City of Portland
Whistleblowers are crucial for democracy, says Linden MacIntyre (CBC’s The Fifth Estate). We agree. For the good of society and for good governance, formal systems are needed to protect whistleblowers and to properly handle reports received. So how is our local government doing on this? A search today on the City of Vancouver website for “whistleblower” and “tip line” turns up nothing relevant.
In contrast, look at the website of the City of Portland. The “OpenCity Tip Line” is featured for easy access. Reports of suspected fraud, waste or misuse of City resources, and abuse of position go to Office of the Ombudsman, a division of the City Auditor’s Office. The mechanics of reporting are contracted out to a third party. This is not rocket science. Many cities have such a system. Vancouver does not.
Perhaps Vancouver could make similar arrangements. If you would like to join the effort to make this happen, please send CityHallWatch a message, to citizenYVR@gmail.com.
Below, in italics, are some excerpts from the materials on Portland’s system.
Auditor’s OpenCity Tipline, City of Portland
The Auditor’s OpenCity Tipline was established to provide City of Portland employees and the public with an anonymous method of reporting suspected fraud, waste or misuse of City resources, and abuse of position through the EthicsPoint system.
To file a complaint, you may report by phone or select the “Report Online” link at the left.
When you call or submit your information, provide as much detail as possible including who, what, when, where, and how. Be as descriptive as possible including dates, names, location, amounts, and witnesses. If available, provide documentation to substantiate your report.
Reports will be received by the Office of the Ombudsman, a division of the City Auditor’s Office. After an initial review, reports may be investigated further by the Ombudsman or may be referred to a more appropriate authority for resolution.