Ethical Reporting Policy
The Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) strives to achieve the highest standards of ethical, moral and legal conduct.
In support of that objective, this policy establishes a framework for reporting suspected or known irregularities, including theft, fraud and corruption, impacting RHF and for the protection of persons making such reports.
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.
Irregularity: An act in contravention of, or failure to act in accordance with, legislation, regulations, policies, internal controls or other obligatory standards where the act or failure to act impacts RHF or individuals or organizations supported by RHF.
Whistle-blower: A person reporting a known or suspected irregularity.
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 his/her personal interests
- Failure of service providers 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
- 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 whistle-blowers and persons cooperating in the investigation of irregularities, except as required by law.
4.2 Reported irregularities will be investigated and action will be taken as appropriate.
4.3 Misappropriated resources will be recovered on a cost-effective basis.
4.4 RHF will not tolerate:
- Acts of retaliation, reprisal or harassment against employees, individual and their families, and contractors who in good faith report and/or cooperate in an investigation of an irregularity; or
- Baseless, false or malicious allegations.
5.1 Where the whistle-blower believes that the irregularity may constitute theft, fraud or corruption, the report should be made using the procedure outlined in this policy.
5.2 Unless the irregularities involve suspected theft, fraud or corruption, whistle-blowers are encouraged to use other specific established processes that are in place. For example:
- Concerns about matters that fall under the Imagine Canada Standards Program should be resolved using the processes described within this RHF Whistle-blower Policy
- Concerns about quality of services may be reported using the RHF complaints process as outlined in the RHF Complaints Resolution Policy.
5.3 A whistle-blower can choose to notify the Chief Operating Officer or Chief Financial Officer or the designated board member: Eric G. Watt by telephone, email or in-person. Their contact details are:
a) Chief Operating Officer, Doramy Ehling at 778-296-1507 or firstname.lastname@example.org
b) Chief Financial Officer, France Gagnon at 778-296-1527 or email@example.com
c) Board member, Eric G Watt at firstname.lastname@example.org
5.4 In the case that irregularities are reported in-person or by telephone, the EVP, CFO or selected Board member will make handwritten notes during the meeting and confirm the accuracy of that record with the whistle-blower. The EVP, CFO or Board member will sign and date the record with a notation to the effect that the confirmation was performed. The report will then be forwarded to the Manager, Human Resources.
Investigation and Resolution
5.5 The Manager, Human Resources maintains a confidential record of all whistle-blower reports.
5.6 The Manager, Human Resources and the EVP, CFO or selected Board member meet to determine whether the senior manager responsible for the program area related to the subject matter of the whistle-blower report is not potentially compromised by the reported irregularity, in which case the Manager, Human Resources forwards the whistle-blower report to the relevant senior manager for information and subsequent collaboration during the investigation with the Manager, Human Resources and EVP, CFO or selected Board member now considered 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 anonymous whistle-blower reports, a member of the investigation team is required to contact the whistle-blower as soon as practical. The primary purposes of the communication are to:
- Advise the whistle-blower that:
- The whistle-blower report has been received;
- an investigation will be conducted and action taken where appropriate; and
- the whistle-blower may be contacted for further information as the investigation proceeds.
- Request that the whistle-blower treat the information contained in the whistle-blower report as confidential in order to avoid compromising any investigation that RHF may undertake.
5.9 The investigation team notifies the Board Governance Committee that a whistle-blower report is being investigated by the team.
5.10 If, during the course of an investigation, the facts appear to be indicative of an illegal act, the investigation team should:
- Advise the Board Governance Committee 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 allegations, a summary of the investigation steps, facts found and conclusions are documented in a confidential investigation report by the investigation team.
5.12 The investigation team reports to the Board Governance Committee on the status of investigations concerning reported irregularities at least once a month.
5.13 During the course of or after concluding the investigation, depending on the individual circumstances, the investigation team should contact the whistle-blower (except in cases where the whistle-blower has requested not to be contacted) to provide information concerning the progress and/or outcome of the investigation to the extent that such disclosure does not compromise a person’s rights, privacy or confidentiality.
5.14 The final report is provided to the Board Governance Committee.
5.15 The Manager, Human Resources maintains 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 (i) conduct a fair investigation, (ii) take corrective or remedial disciplinary, administrative or legal action or (iii) 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.
5.17 An employee who alleges retaliation, reprisal or harassment with respect to a whistle-blower activity should file a complaint with the Manager, Human Resources.
5.18 A full review of an allegation of retaliation, reprisal or harassment will be conducted by the Manager, Human Resources to determine whether the conduct in question constitutes reprisal and if appropriate, recommend an appropriate resolution.
- Rick Hansen Institute Whistle-blower Policy
- Community Living BC Whistle-blower Policy
- Accreditation Canada
- Imagine Canada Standards Program
- RHF Governance Committee Terms of Reference
- RHF Complaints Policy