What is a wrongdoing?

Examples of disclosures handled by the Protecteur du citoyen

Misuse of funds or property

  • Using a company vehicle or taxi vouchers for personal purposes.
  • Being reimbursed for unauthorized or unnecessary travel.
  • Claiming expenses without authorization or supporting documents.
  • Granting unpaid overtime or an unjustified bonus to increase an employee's salary.
  • Buying goods at a cost inconsistent with the organization's needs and resources.

Serious breaches of ethics and professional conduct

  • Holding a position on the board of directors of an organization whose interests are closely tied to the position held within a public body.
  • Deliberately breaching the duty of professional secrecy inherent in the person’s duties or making unauthorized disclosures of information.
  • Holding a position on the board of directors of an organization whose interests conflict with the director’s other professional activities.
  • Actively participating in the selection committee leading to the hiring of a spouse or friend without declaring the situation beforehand.
  • As a senior executive, taking actions that deviate from ethical standards concerning the democratic values of the State or the public service.

Mismanagement and abuse of authority

  • Behaving inappropriately towards employees, refusing to take the team’s advice and making hurtful remarks repeatedly in the workplace.
  • Systematically circumventing hiring rules to allow favouritism in awarding positions.
  • Failing to establish the necessary administrative framework to eliminate favouritism in processing applications.
  • Behaving aggressively and vexatiously towards members of staff, creating a toxic working environment.
  • Doing nothing, taking late action or taking insufficient action in response to a situation or problem, when the warning signs should have led to action.

Damage or risk of damage to health or safety

  • Failing to maintain public infrastructure.
  • Careless planning, construction or renovation of public infrastructure (e.g. bridges).
  • Contaminating the environment by spilling toxic products that pose a serious risk to the air, water or food.
  • Neglecting to implement procedures or processes that protect people's physical or psychological health.
  • Neglecting to give or follow the necessary training, thereby risking an individual's safety.

Serious contravention of a law or regulation

  • Failing to carry out duties or responsibilities in accordance with the law.
  • Failing to meet obligations as the person responsible for following up on disclosures.
  • A wrongdoing that is the subject of court proceedings or of a court decision;
  • A disclosure made for solely personal purposes and that, as a result, is not in the public interest; 
  • Questioning the policies and program objectives of the government or of a public body;
  • Questioning the strategies, policy directions and operations of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and of Investissement Québec. This includes decisions about investments, fund management or debt management.

Anyone can disclose a wrongdoing  relating to a public body, whether:

You may know that wrongdoing has occurred without knowing exactly who did it. This should not prevent you from disclosing the information you have.