Summaries of Investigation - Improper Conduct

The term “Improper conduct” is not defined in the Public Service Employment Act; however, in the context of its investigations, the Commission defines “improper conduct” as “unsuitable behaviour, whether by action or inaction, in relation to an appointment process.”

On May 12, 2014, the Federal Court of Canada validated the Commission's definition of improper conduct in its decision MacAdam v. Canada (Attorney General), 2014 FC 443, paragraph 77. The court also indicated that bad faith is not a necessary element to render a finding of improper conduct.

Deputy heads have the authority to investigate errors, omissions or improper conduct in an internal appointment process as per section 15(3) of the Public Service Employment Act. The Public Service Commission of Canada may, at the request of the deputy head, investigate an internal appointment process for errors, omissions or improper conduct under section 67(2) of the Public Service Employment Act. Once the investigation is completed by the Public Service Commission of Canada, the decision to accept the investigation report and proposed corrective action, including revocation, is the responsibility of the deputy head concerned. Accordingly, the Public Service Commission of Canada has chosen not to publish summaries of investigations conducted under section 67(2) of the Public Service Employment Act.

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