The Protected Disclosures Act 2012 ("the Act") replaced the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 in February, 2013. The purpose of the Act is to encourage and facilitate the making of disclosures of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies. The Act provides protection from detrimental action to any person affected by a protected disclosure and establishes a system for the matters disclosed to be investigated and rectifying action to be taken.
What is a 'Protected Disclosure'?
A Protected Disclosure is a complaint of corrupt or improper conduct by a public officer or body (i.e. council).
How does West Wimmera Shire Council treat 'Protected Disclosures'?
Council does not tolerate corrupt or improper conduct by the organisation, its agents, officers, members, 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 such disclosures from any detrimental action in reprisal for making the disclosure. It will also afford natural justice to the person or body who is the subject of the disclosure.
How will West Wimmera Shire Council protect a person making a 'Protected Disclosure'?
Council will take all reasonable steps to protect a person who makes a protected disclosure.
All correspondence, phone calls and emails from persons making a protected disclosure are referred to the Protected Disclosure Coordinator.
The Protected Disclosure Coordinator will take all necessary steps to ensure that the identity of the person making a protected disclosure and the person who is subject of the disclosure are kept confidential. Where necessary, the Protected Disclosure Coordinator will arrange for appropriate welfare support for the person making a protected disclosure.
How do I make a 'Protected Disclosure'?
Protected Disclosures may be made by employees or by members of the public.
Part 2 of the Act provides that a person may make a disclosure:
- In writing;
- Electronically; or
Protected Disclosures may relate to corrupt or improper conduct by:
- The organisation
West Wimmera Shire Council can only address disclosures that relate to West Wimmera Shire Council and its employees. Protected Disclosures about Councillors must be addressed by the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC).
Who do I contact?
Disclosures should be made to the Protective Disclosures Coordinator:
West Wimmera Shire Council
PO Box 201
Edenhope VIC 3318
Phone: (03) 5585 9900
Disclosures may also be made directly to the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC)
GPO Box 24234, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 1300 735
All disclosures about Councillors should be directed to IBAC.