Skip to content

Public Interest Disclosure Act

BC's new Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) provides a safe, legally protected way for current and former BC public sector employees (including school districts as of December 1, 2023) to report serious or systemic issues of wrongdoing to their supervisor, a designated officer for the district, or to the Ombudsperson. PIDA prohibits people from retaliating against employees who speak up about potential wrongdoing in the public sector.

PIDA Definition: 7(1)(a) a serious act or omission that, if proven, would constitute an offence under an enactment of British Columbia or Canada.

PIDA is also sometimes referred to as the “Whistleblower” Act.

BC Ombudsperson – Access PIDA Employee Information 

Coast Mountains School District – Access Policy 2040 PIDA

What is Wrongdoing?

In broad terms, wrongdoing is any unethical act that diverges significantly from generally accepted behaviour. However, only certain types of wrongdoing qualify under PIDA.

To be considered “related to” an eligible public body, there must be a real and substantial connection between the wrongdoing and that organization.

A) Offences PIDA Definition: 7(1)(a) a serious act or omission that, if proven, would constitute an offence under an enactment of British Columbia or Canada;

What it means: A serious action or failure to act that is also a crime or an offence. 

B) Danger to People or the Environment PIDA Definition: 7(1)(b) an act or omission that creates a substantial and specific danger to the life, health or safety of persons, or to the environment, other than a danger that is inherent in the performance of an employee’s duties or functions;

What it means: An action or failure to act that is dangerous to a person’s health or safety or to the environment. The danger will be considered substantial if it is serious and likely to result in real harm. The danger will be considered specific if the actual threat can be identified as well as when it is likely to occur. The only exception is danger that is typically part of someone’s job. 

C) Misuse of Public Funds PIDA Definition: 7(1)(c) a serious misuse of public funds or public assets;

What it means: Government money or resources are not being used for their intended purpose, are being wasted, or are used in a way which is not normally expected or required. The misuse must be serious. Serious misuse may include misuse that is recurrent, systemic, deliberate, undertaken by a person at a senior level, or involving a high dollar value. 

D) Mismanagement PIDA Definition: 7(1)(d) gross or systemic mismanagement;

What it means: Gross mismanagement means management of a government resource (example: staff, contract, project) that is highly inappropriate, irresponsible, reckless, deliberate, involving a significant resource, etc. Systemic mismanagement means mismanagement that is broad, longstanding, recurrent or inherent to the organization’s culture. 

E) Directing Wrongdoing PIDA Definition: 7(1)(e) knowingly directing or counselling a person to commit a wrongdoing described in paragraphs (a) to (d).

What it means: Telling someone else to do one of the acts or omissions listed above in A,B,C or D. It does not matter whether the individual acts on the instructions.

Access Additional Information About Wrongdoing

The Complaint Process

If you formally report wrongdoing with your contact information, an investigator will reach out to you to clarify the details of your submission. Depending on whether you reported the complaint to the Ombudsperson or directly to the school district, your complaint will be followed up by that organization.

Once you have submitted your information, you may expect the following:

  • Initial Review & Assessment
  • An Investigation
  • Final Report & Recommendations

Following an investigation, the school district or Ombudsperson will report any findings and recommendations. The discloser, or person who reports the wrongdoing, will also receive a summary of conclusions and findings.

Access Additional Information About the PIDA Process

How to Report a Complaint

If you are an employee or former employee of Coast Mountains School District, you are covered under PIDA, you have options for reporting wrongdoing – internally or externally. It is your choice.

Access Additional Complaint Reporting Information

Report Directly with the BC Ombudsperson

Report Directly with Coast Mountains School District:

       Via Online Web Form

      Via Email -

     Via Regular Mail:

Public Interest Disclosure
Coast Mountains School District
3211 Kenney Street
Terrace, BC, V8G 3E9
Attention: Ginger Fuller, Designated Officer

Supervisor & Administrator Responsibilities

Managers, Supervisors and Administrators in the school district have new responsibilities as of December 1, 2023, under the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA).

It is an offence to commit reprisal against an employee who reports wrongdoing, makes a reprisal complaint, participates in a PIDA investigation or seeks advice under PIDA

Access Supervisor Responsibilities

Access Confidentiality Information for Supervisors

Designated Officer Responsibilities

Employees have a choice about seeking advice or making disclosures under PIDA - they can opt to do either with the Office of the Ombudsperson or with their employer’s Designated Officer (DO).

Under PIDA, the Superintendent must appoint at least one senior official to be a DO. Designated Officers are responsible for responding to requests for advice, receiving disclosures and investigating disclosures of wrongdoing.

The Designated Officer for Coast Mountains School District is Secretary-Treasurer Ginger Fuller.

Access the Responsibilities of the Designated Officer

  • Provide information and advice to employees and supervisors
  • Receive disclosures from employees and supervisors
  • Investigate complaints
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Mitigate reprisal risk

Additional PIDA Resources & Information

Access Additional PIDA Information

Access PIDA Frequently Asked Questions

Access Contacting the Office of the Ombudsperson