Examples of disclosures handled by the Québec Ombudsman
Misuse of funds or property
- Using a company vehicle or taxi vouchers for personal purposes.
- Being reimbursed for unauthorized or unnecessary travel.
- Using public funds for other purposes.
- Granting excessive severance payments to managers, without acceptable justification.
- Using the organization's infrastructure or machinery for personal, commercial or contractual purposes.
Serious breaches of ethics and professional conduct
- Having stakes in a company or non-profit organization whose activities are closely related to those of a public body.
- Holding a position on the board of directors of an organization whose interests are closely tied to the position held within a public body.
- 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.
- Deliberately breaching the duty of professional secrecy inherent in the person’s duties or making unauthorized disclosures of information.
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.