The Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (the Act) enables people to make disclosures about improper conduct within the public sector without fear of reprisal. The protection from detrimental action extends not only to the person making the disclosure - it includes witnesses and persons the subject of an investigation. The Act aims to ensure openness and accountability by encouraging people to make disclosures and protecting them when they do.
What is a Protected Disclosure?
A protected disclosure is a complaint of corrupt or improper conduct by a public officer or body.
How does Council treat Protected Disclosures?
Council does not tolerate corrupt or improper conduct by the organisation, its employees, officers and Councillors nor the taking of reprisals against those who come forward to disclose such conduct.
Employees and members of the public are encouraged to report known or suspected incidences of corrupt or improper conduct.
Council will take all reasonable steps to protect people who make disclosures and afford natural justice to the person who is the subject of the disclosure
How will Council protect a person making a Protected Disclosure?
Council will take all reasonable steps to protect a person who makes a protected disclosure and will direct all disclosures to the Protected Disclosure Coordinator. Where necessary the Protected Disclosure Coordinator will arrange for appropriate welfare support for the person making a protected disclosure.
The Protected Disclosure Coordinator will take all necessary steps to keep confidential the identify of the person making a disclosure and the person about whom the disclosure is made.
All information will be securely stored within Council's electronic and information management systems.
Council will ensure that all its staff are familiar with its protected disclosure procedures and the obligations under the Act.
How do I make a Protected Disclosure?
Any person may make a disclosure about improper conduct by public bodies and public officers.
A disclosure may be made orally, in writing, electronically or anonymously.
Protected Disclosures may relate to corrupt or improper conduct by the organisation, employees, Councillors.
Council can only address disclosures that relate to the council or its staff. Disclosures regarding Councillors must be made directly to IBAC.
Who do I contact?
Disclosures should be made to :
Protected Disclosure Coordinator
PO Box 580, Stawell 3380
Direct phone : 03 5358 712
Disclosures may also be made directly to IBAC:
Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC)
GP Box 24234, Melbourne Victoria 3000
Telephone : 1300 735 135
What happens next?
Once it is determined that the complaint is a protected disclosure, the Council will investigate the matter. The person making the complaint will be kept informed of action taken in relation to the disclosure and timeframes that apply.
Alternatives to making a Protected Disclosure?
These procedures are designed to complement normal methods of submitting complaints to Council and existing communication channels between supervisors and employees. Members of the public are encouraged to contact Council with any complaints or concerns about Council or Council employees.
Council is legislatively required to establish written PROTECTED_DISCLOSURES_PROCEDURES.pdf(PDF, 711KB) to facilitate the making, handling and notification of protected disclosures that relate to itself and its employees and officers.
For further information and guidance on the new legislation please refer to the link below.
The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) is a body established to promote integrity and accountability across the Victorian public sector, the Victorian Inspectorate oversees both the IBAC and the Ombudsman, and the Accountability and Oversight Parliamentary Committee has oversight over the Ombudsman.