Terms of Reference
To conduct a review into concerns raised in the public sphere about the work environment at the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (OSGG) during the tenure of the 29th Governor General of Canada.
The review will take into account the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution.
The neutral, independent third party reviewer is mandated to perform the following:
- Arrange for a conversation with OSGG management, including the Governor General and the Secretary to the Governor General, to explain the review process and to respond to any questions they may have. OSGG management will have an opportunity to provide any relevant background and context.
- Conduct a review to collect facts, from both current and former employees (who left the OSGG during the tenure of the 29th Governor General of Canada), to determine precisely the allegation(s), of workplace harassment and/or behaviours that would create a toxic workplace. The review will identify what the allegations are and the person and/or persons against whom the allegations are being made.
- At the outset of meetings or interviews with current and former employees the independent third party reviewer will explain the review process and respond to any questions they may have.
- Prepare and submit a review report to the Privy Council Office.
Responsibilities for conducting the Review
- The independent third party reviewer will conduct the Review pursuant to these terms of reference and in accordance with the principles of procedural fairness, and also taking into account the Access to Information Act, Privacy Act, Official Languages Act and other applicable legislation and regulations.
- The independent third party reviewer will meet with the Head of Human Resources, OSGG and review the workplace laws and policies that apply to the OSGG, including any Code of Conduct, and workforce management policies and initiatives that require the OSGG to protect its employees from harassment and to provide a safe and healthy environment.
- The independent third party reviewer is responsible for contacting current and former employees (who left the OSGG during the tenure of the 29th Governor General of Canada), in order to invite them, on a voluntary basis, to participate in meetings and interviews.
- The independent third party reviewer is responsible for identifying any other knowledgeable individuals (e.g. non-OSGG personnel who work on OSGG premises or who witnessed key events), and invite them to be interviewed, on a voluntary basis.
- Participants may provide information to the independent third party review confidentially. However, they will be informed in advance whether the information they wish to provide may subsequently require disclosure of their identity. Disclosure will depend on the circumstances and the nature of the allegations.
- Any participants in the review process are entitled to be accompanied and supported by a union representative, friend, family member, or another person of their choosing. The role of this person is to provide advice and guidance; they may not represent or speak on behalf of a participant. (Note: The bargaining agents will be apprised of the review process in recognition of their role in supporting their members.)
- The independent third party reviewer is responsible for reviewing any relevant documentation and information and seeking production of such other documents, or information that they deem relevant.
- Participants and/or individuals identified as respondents could be given the opportunity to provide additional or responsive information where the independent third party reviewer considers it necessary to determine whether a prima-facie allegation has been made out.
Reporting requirements for Review
- A Review report must be submitted to the Privy Council Office.
- The Review Report shall include an executive summary of the scope of the review and the conclusions.
- If allegations of harassment have been made, the report shall include a description of the nature of the incidents, and whether the allegation(s) meet the definition of harassment, on a prima-facie basis.
- If allegations of behaviours leading to a toxic work environment have been made, the report shall include a description of the nature of the allegation(s), and whether the allegation(s) would be considered inappropriate, on a prima-facie basis.
- The Review report will also include recommendations on next steps and future actions.
Confidentiality and disclosure
- The independent third party reviewer shall conduct the review with the utmost discretion.
- The independent third party reviewer shall remind participants of their responsibilities to respect the confidentiality of the review process.
- The independent third party reviewer shall inform participants that the contents of the review report will not be released publicly, unless required to do so by law, and that information will be handled in accordance with the requirements of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. However, participants with their knowledge and consent may agree to have their names disclosed in the confidential review report.
- As provided by the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, third parties named in the report may have access to personal information concerning them.
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