Member Disclosure Protection (Whistleblower) Procedure
This procedure is used to respond to concerns about financial or resource mismanagement by Council or national management. It will provide guidance to members as to how to disclose their concerns so that Scouts Canada can best address them and take corrective action where appropriate.
This procedure is not to be used:
- For complaints involving youth protection matters, which must be dealt with according to the Youth Protection Reporting Procedure
- Where individuals disagree with a Scouts Canada policy or procedure, which will be dealt with by the Scouts Canada Help Centre.
How to Raise a Complaint or Allegation
If you have concerns with respect to the mismanagement of finances or resources by either Council or national management:
- As a first step, you should raise the complaint(s) or allegation(s) with your Council Key 3 or the National Key 3. This depends on the seriousness and sensitivity of the issues involved and who is suspected of malpractice. For example, if you believe that management is involved, you should approach the Executive Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer or the Chair of the Board of Governors.
- Complaints or allegations may be raised verbally or in writing. To make a written report, you may use the following format:
- The background and history of the complaint or allegation, giving relevant dates
- The reason you are particularly concerned about the situation
- The earlier you disclose the complaint or allegation, the easier it is for Scouts Canada to take action.
- Although you are not expected to prove beyond doubt the truth of a complaint or allegation, you will need to demonstrate to the person to whom you report that there are reasonable grounds for concern.
- All complaints or allegations will be treated in strictest confidence to the extent possible. If we are not able to resolve your complaint without revealing your identity (e.g. police investigation or if the evidence is needed in court), we will discuss this with you.
How Scouts Canada Will Respond
- Scouts Canada will respond to every complaint or allegation. Within 10 business days of a concern being raised, the responsible person will write to you:
- Acknowledging that the complaint or allegation has been received
- Indicating how we propose to deal with the matter
- Giving an estimate of how long it will take to provide a final response
- Supplying you with information on the employee assistance program (where applicable
- Advising whether further investigations will take place and, if not, why not
- Where appropriate, the complaint raised may:
- Be investigated by the next senior Commissioner or manager or through the Discipline and Revoking Appointments Procedure
- Be referred to the police
- Be referred to an external auditor
- Form the subject of an independent inquiry
- In order to provide procedural fairness to individuals and those accused of mismanagement, we will make initial enquiries to determine whether an investigation is appropriate and, if so, what form it should take. Complaints or allegations that fall within the scope of specific procedures (for example, youth protection or discrimination issues) will normally be referred for consideration under those procedures.
- Some complaints or allegations may be resolved by agreed action without the need for investigation.
- In exceptional circumstances, before any investigation is conducted interim remedial action may be taken.
- The amount of contact between those considering the issues and you will depend on the nature of the complaint, the potential difficulties involved, and the clarity of the information you provide. If necessary, Scouts Canada will seek further information from you.
- When Scouts Canada requires a meeting or interview, participants may be accompanied by a colleague or a friend. Such meetings or interviews may take place off site when appropriate.
- Scouts Canada will take steps to minimize difficulties that you may experience as a result of raising a complaint or allegation.
- If your complaint or allegation is not confirmed by investigation, no action will be taken, insofar as it is determined that the complaint was made in good faith.
- Scouts Canada recognizes that you wish to be assured that the matter has been properly addressed. Thus, subject to legal constraints, we will inform you of the outcome of any investigation.