What is a Wrongdoing?

Wrongdoing is defined as:

a serious act or failure to act that, if proven, would constitute an offence under an enactment of British Columbia or Canada 

A serious action or failure to act that is also a crime. Some factors which may indicate that the matter is “serious” include whether the action:  

  • is done by a person with a high level of seniority or responsibility
  • is a significant departure from accepted standards of conduct
  • is deliberate
  • can/will result in significant loss of trust in the public organization.
an act or failure to act 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 
  • substantial danger means that a reasonable person would consider the danger serious and likely to result in real harm. This includes extreme damage or threat to the environment.
  • specific danger means there is an actual threat and something or someone is at particular risk. The danger is identifiable and expected at a foreseeable future date.
  • Exception: danger that is a typical part of someone’s job is generally not included.
a serious misuse of public funds or public assets

Misuse means that money or resources

  • are being wasted
  • are not being used for their intended purpose, or
  • are used in a way which is irregular, unauthorized, or not normally expected or required


Some factors which may indicate that the misuse of funds or assets was serious include

  • deliberate misuse or an abuse of power
  • recurrent or frequent misuse
  • a significant amount of funds was misused
  • the misuse was undertaken by someone in a high level of authority or position of trust
gross or systemic mismanagement 

Mismanagement is the inappropriate or irresponsible management of a government resource, such as staff, a contract, or a project.

Some factors which may indicate that the mismanagement was gross include:

  • the conduct is deliberate or for personal gain
  • the mismanagement involves significant government resources
  • the conduct is reckless or indifferent
  • the person who engaged in mismanagement has a high level of authority or trust

Some factors which may indicate that the mismanagement was systemic include:

  • the conduct is recurrent or frequent
  • the conduct is known or accepted within an organization
  • the mismanagement is built into an organization’s structure, policies or practices
directing or counselling a person to commit any of the above.
This means telling someone else to commit a wrongdoing regardless of whether the other person follows through.

Wrongdoing is serious or systemic misconduct relating to a BC government ministry or office of the legislature that is in the public interest to address. Policy disagreements or human resources disputes between an employee and their employer are unlikely to be considered wrongdoing.

You can make a report of wrongdoing if you believe that you have information which could show that a wrongdoing has been committed. There is no penalty if it is determined that your report does not qualify as wrongdoing under PIDA. You are also protected from reprisal even if your allegations are not investigated or are not proven during an investigation, so long as they have been made in good faith.