The City of Wetaskiwin has officially launched its whistle-blower program as of Dec.1, 2020. The City says this program is part of its commitment to operate with the highest standards of conduct and ethics.
The City of Wetaskiwin’s Whistle-blower Policy was passed in October 2019 by Wetaskiwin City Council and is part of the City’s ongoing effort to support open, ethical, accountable, and transparent local government.
“Council has received concerns from staff, residents and business owners over the years, and the City needed a confidential way for legitimate, serious concerns to be brought forward,” said City of Wetaskiwin Mayor Tyler Gandam. “Our community must feel confident that both City Council and City staff are being held accountable.”
The whistle-blower program is set up to provide a confidential process for both community members and City employees alike to report suspected acts of waste and/or wrongdoings involving members of City Council, the City Manager, and City employees. Waste or wrongdoings by City of Wetaskiwin contractors, suppliers and agencies can also be reported.
The whistle-blower program is meant for serious concerns such as the mismanagement of public funds and unethical conduct.
Through this program the City assures that any person who submits a concern will be protected from reprisal and procedural fairness will be given to anyone accused of wrongdoing.
“City staff need to feel safe in reporting issues they see in the organization. For too long, the City just operated the way it always has and concerns from staff have not been fully heard in the past,” said Sue Howard, Wetaskiwin’s City Manager. “This program will give staff the confidence to report what they believe to be a serious issue within the organization without fear of reprisal. Administration recognizes that a safe and secure workforce will be more efficient and effective in serving our citizens.”
A secure and confidential hotline at 1-877-389-2604, and online tool www.wetaskiwinwhistleblower.confidenceline.com, have been set up for anyone wishing to report their concerns regarding City employees, members of Administration, the City Manager, or City Council confidentially.
Although those reporting a concern can remain anonymous, a sufficient amount of evidence to investigate an accusation will be needed, which can potentially lead to the individual reporting being identified.
In addition to the online tool and hotline for reporting, the City of Wetaskiwin has published a permanent webpage dedicated to sharing information on the whistle-blower program at www.wetaskiwin.ca/whistleblower.