Ethical Reporting Policy
The Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) strives to achieve the highest standards of ethical, moral and legal conduct. The purposes of this Open Door Policy are to encourage open communication, feedback and discussion about any matter of importance to an employee and to ensure that employees bring improper and undesirable activity to RHF’s attention without the fear of retaliation. Whether you have a problem, a complaint, a suggestion or an observation, we want to hear from you. By listening to you, we are able to improve our workplace, address and investigate complaints, take action when required and foster greater understandings among employees of the rationales behind our practices, processes and decisions.
In support of these objectives, this policy also establishes a framework for reporting suspected Irregularities, such as theft, fraud and corruption, which impact or may impact RHF. This policy also focuses on providing protection to persons who make such reports so that they are able to raise their concerns without experiencing retaliation.
This policy is applicable to employees, volunteers and others who work within and with RHF, including individuals and entities supported by RHF programs, service providers, contractors, RHF board members and the general public.
For more general feedback about matters that do not fit within the definition of an irregularity set out below, employees are encouraged to approach their direct supervisors/managers, or the Human Resources (HR) Department. For reporting Irregularities, please follow the procedures as outlined in section 5 of this policy.
Irregularity: An act in contravention of, or a failure to act in accordance with, legislation, regulations, policies, internal controls or any other obligatory standard where the act or failure to act impacts or has the potential to impact RHF or individuals or organizations supported by RHF.
Reporter: A person who reports an Irregularity in accordance with this policy.
Respondent: A person who is implicated in a reported Irregularity in accordance with this policy.
Examples of Irregularities include, but are not limited to:
- Undisclosed conflicts of interest between an employee’s or board member’s duties to RHF and their personal interests;
- Failure to comply with RHF health and safety standards;
- Failure of service providers to deliver contracted services;
- Theft or misappropriation of funds or property;
- Intentional, unwarranted or unauthorized departures from RHF’s accounting policies, procedures or internal controls;
- Intentional misrepresentation of facts;
- Manipulation of accounting records to conceal or alter results;
- Misuse, destruction or unauthorized access of RHF documents, databases, computer systems, recorded data or messages;
- Intentional false creation or alteration of documents, contract, agreements or any other record;
- Waste or unauthorized use of RHF funds, resources, records, data or private information;
- Unauthorized compensation, benefits or rights received by a person or entity who works within or with RHF;
- A contravention of legislation or regulation; and
- The intentional concealment of or failure by employees to report known irregularities.
4.1 RHF encourages the reporting of Irregularities and will protect the identity of the person reporting the Irregularity and persons cooperating in the investigation of irregularities except as required to conduct an investigation that is appropriate in the circumstances, and as required by law.
4.2 Reported Irregularities will be investigated and action will be taken as appropriate.
4.3 RHF will not tolerate:
- Acts of retaliation, reprisal or harassment against employees, individuals and their families or contractors who in good faith report and/or cooperate in an investigation of an Irregularity; or
- Baseless, false or malicious allegations.
- Any person who engages in any of these things will be subject to disciplinary and/or administrative measures up to and including termination of employment or contractual relationships with RHF for cause.
5.1 Where the Reporter believes that the Irregularity may constitute theft, fraud or corruption or where the Irregularity relates to matters that fall under the Imagine Canada Standards Program (https://imaginecanada.ca/en), the report should be made using the procedure outlined in this policy.
5.2 For all other types of Irregularities (that is, those not concerning theft, fraud or corruption or concerns about matters that fall under the Imagine Canada Standards Program), the Reporter is to use the other specific established processes in place. For example:
- Concerns about quality of services should be reported using the RHF complaints process as outlined in the RHF Complaints Policy.
- Concerns about alleged bullying or harassment should be reported using the RHF complaints process as outlined in the RHF Workplace Bullying, Harassment & Discrimination Policy.
5.3 The Reporter may choose to notify one or more of the following persons about the Irregularity: the Director, HR; the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) & VP, Operations; the Chief Executive Officer (CEO); or the board member designated to receive reports. The current contact details for these persons are:
a) Rita Keeler, Director, HR: 778-296-1556, firstname.lastname@example.org
b) France Gagnon, CFO & VP, Operations: 778-296-1527, email@example.com
c) Doramy Ehling, CEO: 778-296-1507, firstname.lastname@example.org
d) Board Member: please contact Rita or France
These contacts may change from time to time and any such changes will be posted on SharePoint.
