Wrongdoing at a college: investigation conclusion
January 14, 2021 – The Québec Ombudsman received a disclosure of wrongdoing regarding a college. Gross mismanagement concerning the hiring process and the work environment was reported.
The Québec Ombudsman’s investigation confirmed gross mismanagement, including abuse of authority.
Members of the institution’s management and staff gave preference to certain job applications and excluded others. On several occasions, job requirements in postings were altered to fit certain incoming applications. The purpose was to give an edge to external candidates or general education teachers. This meant that continuing education teachers were penalized.
Management also tolerated conflictual behaviour or bullying by certain staff members. In so doing, the directors fuelled a tense work environment that was difficult for staff.
The Québec Ombudsman made four recommendations to the institution aimed at the fair treatment of all staff members and at restoring a healthy work environment.
Wrongdoings within a health institution: investigation conclusions
January 24, 2020 – The Québec Ombudsman was informed that a wrongdoing had allegedly been committed in a health institution. The person about whom the disclosure was made was a senior manager.
The investigation by the Québec Ombudsman showed that misuse of public funds or property had occurred. The person accused of the wrongdoing had acquired costly office furniture. Comparisons with similar purchases in other health institutions confirmed that the investigated costs were markedly higher. Moreover, the expenditures were made in a context of budget recovery for the health institution.
The Québec Ombudsman made two recommendations to the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux so that the situation would not recur. The Department accepted the recommendations and committed to implementing them.
Wrongdoing at a vocational learning centre: the conclusion from an investigation
July 17, 2019 – The Québec Ombudsman received a disclosure concerning a school board’s vocational learning centre (CFP). Two of the centre’s directors had allegedly committed wrongdoings.
The investigation by the Québec Ombudsman showed that a misuse of funds or property, and gross mismanagement, including abuse of authority, had occurred.
According to the terms of contracts with private companies, the CFP must keep up a certain level of production. Noting a decrease in the client base for the program under scrutiny, the two directors had not adjusted the volume of production activities accordingly. Instead, they had reassigned the CFP’s human and material resources for commercial purposes.
The investigation also confirmed that work was poorly organized, safety rules were not obeyed, there was unfairness, and the two directors employed threatening attitudes.
The Québec Ombudsman made three recommendations to the school board, the chair of the council of commissioners and the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur respectively.
Wrongdoing in a childcare centre (CPE): investigation results
March 25, 2019 – The Québec Ombudsman was informed about wrongdoing supposedly committed in a childcare centre (CPE). The alleged perpetrator was the centre’s director general.
The investigation by the Québec Ombudsman revealed serious mismanagement, including abuse of power. The person concerned had conflictual relationships with the staff and neglected his responsibilities. He had also exerted adverse control over the administrators.
During the investigation, the Québec Ombudsman also noted a serious breach of the standards of ethics and professional conduct.
The Québec Ombudsman made four recommendations, three of which were for the Ministère de la Famille, which reminded the Québec Ombudsman that there are mechanisms for handling complaints concerning CPEs. It also pointed out that the CPE administrators had been given training.
The Québec Ombudsman nonetheless felt that the Department must establish certain criteria which enable it to determine, depending on the complaints received, whether there is matter for a joint intervention.
Serious breaches by a manager: conclusion stemming from the investigation
November 5, 2018 – The Québec Ombudsman received a disclosure about wrongdoings within an organization under contract with a government agency. The defendant had allegedly misused the agency’s funds or property, had not complied with the rules for the awarding of contracts, and had been in conflict of interest.
After investigating, the Québec Ombudsman concluded that the defendant had indeed committed the following wrongdoings:
- Serious breach of the standards of ethics and professional conduct;
- Misuse of funds or property belonging to the agency
- Gross mismanagement, including an abuse of authority.
The Québec Ombudsman made three recommendations to the government agency concerned aimed at better monitoring of the organizations under contract. The agency pledged to submit an action plan to the Québec Ombudsman.
Misuse of funds or property belonging to a public body: conclusion of an investigation
On August 22, 2018, the Québec Ombudsman released a conclusion concerning a public integrity investigation further to a disclosure. A senior-level public servant had supposedly billed for personal transportation costs.
At the end of the investigation, the Québec Ombudsman concluded that the individual named had indeed committed a wrongdoing (misuse of funds belonging to a public body).
The Québec Ombudsman made recommendations to the public body concerned in order to prevent such a situation from recurring.
Conclusion of an investigation further to a disclosure of wrongdoings concerning MAPAQ
July 5, 2018 – The Québec Ombudsman received a disclosure concerning the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ). It appears that a Department manager had recommended that financial assistance be awarded to a private organization of which he was a board member. This placed him in a conflict of interest. It seems as well that he had not complied with staffing procedure.
The investigation by the Québec Ombudsman confirmed that the person about whom the disclosure was made had committed a serious breach of ethics and professional conduct by being in a conflict of interest. However, the investigation showed that no wrongdoing had occurred in staffing.
The Québec Ombudsman made recommendations to MAPAQ, which committed to implement them.