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Fraud commitment and Protection for disclosers of improper conduct

We are committed to the aims and objectives of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012

Fraud commitment

The City of Whittlesea recognises the loss and harm caused by fraud and corruption and maintains a no tolerance system that prevents, detects, and responds quickly and appropriately.  We are committed to minimising internal and external fraud and corruption events by:

  • Understanding Council’s risk factors.
  • Building and leveraging existing controls.
  • Ensuring staff awareness of indicators.
  • Having the right people and controls in place to manage and monitor the Fraud and Corruption Control System. 

The City of Whittlesea takes all allegations or concerns regarding potential fraud and corruption seriously and commits to assessing each notification. Reports of suspected fraudulent or corrupt activity will be treated in accordance with the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011 and or the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 and Procedures. All reasonable steps will be taken to provide those who have acted in good faith in reporting suspected fraudulent or corrupt activity, with protection against discrimination or retaliation.

Public Interest Disclosures Act

We do not tolerate improper conduct by our employees, officers or members, or acts of retaliation against those who come forward to disclose such conduct.

We recognise the value of transparency and accountability in our administrative and management practices, and support the making of disclosures.

The Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 replaced the previous Protected Disclosure Act 2012 on 1 January 2020. The procedures for handling disclosures have been prepared in accordance with guidelines set out by the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC).

The objective of the Act is to:

  • encourage and facilitate the disclosure of:
    • improper conduct by public officers and public bodies;
    • detrimental action taken in retaliation for a person making a disclosure under this Act
  • provide protection for:
    • people who make those disclosures
    • people who may suffer detrimental action in reprisal for those disclosures
  • provide confidentiality of the content of the disclosure and the identity of people who make those disclosures
  • ensure that those disclosures are properly assessed and, where necessary investigated

The Act applies to Administrators and Council employees of Whittlesea City Council.

Who can make a disclosure? 

Anyone can make a disclosure if they have reasonable grounds to believe that improper conduct or detrimental action has occurred.

A complaint should clearly show or suggest improper conduct or detrimental action by a public officer:

  • improper conduct must be either criminal conduct or conduct serious enough to result in a person’s dismissal
  • detrimental action includes harassment or discrimination, or other adverse action taken against the discloser, in retaliation for having reported the alleged improper conduct

People seeking protection under the Act should carefully consider whether their complaint meets these basic thresholds above before reporting.

Full definitions of improper conduct and detrimental action can be found in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012 Procedures.

Make a disclosure regarding Council employees

Disclosures regarding Whittlesea employees should be made to a Public Interest Disclosure Officer as per below. You can also make a disclosure directly to the IBAC.

  • Mail:
    CONFIDENTIAL
    Attention: Public Interest Disclosure Officer
    Whittlesea City Council
    Locked Bag 1 Bundoora
    SOUTH MORANG Vic 3752

 

Make a disclosure regarding Whittlesea Administrators

Disclosures regarding Whittlesea Administrators should be made directly to the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission:

  • Telephone: 1300 735 135
  • Mail:
    IBAC
    GPO Box 24234
    Melbourne VIC 3001

What happens after a disclosure is made?

Where a disclosure is made directly to Council and Council determines that the information disclosed is likely to constitute a Public Interest Complaint, it will refer the matter to IBAC for review.

IBAC will determine who will investigate the matter and may refer the disclosure back to Council depending on the nature of the complaint.

Specific timeframes apply, and the discloser will be informed of actions taken throughout the process.

Alternatives to making a public interest disclosure

These procedures are designed to complement Council’s complaint handling and resolution procedures.

Members of the public are encouraged to contact Council with any complaints or concerns they may have about Council or Council employees.

See more about our Complaints handling and resolution procedures.