5.4 The Reporter may choose to make their notification by telephone, in writing, virtually (for example, by email or videoconferencing) or in-person. If an Irregularity is reported in a method other than email, the person receiving the report will make typed or handwritten notes during the meeting and confirm then confirm the accuracy of their notes with the Reporter. The person receiving the report will then sign and date the record with a notation to the effect that the confirmation with the Reporter was performed. If the report was received by someone other than the Director, HR, the person who received the report will then forward the report to the Director, HR.
Investigation and Resolution
5.5 The Director, HR, will maintain a confidential record of all Open Door reports made.
5.6 The Investigation Team may include the following persons: the Director, HR; the CFO & VP, Operations; and the CEO or the designated Board member, or their designate, and or persons from an independent third party.
If the Investigation Team determines that the VP(s) responsible for the Reporter, the Respondent and the program or unit related to the Irregularity are not potentially compromised by the reported Irregularity and the investigation is also not potentially compromised, then the Director, HR will forward the Open Door report to the VP(s) for their information. The VP(s) may then also be considered part of the investigation team as well.
If one of the members of the Investigation Team is potentially compromised and/or is the subject of the reported Irregularity, the member will not be part of the Investigation Team.
5.7 The Investigation Team will outline a plan for the nature, scope and timing of the investigation.
5.8 Except in the case of an anonymous Open Door report, a member of the Investigation Team must contact the Reporter as soon as is practical in the circumstances. The primary purposes of this communication to the Reporter are to:
- Advise the Reporter that:
- The Open Door report has been received;
- An investigation will be conducted and action taken where appropriate; and
- The Reporter may be contacted for further information as the investigation proceeds.
- Request that the Reporter treats the information contained in the Open Door report as confidential in order to avoid compromising any investigation that RHF may undertake.
5.9 The Investigation Team will notify the Board Chair that an Open Door report is being investigated by the Investigation team.
5.10 If, during the course of the investigation, the facts appear to be indicative of an illegal act, the investigation team will:
- Advise the Board Governance Chair as soon as practical;
- Consider if and at what stage the investigation should be turned over to the relevant authorities;
- Consider if specialized assistance is required to complete the investigation; and
- Consider the risk of compromising evidence by continuation of the investigation.
5.11 On completion of the investigation, the Investigation Team will prepare an investigation report which will include the allegations, a summary of the investigation steps and the investigation team’s findings of fact and conclusions. The investigation report is confidential.
5.12 The Investigation Team will report to the Board Chair on the status of the investigation at least once a month.
5.13 After the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigation Team will contact the Reporter (except in cases where the person who reported the Irregularity has requested not to be contacted) to provide them with a summary of the conclusion of the investigation to the extent that such disclosure does not improperly compromise another person’s rights, privacy or confidentiality or otherwise disclose confidential information.
5.14 The investigation report will be provided to the Board Chair.
5.15 The Director, HR will maintain a file of completed investigation reports.
5.16 All information collected during the course of an investigation will remain confidential except to the extent disclosure is necessary to:
- Conduct a fair investigation;
- Take corrective or remedial disciplinary, administrative or legal action; or
- Comply with applicable law.
Any person who fails to protect the confidential nature of the investigative process will be subject to disciplinary and/or administrative measures up to and including termination of employment or contractual relationships with RHF for cause.
Open Door Protection
5.17 An employee who alleges retaliation, reprisal or harassment with respect to an Open Door report should file a complaint with the Director, HR.
5.18 A full review of an allegation of retaliation, reprisal or harassment will be conducted by the Director, HR to determine whether the conduct complained of constitutes reprisal. The Director, HR may recommend an appropriate resolution where appropriate.
- Imagine Canada Standards Program
- RHF Complaints Policy
- RHF Conflict of Interest Policy
- RHF Governance HR Committee Terms of Reference
- RHF Workplace Bullying, Harassment & Discrimination Policy