The Alberta Public Interest Commissioner releases her report into an investigation of wrongdoing involving the former President and CEO of Keyano College.
The Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act gives public sector employees within provincial public institutions the ability to report wrongdoing confidentially, and to be protected from reprisal for doing so.
Using the Act, several Keyano College employees made complaints to the college’s Board of Governors and the Public Interest Commissioner relating to the conduct and actions of its then President & CEO, Dr. Trent Keough. The Board of Governors, in collaboration with the Commissioner’s office, conducted an extensive investigation into the allegations.
The investigation found serious and significant wrongdoing on the part of the former President & CEO involving the gross mismanagement of public funds, gross mismanagement of the delivery of a public service, and gross mismanagement of employees through a pattern of bullying, harassment, and intimidation. As highlighted in the report, the President & CEO’s conduct had financial and reputational implications for the organization, and impacted the culture of Keyano College, particularly affecting those working closest to him.
Dr. Keough’s resignation was announced by Keyano College in May 2020 at the onset of the matter and an interim president and CEO was appointed.
“This investigation was a collaborative effort between Keyano College’s Board of Governors and my office. The Board is commended for supporting its employees and taking steps to safeguard the institution. Their actions demonstrate a progressive culture that supports whistleblowers and advances public confidence in the administration of Keyano College.”
“This case is an example of the effectiveness of this Act, and how organizations can work with my office to identify and remedy wrongdoing. I also commend the employees of Keyano College who saw the Act as a means to bring their concerns to light. These employees shall remain anonymous.”
Marianne Ryan, Alberta’s Public Interest Commissioner
“On behalf of the Board of Governors of Keyano College, I would like to thank the Public Interest Commissioner for her thorough and thoughtful investigation. The Board is committed to ensuring the highest levels of professional conduct and public trust within Keyano College, while fostering an inclusive and harassment free work environment. We will be implementing all recommendations from the report.”
“We also commend the Keyano College employees who brought these serious allegations forward to both the Board and the Public Interest Commissioner.”
Shelley Powell, Chair of the Board of Governors, Keyano College
The Public Interest Commissioner’s report—A report of the Public Interest Commissioner in the matter of disclosures of wrongdoing under the Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act is here.