Horsham Rural City Council is a public body subject to the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic).
The purpose of the Act is to encourage and facilitate disclosures of improper conduct by public officers, public bodies and other persons, and detrimental action taken in reprisal for a person making a disclosure under the Act.
The Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 provides protection to persons who make disclosures or who may suffer detrimental action in reprisal for those disclosures. The Act ensures any disclosures are properly assessed and, where necessary, investigated, and provides confidentiality of the content of disclosures and the identity of people who make them. Under the Act, any person or group of individuals can make a disclosure, be a witness, or be the subject of an investigation.
The Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 ensures that disclosures are properly assessed and investigated where necessary, and provides confidentiality of the content of disclosures and the identity of people who make them. Under the Act, any person or group of individuals can make a disclosure, or be a witness or the subject of an investigation.
Council is committed to the aims and objectives of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 and does not tolerate improper conduct by its employees, officers or members, nor the taking of reprisals against those who come forward to disclose such conduct. Council recognises the value of 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, conduct involving a substantial risk to public health and safety or the environment, misconduct in public office or serious professional misconduct.
The Public Interest Disclosure Procedure provides details of Council's system for reporting disclosures of improper conduct, serious professional misconduct, detrimental action or misdirected disclosures by Councillors or employees.
Disclosures of improper conduct or detrimental action by Horsham Rural City Council employees (excluding Councillors) may be made to the following Principle Officers:
Public Interest Disclosures Co-ordinator
Chief Executive Officer, phone (03) 5382 9720
Public Interest Disclosures Officer
Director Corporate Services, phone (03) 5382 9785
Manager People and Culture, phone (03) 5382 9778
Public Interest Disclosures can also be made to the supervisor of the discloser, or the supervisor of the person who is the subject of the disclosure.
A disclosure about improper conduct or detrimental action by a Horsham Rural City Councillor or employee may also be made directly to the Victorian Ombudsman or the Indepdendent Broadbased Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC).
Disclosures relating to Councillors can only be made directly to the Victorian Ombudsman or IBAC
Improper Conduct examples:
- To avoid closure of a town's only industry, an Environmental Health Officer ignores or conceals evidence of illegal dumping of waste
- An Environmental Health Officer allows a catering business to continue functioning when health standards have been breached
- A Building Inspector tolerates poor practices and structural defects in the work of a leading local builder
- A Council employee is witnessed using a Council grader on private property on a weekend
- A Finance Officer approves a colleague's corporate expense account for payment, even though it appears to have non work-related expenditure items listed
- A Council Officer takes a bribe or receives a payment other than their wage or salary in exchange for the discharge of a public duty
- A Council Officer favours unmeritorious applications for jobs or permits by friends and relatives
- A Council Officer sells confidential information
Detrimental Action examples:
- Council refuses a deserved promotion of a person who makes a disclosure
- Council demotes, transfers, isolates in the workplace or changes the duties of a discloser due to the making of a disclosure
- Council threatens, abuses or carries out other forms of harassment directly or indirectly against the discloser, their family or friends
- Council discriminates against the discloser or their family or associates in subsequent applications for jobs, permits or tenders