Role and powers
The Direction des enquêtes sur les divulgations en matière d’intégrité publique is a branch of the Québec Ombudsman. The Act to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoings relating to public bodies, which came into force on May 1, 2017, gives the Québec Ombudsman the mandate to handle disclosures of wrongdoing.
The Act also provides for protection against reprisal for whistleblowers and people who cooperate in audits and investigations. Since October 19, 2018, municipal bodies have been included in the definition of public bodies and are subject to this Act.
- Conduct audits or investigations further to disclosures of wrongdoing relating to public bodies, rigorously, confidentially, independently, objectively and impartially.
- If, at the end of the investigation, we establish that wrongdoing has indeed occurred, we transmit our recommendations to the authorities concerned so that they can rectify the situation as quickly as possible.
- Handle complaints from people who consider that they have suffered reprisal after disclosing a wrongdoing or cooperating in an audit or investigation.
- In certain situations or under certain conditions, offer access to legal advice to anyone who wants to make a disclosure, who cooperates in an investigation or who believes they have suffered reprisal after having made a disclosure.
Powers of inquiry and recommendation
- In investigating, the Québec Ombudsman has the same powers as the commissioners appointed under the Act respecting public inquiry commissions, except the power to impose imprisonment. It can therefore require the provision of documents and summon anyone who has information needed for the investigation.
- The public bodies must cooperate with the Québec Ombudsman throughout the investigation, give it access to all documents and answer all its questions.
- When the investigation is completed, the Québec Ombudsman must report its conclusions to the highest ranking administrative official within the public body concerned, or if the circumstances warrant it, to the minister responsible for the public body.
Making a disclosure
Do you have information suggesting that a wrongdoing was committed or is about to be committed? Do you want to disclose what you know? Contact the Québec Ombudsman now. We are there to help you and to support you.