FAQ – Confidential Disclosure (Whistleblower) Procedure
- What is the purpose of the NEB Confidential Disclosure (Whistleblower) Procedure?
- What is an act of non-compliance by a regulated company?
- What are some examples of non-compliance?
- I suspect that a regulated company may not be complying with the NEB Act and Regulations. How can I make a confidential disclosure of non-compliance to the NEB?
- Can I make an anonymous disclosure?
- How does the NEB protect my confidentiality and anonymity?
- What will happen with the information I provide to the NEB?
- Will I qualify for a reward if my information is helpful?
- How long will it take the NEB to respond?
- How long could the entire process take?
- Will the NEB provide me with feedback on the status of my disclosure?
- Once I have filed a disclosure alleging an act of non-compliance by a regulated company can I change my mind and drop or withdraw my complaint?
1. What is the purpose of the NEB Confidential Disclosure (Whistleblower) Procedure?
The NEB’s Confidential Disclosure (Whistleblower) Procedure has been created pursuant to the National Energy Board Act (NEB Act). Its purpose is to:
- Facilitate the reporting of alleged non-compliances by NEB-regulated companies.
- Create robust and reliable process to assess, manage, and resolve disclosures in a timely and efficient manner.
- To provide prospective tipsters Footnote 1 with information about the program.
- To protect the confidentiality and anonymity of tipsters and their disclosures to the greatest extent possible.
- To provide tipsters, to the extent practical, feedback on the status of their disclosure.
2. What is an act of non-compliance by a regulated company?
Companies that are regulated by the NEB are required to follow the NEB Act and Regulations. An act of non-compliance is defined as a contravention of the Act or a Regulation made pursuant to the NEB Act.
3. What are some examples of non-compliance?
Examples of non-compliance could include violations of the NEB Act and Regulations involving the safety of pipelines and facilities, pipeline integrity, environmental protection, emergency management and security, damage prevention, and others factors. In 2011, the NEB began posting information regarding compliance and enforcement activities on its website. Click here to read more about the types of non-compliance activities the NEB has investigated.
4. I suspect that a regulated company may not be complying with the NEB Act and Regulations. How can I make a confidential disclosure of non-compliance to the NEB?
The NEB has long encouraged the reporting of non-compliances associated with its regulated companies, and are committed to providing a safe, easy and anonymous way for the public to report information.
Using Clearview Connects, confidential disclosures can be submitted either:
- Online through the secure website at www.clearviewconnects.com
- Over the phone 24/7 to a ClearView operator through the NEB’s dedicated toll-free number 1-866-358-1718
- By mail through the confidential post office box at: P.O. Box 11017, Toronto, Ontario, M1E 1N0
It is important to note that by reporting online or via telephone through the NEB’s approved reporting mechanism, tipsters are provided with a confidential password and control number to authenticate the tipster during any future electronic communication.
5. Can I make an anonymous disclosure?
Yes. The NEB accepts anonymous disclosures. You are not asked for your name when making an online or telephone report and the NEB’s procedure is structured to so as to maximize confidentiality and security.
It is important to note, however, that in certain instances the NEB may be required by law to provide information that could identify a tipster. While we do our best to maintain your privacy, absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. You will be advised if there is a lawful release of information that could identify you.
6. How does the NEB protect my confidentiality and anonymity?
The NEB’s procedure is structured so as to maximize confidentiality and security over the original disclosure and information that might reveal the identity of the tipster. To maintain the integrity of this process, we use the following procedures:
- You will never be asked to identify yourself to the NEB
- Only trained NEB staff who are members of the Disclosure Evaluation Committee are permitted to review disclosures
- All written disclosures, information regarding the tipster’s identity, correspondence to and from the Tipster, and other documents that could reveal the tipster’s identity will be physically and electronically collected, stored, secured, and managed in a secure manner
- All physical and digital (electronic) documents are marked as protected documents
7. What will happen with the information I provide to the NEB?
Your information will be assessed by specially trained NEB staff. If the circumstances warrant further action, the NEB may undertake compliance verification activities to determine the validity of the allegation(s). The decision on what action, if any, the NEB might take rests completely with the NEB
8. Will I qualify for a reward if my information is helpful?
The NEB appreciates any and all reports of alleged non-compliances of its regulated companies; however no compensation is provided in exchange for information. Compensation in this regard means a reward, financial payment, consideration, indemnification, offer of employment, actual employment, or any other benefit.
9. How long will it take the NEB to respond?
Our procedure has defined service standards. If we require any clarification or follow-up information, you will be contacted through the ClearView system within 10 business days.
10. How long could the entire process take?
The entire process may require weeks and even months to conclude depending on the complexities of an allegation.
11. Will the NEB provide me with feedback on the status of my disclosure?
Yes. Through the ClearView Connects web portal, the NEB will provide high-level general information at the conclusion of the disclosure process, and may request further information from the tipster. It will be up to the tipster to log into the reporting system to check the status of the disclosure.
The NEB will not provide tipsters with specific details regarding any compliance verification activities we have undertaken, for example the names of people we have interviewed, or the final results of our work.
12. Once I have filed a disclosure alleging an act of non-compliance by a regulated company can I change my mind and drop or withdraw my complaint?
Yes. You can provide new information at any time in the process through the ClearView Connects web portal, including a request to withdraw the complaint. Once a disclosure has been received from a tipster, though, that information becomes the property of the NEB. The NEB will assess the information and decide on the appropriate course of action regardless of whether the complaint is dropped or withdrawn.
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