Protected Disclosure Act 2012
The Protected Disclosure Act 2012 came into effect on 11 February 2013, replacing the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001.
The new Act established the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) which has responsibility to promote integrity and accountability across the Victorian public sector, the Victorian Inspectorate, whose role is to oversee both the IBAC and the Ombudsman, and the new Accountability and Oversight Parliamentary Committee which has oversight over the Ombudsman.
A Protected Disclosure is a complaint of corrupt or improper conduct by a public officer or body.
The Protected Disclosure Act 2012 enables people to make complaints or disclosures about improper conduct within the public sector without fear of reprisal. The Act aims to ensure openness and accountability by encouraging people to make disclosures and protecting them when they do.
Moira Shire Council does not tolerate corrupt or improper conduct by its employees, officers or members, nor the taking of reprisals against those who come forward to disclosure such conduct. Employees and members of the public are encouraged to report known or suspected incidences of corrupt or improper conduct.
Moira Shire Council will take all reasonable steps to protect people who make disclosures without the fear of reprisal and will also afford natural justice to the person who is the subject of the disclosure.
Who can Make a ‘Protected Disclosure’?
Protected Disclosures may be made by employees or by members of the public.
How to make a ‘Protected Disclosure’
Part 2 of the Act provides that a person may make a disclosure orally or in writing and may remain anonymous.
Disclosures can be made in person or orally to:
Ms Linda Nieuwenhuizen
Protected Disclosure Coordinator
Moira Shire Council
44 Station St
Cobram Vic 3644
Telephone: (03) 5871 9222
Or by post to
PO Box 578
Cobram Vic 3643
The Protected Disclosure Coordinator will take all necessary steps to ensure that the identity of the person making a protected disclosure and the person who is subject of the disclosure are kept confidential.
Moira Shire Council can only address disclosures that relate to Moira Shire Council. Protected Disclosures about Councillors should be directed to IBAC.
Alternatively, disclosures may be made directly to IBAC:
Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC)
Level 1, 459 Collins St
Melbourne Vic 3001
Telephone: 1300 735 135
GPO Box 24234, Melbourne Victoria 3000
What happens after I have made a disclosure?
Once it is determined that the complaint is a Protected Disclosure, Moira Shire Council will investigate the matter. The person making the complaint will be kept informed of action taken in relation to their disclosure and the time frames that apply.
In accordance with Section 58 of the Act, Moira Shire Council's Protected Disclosure Act 2012 Guidelines are currently under review to be consistent with the requirements of the Act. Once completed, the Guidelines will provide a full explanation of how Council will respond to 'Protected Disclosures'. It will also provide definitions of what constitutes corrupt or improper conduct, and will outline the different roles of the various people involved in dealing with Protected Disclosures.
The Guidelines will be completed by the 31 July 2013. In the interim, if you wish to make a Protected Disclosure (as defined within the Act), please contact the Protected Disclosure Coordinator.
For further information and guidance on the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 please follow the links below.