Corrupt or Improper Conduct Procedures

Reporting Corrupt or Improper Conduct - Public Interest Disclosure

What is a Public Interest disclosure (PID)?

A public interest disclosure is a disclosure made in line with the Public interest Disclosures Act 2012 (PID Act) and is a report made by an individual about:

  • improper conduct of public bodies or public officers (such as corrupt conduct)
  • detrimental action that a public body or public officer has taken against a person in reprisal for them making of a Public Interest disclosure or cooperated with the investigation of a public interest disclosure.

What can I make a public interest disclosure about?

You may think something does not look right because it is:

  • corruption or serious misconduct
  • criminal behaviour
  • misuse of confidential information
  • substantial mismanagement of public resources
  • a risk to the environment, public health or safety.

A disclosure can relate to conduct or action that:

  • may have already taken place
  • may be occurring now
  • may happen in the future.

Who can make a Public Interest Disclosure?

Anyone can make a disclosure about improper conduct or detrimental action relating to Whitehorse Council.

A disclosure can be made by an individual or by a group of individuals.

How do I make a disclosure?

1. Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator

Vivien Ferlaino
Manager Governance and Integrity
Telephone (03) 9262 6339

2. Public Interest Disclosure Officers

Stuart Cann
Director Corporate Services
Telephone: (03) 9262 6313

Angelo Luczek
Coordinator Information Management
Telephone (03) 9262 6330

Kimberley Kwong
Coordinator Audit and Assurance
Telephone (03) 9262 6168

Sajhneeta Singh
Coordinator Audit and Assurance
Telephone (03) 9262 6354

3. An external reporting agency

Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) on 1300 735 135 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm excluding public holidays)

Victorian Ombudsman on 9613 6222 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm excluding public holidays)

Victoria Police on 131 444 (for non-emergency issues otherwise for urgent issues call 000).

What happens after I make a disclosure to Whitehorse City Council?

Council’s Governance and Integrity department will conduct an assessment to determine if your disclosure meets the threshold of a public interest disclosure. If your disclosure meets this threshold, Council is required to refer the matter to IBAC for further assessment.

If your disclosure is not assessed as a public interest disclosure, Council will consider what other action should be taken, including whether the matter should be investigated internally.

What kind of protections do disclosers have?

  • Details of disclosers/complainants are kept confidential
  • Individuals who make a disclosure in accordance with the PID Act requirements will receive the following protections:
         -   the discloser cannot be fired, disciplined, or bullied for making a disclosure
         -   the discloser is not subject to any civil or criminal liability for making a disclosure
  • the discloser is not committing an offence against the Constitution Act 1975 or any other Act that imposes obligations of confidentiality or any other restriction on the disclosure of information
  • the discloser is not breaching any other obligation (made by oath, rule of law or practice) requiring him or her to maintain confidentiality or otherwise restrict confidentiality.
  • the discloser cannot be held liable for defamation in relation to information included in a public interest disclosure.

Purpose of the Public Interest Disclosures Act

The PID Act aims to:

  • encourage and assist people to report improper conduct and detrimental action taken in reprisal for a public interest disclosure
  • 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.