Office of the Ombudsperson

OFFICE OF THE

University Ombudsman

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Safe Disclosure Reporting and Investigation Policy

Queen’s University’s Safe Disclosure Policy outlines the regular process to confidentially report concerns about professional or financial misconduct. Although such concerns may be reported to your direct supervisor or University administrator, another option is to contact the University Ombudsman to make a report. It is possible to report concerns about professional or financial misconduct confidentially to the Safe Disclosure Officer by direct telephone line at 613-533-2030 or at ombuds@queensu.ca.

You may also contact the Ombudsman if you are uncertain where in the University to go with an issue or concern. Queen’s University also has a variety of channels in place for addressing other more specific concerns at the University. These are outlined at the back of the Safe Disclosure Policy, including the Queen’s University Policy on Integrity in Research (PDF*, 231 KB) and the Harassment/Discrimination Complaint Policy and Procedure.

For situations where Queen’s University faculty, students, staff, and administrators feel uncomfortable contacting the Ombudsman regarding potential fraud or financial misconduct, Queen’s University also provides the option of an external, toll-free third-party reporting service. This service is called ConfidenceLine.

Frequently asked Questions

What is the Safe Disclosure Reporting and Investigation Policy?
Queen’s University’s Safe Disclosure Policy provides a way for you to report concerns about professional or financial misconduct at the university. However, the most direct way to raise this type of concern is to discuss it with your direct supervisor.
What if I’m not comfortable raising the issue with my supervisor?
There may be a number of reasons why you do not feel you can have a discussion about the issue with your supervisor or manager. Another option is to contact and/or meet with the University Ombudsman to make a report. You can send an email to ombuds@queensu.ca or call using the direct telephone line at 613-533-2030.
I’m not certain which university policy is appropriate in the circumstances.
You may contact the Ombudsman if you are uncertain where within the University to go with an issue or concern. Queen’s has specific policies to address issues that students, staff, and faculty may encounter or experience at the university. The Ombudsman can help you determine whether another university policy applies or, given the circumstances, that the Safe Disclosure Policy is appropriate.
Can I make an anonymous complaint?
There is an important distinction to be made between a report being confidential and a report being anonymous. If you disclose information, the information will be treated as confidential and your identity will be protected. However, it is necessary to consider the university’s ability to conduct a competent investigation, and any legal limits to confidentiality. For example, if a matter reported appears to involve criminal behaviour, the appropriate authorities will be notified immediately.
In contrast, an anonymous report may be accepted, but your decision to remain anonymous or to request that your name not be disclosed may limit the university’s ability to investigate the matter. Regardless, any matter that appears to involve criminal behaviour will be forwarded to the police.
What is ConfidenceLine?
Queen’s University also provides the option of an external, toll-free third-party reporting service. This service is called ConfidenceLine. For situations where Queen’s University faculty, students, staff, and administrators might feel uncomfortable contacting the appropriate office within the university or the Ombudsman, ConfidenceLine provides another option for reporting. However, this service only receives information regarding potential fraud or financial misconduct.

*PDF files can be viewed using Adobe Reader