The Ethics and Internal Ombudsman Services provides a confidential, neutral and informal resource to facilitate the resolution of work-related concerns and fosters an ethically sound and vibrant culture that best embodies Health Canada and the Public Service values and ethics.
Launched in November 2003, the Internal Ombudsman Service provides a confidential, informal and impartial resource to facilitate the resolution of work-related concerns. It offers a safe environment to all employees across the country, at all levels and regardless of their employment status. The Internal Ombudsman Service reports directly to the Deputy Minister. In the Spring of 2005, the responsibility for the design and implementation of an Informal Conflict Management System (ICMS) - a requirement of the new Public Service Modernization Act - was added to the mandate of the Internal Ombudsman. This system focuses on the prevention, management and resolution of conflict through the use of interest-based, collaborative processes. It complements existing rights-based processes.
The Centre was established in December 2000 and leads the Department's strategy with respect to workplace values and ethics.
The first major initiative undertaken by the Centre was the development and implementation of a department-wide Dialogue on Values and Ethics in which more than 720 employees participated. This Dialogue conducted in 2001-2002 was the first step of a multi-phase strategy, which now focuses on the integration of values and ethics in HC culture, activities and work environment. More specifically, the Centre offers to all managers and employees a varied range of products and services including "ethics workshops", tools and cases studies, customized activities, interactive presentations, research results, etc.
Values: values reflect enduring beliefs that we hold and that influence our attitudes, our actions, and the choices we make. As individuals, our values are shaped by our personal beliefs. As public servants, they are shaped by the traditions of our democratic system of government.
Ethics: our ethics reflect how we apply our values to work in actual decision making. Ethics involves determining what is right or wrong in the workplace, then doing the right thing. Ethics are public service values in action. Ensuring the presence of sound values and ethics is a vital and ongoing part of good governance in organizations. This is not a new concept but rather an integral part of good management practices. There is already a strong foundation in terms of values and ethics in the Public Service and Health Canada, but it is critical that this foundation be continually nourished as highly complex issues constantly emerge, demands and pressures change and external recruitment is occurring.