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Protected Disclosures (formerly Whistleblowers Protection)
What is the Protected Disclosure Act 2012?
The¬†Protected Disclosure Act 2012¬†(the Act) replaces the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001.
The purposes of this Act are:
a) to encourage and facilitate disclosures of -
i. improper conduct by public officers, public bodies and other persons; and
ii. detrimental action taken in reprisal for a person making a disclosure under this Act; and
b) to provide protection for ‚Äď
i. persons who make these disclosures; and
ii. persons who may suffer detrimental action in reprisal for those disclosures; and
c) to provide for the confidentiality of the content of those disclosures and the identity of persons who make those disclosures.
The reform also includes the establishment of the¬†Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission¬†(IBAC). The IBAC‚Äôs role is to promote integrity and accountability across the Victorian public sector, including councils.
What is a Protected Disclosure?
A protected disclosure is a complaint regarding serious corrupt conduct or improper conduct by a public officer or body.
This includes the Towong¬†Shire Council, its Councillors, CEO and employees.
Who can make a disclosure?
Any person who believes they have reasonable grounds that Council, a Councillor or a Council employee has engaged in, is engaging in or is planning to engage in corrupt or improper conduct or detrimental action can make a disclosure.
A disclosure may be made by an individual or group of individuals and can be anonymous.¬†
How do I make a disclosure?
To be considered a protected disclosure, a complaint must satisfy certain criteria as detailed in Part 2 of the Act. The following information is a brief summary only, more detail can be found in Council's Protected Disclosure Procedures document. It is recommended that anyone considering making a disclosure refer to this document.
A disclosure must be made¬†in private¬†and can be delivered¬†verbally¬†(including face to face, telephone or voicemail) or in writing (including letters and email). Disclosures can be made anonymously.
Disclosures concerning a Towong¬†Shire Councillor¬†MUST be made directly to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).
Disclosures concerning a¬†Towong¬†Shire Council employee¬†or the¬†Chief Executive Officer (CEO)¬†can be made to to following:
- Protected Disclosure Coordinator -¬†Jo Shannon, Director Community and Corporate Services
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
- Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC)
- The Ombudsman Victoria¬†
Protected Disclosure Coordinator - Jo Shannon¬†
(Any disclosure concerning the Towong¬†Shire Council or Council employee only - disclosures concerning the Councillors must be provided directly to the IBAC)
Post:¬†PO Box 55, Tallangatta VIC 3700¬†NOTE: Any written disclosures must be in a sealed envelope, clearly marked ‚ÄúCONFIDENTIAL ‚Äď Attention: Jo Shannon"
In person:¬†Towong¬†Shire Council offices,¬†32 Towong Street, Tallangatta VIC 3700
Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC)
Phone:¬†1300 735 135
Email:¬†Via the IBAC website
Post:¬†GPO Box 24234, Melbourne VIC 3001
In person:¬†Level 1, North Tower, 459 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Protected Disclosure procedures
Council has developed procedures to receive and assess disclosures and to manage the welfare of any person making a disclosure. The document is available for download via the link below and hard copies are also available from Council offices in Tallangatta.
To ensure a protected disclosure is received and assessed in accordance with the Act, it is esential that these procedures are followed. Contact the Protected Disclosure Coordinator for further information.
For further information regarding Protected Disclosures, please contact Council's Protected Disclosure Coordinator or the IBAC.
Download Council's Protected Disclosures Procedure below: