Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA)
Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) is B.C.’s public sector employee whistleblower protection legislation. PIDA applies to all public sector organizations, which include health authorities.
Effective June 1, 2023, all current and former employees of Vancouver Coastal Health and medical staff are protected under Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA). This provides a structured mechanism for investigating allegations of serious or systemic wrongdoing and for addressing any wrongdoing that may be found. PIDA also provides legal requirements to protect the identity of employees and prohibits any reprisal consequences.
Wrongdoing is defined specifically under PIDA to mean:
- A serious act or omission that, if proven, would constitute an offence under the laws of B.C. or Canada.
- An act or omission that creates a substantial and specific danger to the life, health or safety of persons, or to the environment, other than a danger that is inherent in the performance of an employee’s duties or functions.
- A serious misuse of public funds or public assets.
- Gross or systemic mismanagement, i.e., mismanagement of funding, services, or people in a way that is highly inappropriate, irresponsible, or reckless, or mismanagement that is broad, longstanding, recurrent, or inherent to a public sector organization’s culture and practices.
- Knowingly directing or counselling a person to commit any of the wrongdoing described above, whether or not the person commits the act or omission
Please note that while PIDA has specific requirements above for an issue to be raised, our Whistleblower policy is still in effect for allegations that may not meet these requirement to report under PIDA. We encourage reports of any wrongdoing. (See “What are my other reporting options?” below.)
You can report wrongdoing that has happened in the past, is currently taking place or is about to happen. (Former employees can only report wrongdoing that they discovered, or that occurred, while they were employed).
How does PIDA protects you?
PIDA protects your identity if you report wrongdoing, make a reprisal complaint, or ask for advice about reporting wrongdoing or making a reprisal complaint. PIDA also protects you from reprisal, including threats of reprisal, as a result of doing any of those things. Reprisal can include demotion, disciplinary measures, termination of employment, or any measure that adversely affects your employment or working conditions.
How do I report wrongdoing under PIDA?
Eligible employees can make a disclosure by:
- Reporting online from any computer or mobile device.
- Completing and emailing the Disclosure of Wrongdoing Form to email@example.com
- The B.C Ombudsperson
You have the option of reporting a wrongdoing or requesting for advice anonymously.
If you want to talk to someone and request for advice reach out to:
What happens after making a PIDA report?
We may contact you for further details about your report, if you have chosen to disclose your identity. If the Designated Officer(s) determines that the report meets the PIDA criteria, an investigation will be conducted and you will be notified about this decision. At the conclusion of such investigation, you will be provided with a summary of the outcome of the investigation.
What to do if you experience reprisal as a result of asking for advice or making a report under PIDA?
You should contact the B.C. Ombudsperson. Only the B.C. Ombudsperson can investigate reprisal complaints under PIDA. Reprisal complaints must be in writing and can be made using the B.C. Ombudsperson's online Reprisal Complaint Form. Or, please contact the B.C. Ombudsperson (telephone: 1-800-567-3247).
What are my other reporting options?
PIDA supplements the Whistleblower Policy, our Patient Care Quality Office complain channel and other existing reporting options and associated policies at VCH. It provides an additional, optional channel through which reports relating to serious or systemic wrongdoing can be made.
- Reports of Wrongdoing by members of the public, and conduct that does not meet the definition of Wrongdoing set out in PIDA, may be covered by VCH’s Whistleblower policy;
- Patient safety or quality of care issues are covered by VCH’s Patient Care Quality Office or the Ministry of Health’s Patient Care Quality Review Board.
Designated Officers at VCH
VCH has appointed the following two (2) Designated Officer(s) under PIDA to receive requests for advice, and receive and investigate reports of wrongdoing.