Reporting improper conduct
The Protected Disclosure Act 2012 encourages and assists people in making disclosures of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies, as well as any person who adversely affects the honest performance of a public officer or public body of their official functions.
The Act provides protection to people who make disclosures about improper conduct in the public sector without fear of reprisal. These disclosures are called 'protected disclosures'. Anyone can make a protected disclosure against the Commission. This includes employees and members of the public.
The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) has responsibility for receiving and investigating disclosures. These procedures explain how to make a protected disclosure about the Commission to IBAC and how the Commission protects people who make protected disclosures.
The Commission does not tolerate improper conduct by employees, nor the taking of reprisals against those who come forward to disclose such conduct. It is committed to ensuring transparency and accountability in its administrative and management practices and supports the making of disclosures that reveal corrupt conduct, conduct involving a substantial mismanagement of public resources, or conduct involving a substantial risk to public health and safety or the environment.
The Commission does not tolerate detrimental action against those who make, or co-operate with, protected disclosures about the Commission. The Commission will take all reasonable steps to protect people who make such disclosures from any detrimental action in reprisal for making the disclosure.
What is a Protected Disclosure?The Protected Disclosure Act creates a framework for dealing with protected disclosures and the people who make them. The purpose of the Protected Disclosure Act is to:
- encourage and assist people to make a disclosure of improper conduct and detrimental action by public officers, public bodies and certain private individuals.
- provide certain protections for people who make a disclosure, or those who may suffer detrimental action in reprisal for a disclosure
- ensure that certain information about a disclosure is kept confidential – the identity of the person making the disclosure, and the content of that disclosure.
A protected disclosure is a report made by a person about improper conduct of public bodies or public officers performing public functions, and any person who adversely affects the honest performance by a public officer or public body of their official functions.
Improper conduct includes corrupt conduct, the dishonest performance of public functions, knowingly or recklessly breaching public trust, misuse of information or materials, substantial mismanagement of public resources or conduct involving substantial risk to public health or safety, or to the environment. It also includes the conduct of any person (private individual) that adversely affects the honest performance by a public officer or public body of their official functions.
A protected disclosure can also be made about detrimental action against a person by public bodies or public officers in reprisal for the making of a protected disclosure. Detrimental action includes action causing injury, loss or damage, intimidation, harassment, discrimination, disadvantage or adverse treatment. It includes actual action as well as the threat of action.