Investigation procedure

No. As soon as the Québec Ombudsman knows that the alleged wrongdoing is before the courts or that it pertains to a decision rendered by a court, it halts processing of the disclosure. This applies to courts of justice (Court of Québec, Superior Court, etc.) and to administrative tribunals (Tribunal administratif du Travail, Tribunal administratif du Québec, etc.).

For other cases in which a disclosure cannot be handled by the Québec Ombudsman, see the What is a wrongdoing? section.

Yes. If the Québec Ombudsman feels that the information it received could be the subject of a criminal, penal or ethics investigation, it can convey the information needed to prosecute an offence to the Anti-Corruption Commissioner, a police force or a professional order.

Feel free to contact us. We will refer you to the appropriate organization if need be.

In handling complaints or disclosures, the Québec Ombudsman hears the parties concerned and examines the situation rigorously and objectively.

When it investigates, the Québec Ombudsman can require all the information or documents it considers necessary. It may also summon a person to testify. Furthermore, public organizations are obliged to cooperate with the Québec Ombudsman.

The Québec Ombudsman issues its recommendations after a rigorous and impartial investigation conducted by experienced investigators using a proven method.

To make a disclosure in complete confidentiality, contact us.

If a disclosure is considered admissible, the Québec Ombudsman carries out an audit to determine whether an investigation is warranted. After the audit, if it feels that there is no reason to go any further, it will inform you of this in writing. There is a 60-day time frame for the audit and the decision to conduct an investigation. If we decide to conduct an investigation, we commit to doing all we can to complete it within 12 months after we have received the disclosure.

You will be notified as soon as handling of the disclosure is completed.

For information about our service commitments, see our Service Statement.

At the end of the audit or investigation, the Québec Ombudsman must report its conclusions to the highest ranking administrative official within the public body concerned by the disclosure.

If the wrongdoing proves to be founded, we release the outcome of the investigation if the identity of the whistleblower can be protected and he or she can be protected from reprisal.

However, confidential or sensitive information will be protected. Furthermore, Québec Ombudsman employees are bound by secrecy regarding the information they are made aware of in the context of their duties.

If a reprisal investigation leads to penal prosecution, the investigation file must be communicated to the person concerned.

See the How am I protected? section for information about the protection you are entitled to when you disclose a wrongdoing.

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