Central Okanagan school board members approved an expanded whistleblower policy during a meeting on Feb. 27.
The legislation will now give all district employees an opportunity to report criminal activity to a whistleblower legislation service provided by an independent third party. Previously, employees were only allowed to report financial misconduct to an independent third party.
As part of the policy, the whistleblower service will report the complaint, the status of the investigation into the complaint, and any recommendations reached from the complaint to the board of education each June or whenever deemed necessary.
According to the school board’s agenda, there will be some limitations to the policy.
“Any person reporting a suspected case of criminal, fraudulent or unethical financial acts shall be protected from either reprisal or victimization by any person directly associated with the school district,” said the board.
“Such protection shall not apply in cases of bad faith reporting or purposeful intimidation.”
While the new policy was passed, it wasn’t without criticism by some board members.
Back in June, Kevin Kaardal, the superintendent of the school district, said the policy could impact employee trust and fairness in the district if the policy isn’t implemented properly.
Director of labour relations for Central Okanagan School District Kyle Cormier also voiced his concerns over employees having the right to remain anonymous during a criminal accusation made by them.
To learn more about the expanded policy, you can visit the school district’s website.