falls within our jurisdiction, we check whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that wrongdoing has occurred or is about to occur.
  • When there are reasonable grounds to believe that a wrongdoing has occurred or is about to occur, we can begin an investigation. 
  • We gather the relevant information from those concerned (the whistleblower if the person's identity is known, the public body concerned, the alleged wrongdoer and anyone else who can help us shed light on the alleged events). 
  • At the end of the investigation, we report our conclusions to the highest-ranking administrative official within the public body concerned, or if warranted, to the minister responsible for the public body. 
  • Where applicable, we make recommendations aimed at correcting the situation and keep a close eye on them. 
  • If we feel that the follow-up to our recommendations is unsatisfactory, we notify the minister responsible for the public body concerned. If we feel that it is called for, we may also report the situation in our annual report or in a special report tabled in the National Assembly.
  • At the end of the investigation, we inform the whistleblower that the investigation is over and, if we feel that it is the right thing to do, we inform him or her of the outcome.

Fair and impartial investigations

The Québec Ombudsman has the same powers as the commissioners appointed under the  Act respecting public inquiry commissions, except the power to impose imprisonment. This means it can demand that documents be provided and summon anyone who has information needed for the investigation. 

Public bodies must cooperate throughout the investigation, give us access to all documents and answer all our questions.

Alleged wrongdoers are entitled to a fair investigation. That is why the Québec Ombudsman allows them to provide their version of the events, whether by meeting with them or in writing.