False information about candidate’s employment status and falsification of a document – Founded
Authority: This investigation was conducted under section 69 of the Public Service Employment Act, S.C. 2003, c.22, ss. 12 and 13.
Issue: The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether a candidate committed fraud by providing false information about their employment status and falsified a document for an appointment process.
Conclusions: The investigation concluded that the candidate knowingly committed fraud to appear to be in the area of selection by falsely indicating in their application that they had indeterminate employment status in the public service. The investigation also concluded that the candidate then forged a letter of offer to confirm this false employment status.
Facts: In 2018, an advertised internal appointment process was launched to hire a junior human resources advisor. At the time of application, the candidate was a casual employee with another federal department. The candidate indicated on their application that their employment status was “indeterminate” rather than “casual” so that they would seem to be within the area of selection. The process was open to: “Persons employed of the Public Service occupying a position in the National Capital region”. They were screened into the appointment process, assessed, found fully qualified and appointed to the position.
After the candidate was hired, the hiring manager asked them to provide a letter of offer from their previous employer to confirm their indeterminate employment status. While transferring the employee’s file, the hiring manager noticed a difference between the information provided by the employee as to their employment status and the information included in their pay file. The manager contacted the employee’s previous department to confirm the information in the letter of offer. The contact indicated that the candidate had never occupied an indeterminate position in their department. When the hiring manager attempted to confirm the information with the employee, they suddenly quit.
During the investigation, the candidate admitted to providing false information on their application by indicating that they were an indeterminate employee. They also admitted that, after they had been hired and asked to provide their previous letter of offer, they had altered an old letter of offer to make it look like they had been an indeterminate employee as indicated in their application.
In order to conclude that fraud occurred in an appointment process pursuant to section 69 of the Public Service Employment Act, 2 essential elements of fraud must be met: dishonesty and deprivation or risk of deprivation. The evidence must show, on the balance of probabilities, that the candidate acted dishonestly and that the candidate’s actions compromised or could have compromised the appointment process.
The evidence showed that, on the balance of probabilities, the candidate acted dishonestly by providing false information on their application about their employment status and by falsifying a letter of offer to obtain an indeterminate position. The appointment process was compromised because the candidate was appointed to the position without being in the area of selection.
Following the conclusion of fraud in the appointment process, the Commission ordered that:
- for a period of 3 years, the individual must notify the Public Service Commission before accepting any position or work in the federal public service
- failure to do so will result in the revocation of the appointment
- the Public Service Commission will send a copy of the investigation report and the record of decision to the deputy head of the department where the individual has since been hired, so that they are aware of the fraud committed
- the individual must complete the course Values and Ethics Foundations for Employees offered by the Canada School of Public Service, and have a discussion with their director
- failure to complete the course or to participate in the discussion will lead to the revocation of the appointment
Investigation File No.: 20-21-04
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