OTTAWA – Today, Canadians for Accountability and Democracy Watch announced that they have resigned from the Advisory Committee for the federal Integrity Commissioner (PSIC) because Integrity Commissioner Mario Dion kicked a member off the Committee for making comments critical of his actions and track record. Despite requests, he has refused to reinstate the member.
Commissioner Dion removed David Hutton, Executive Director of Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform (FAIR), from the Committee last week in response to a critical letter by him published in the Ottawa Citizen on October 13th. In the letter, Hutton referred to a recent Federal Court ruling which stated that PSIC’s handling of a case had so many mistakes it was “a clear breach of the common law duty of procedural fairness”. Hutton argued that this was not an isolated case and that FAIR had heard from more than 30 whistleblowers who expressed difficulties in dealing with PSIC.
“Democracy Watch is resigning from the advisory committee because the Integrity Commissioner’s decision is unfair and shows he is trying to use the committee to keep criticism of his office secret and behind closed doors,” said Tyler Sommers Coordinator of Democracy Watch.
“We cannot support an environment where openness, transparency and good governance are not respected,” said Allan Cutler of Canadians for Accountability. … Read the rest
Posted by Ian Bron on October 23, 2012
OTTAWA — On Monday the whistleblower charity FAIR (Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform) was ordered off the Advisory Committee of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner’s office (PSIC) – the agency charged with protecting government whistleblowers.
Integrity Commissioner Mario Dion stated in a letter that this action was because FAIR was “Constantly undermining the work of this Office in the media… and in so doing discouraging potential whistleblowers from coming forward is inconsistent with the role of a PSIC Advisory Committee member.”
Mr. Dion’s action was in response to a letter to the editor by FAIR’s executive director David Hutton that appeared in the Ottawa Citizen on Saturday.
A federal judge recently handed down a ruling highly critical of PSIC’s handling of a case, saying that the investigators made so many mistakes that these amounted to ‘a clear breach of the common law duty of procedural fairness’. This ruling was the subject of a Citizen article by Andrew Duffy. Mr. Hutton wrote to add that the judge’s findings mirrored the frustrations expressed by more than 30 whistleblowers and their lawyers who had spoken to FAIR about their dealings with PSIC.
Two other civil society organizations, which also sit on the Advisory Committee, voiced their alarm at this action, and called for FAIR’s immediate reinstatement.… Read the rest
Posted by Ian Bron on October 18, 2012