Protected Disclosure / Whistle Blower Reports
It is important to recognise one of the best sources of information as to the conduct of your employees is the employee base. As such, it is important to establish a confidential and unprejudiced process to enable these reports to be received, assessed and the appropriate action taken. The NSW Ombudsman is responsible for monitoring the wellbeing of persons making a “Protected Disclosure” in the Public Sector in New South Wales. Their website (http://goo.gl/bPB2L) provides guidelines as to what action should be taken within the NSW Public Sector.
ACCA can assist with investigations stemming from a Public Interest Disclosure – there is a need to be aware of the protocols of such an investigation. One of the important aspects is the need to provide confidentiality for the person making the disclosure in accordance with the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994. Any breaches of this Act may leave the agency or individuals within the agency open to investigation and possible sanctions.
It is also important for the private sector to be aware of the benefit of establishing a robust reporting system to obtain information from employees, to protect employees from harassment or intimidation as a result of their actions, and to assess and investigate (where appropriate) the information provided. ACCA can provide advice and assistance in this area.