What are my rights?

The Public Service commission (PSC) recognizes that being involved in an investigation can impact one's personal and professional life. Accordingly, the PSC adheres to procedural fairness and endeavors to respect the privacy and rights of individuals in an investigation.

Procedural fairness

In order to make decisions that are based on open, fair and impartial processes, PSC investigations are carried out in a manner that conforms to procedural fairness principles, namely:

  • the right to be heard
  • the right for an impartial investigation
  • the right to be represented
  • the right to have a decision with reasons

Procedural fairness is respected throughout the investigation process. This means that any person affected by the concerns is informed of the details of the concerns in a timely manner and has the opportunity to respond to them orally, in writing, or both.

Personal information

Investigations under the Public Service Employment Act are conducted by the Public Service Commission (PSC)’s Investigations Directorate. To establish jurisdiction and conduct an investigation, the Investigations Directorate collects information about:

  1. individuals requesting an investigation
  2. individuals who may be the subject of an investigation
  3. third parties, including witnesses

Personal information collected for an investigation is collected under the authority of Part 5 and Part 7 of the Public Service Employment Act, as well as the Public Service Employment Regulations and the Political Activities Regulations. This information is used to conduct investigations and to ensure compliance with corrective action.

Select information collected or created in the course of an investigation may be shared with other individuals involved in the investigation, federal organizations involved in the investigation, Canadian law enforcement partners, other oversight bodies, or private or public-sector organizations pursuant to the Privacy Act and the Public Service Employment Regulations or Political Activities Regulations.

Personal information collected to determine jurisdiction and for the decision to investigate, or not, will be retained for 5 years in accordance with the Privacy Regulations. When an allegation results in an active investigation, personal information will be retained for 10 years following the closing of the case. All documents presented to the Commission as part of the investigations process, as well as all Records of Decision ordered by the Commission or on its behalf, are also retained in the “Records of the Commission” class of personal information in accordance with that standard.

For more information about the Investigations Directorate’s personal information-handling practices, please refer to the personal information bank for all investigations, mediation and conciliation, as published in the PSC’s Info Source chapter.

Under the Privacy Act, you have the right to request access and correction to your personal information. Please visit the Access to Information and Privacy Office to make a request.

Please note that omitting certain essential information may impact the investigative process in these ways:

  • preventing a file from being investigated
  • reaching an investigation decision without the full participation of the people who are involved
  • disclosure of the investigation report and Record of Decision to the deputy head of the hiring organization
  • revocation of an appointment following corrective action

Contesting our decisions

Persons affected and not satisfied by a decision made by the Public Service Commission may contest the decision by filing an application for judicial review with the Federal Court of Canada.

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