Policy: Public interest disclosure
This document sets out the policy for handling disclosures of corrupt conduct, and maladministration of the serious and substantial waste of University resources.
This policy has been developed to comply with the provisions as set out in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013.
This Policy applies to all current or former staff of the University and to University contracted service providers; it does not apply to students and visitors of the University.
Authorised Officer means the persons appointed by the Vice-Chancellor to act as an Authorised Officer under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013.
Principal Officer, for the purposes of the University, means the Vice-Chancellor as the Chief Executive Officer of the University.
Public Official, for the purposes of the University, means:
- a Principal Officer of the University;
- a member of staff of the University;
- a member of the University; and
- an individual who is employed by the Commonwealth and performs duties for the University.
The University encourages the making of reports of disclosable conduct
- The University encourages and supports the reporting of wrongdoing by Public Officials in accordance with Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act).
- The University will take active steps to support and to protect persons who make disclosures under the PID Act.
- The University recognises that it is important to have an effective system for reporting and investigating disclosable conduct. Some of the potential benefits of such a system are reducing the work health and safety risks to our workers, effective and appropriate use of the University’s financial resources and making our programs and processes more efficient and transparent. Another potential benefit is increasing the confidence of our workers in the way the University is managed.
- The University also recognises that a decision by the University not to deal with a disclosure as a disclosure under the PID Act could be seriously detrimental to both the discloser and to the effective operation and the reputational standing of the University.
What is disclosable conduct?
- The full definition of disclosable conduct is set out in section 29 of the PID Act. That definition applies for the purposes of these procedures.
- In summary terms, disclosable conduct is conduct by an Agency (including the University) or by a Public Official that:
- contravenes a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory, or
- occurs in a foreign country and contravenes a law in force in that country that applies to the agency or Public Official and that corresponds to a law in force in the Australian Capital Territory, or
- perverts, or attempts to pervert, the course of justice or involves corruption of any other kind, or
- constitutes maladministration, including conduct that; is based on improper motives; is unreasonable, unjust or oppressive, is negligent, or
- is an abuse of public trust, or
- is fabrication, falsification, or deception in relation to scientific research, or misconduct in relation to scientific work, or
- results in the wastage of public money or public property or of the money or property of an authority covered by the PID Act, or
- unreasonably results in a danger to the health and safety of a person or unreasonably results in or increases the risk of a danger to the health and safety of a person, or
- results in a danger to the environment or results in or increases the risk of a danger to the environment, or
- is prescribed by the PID Rules, or
- is engaged in by a Public Official that involves abuse of the Public Official’s position, or could, if proved, give reasonable grounds for disciplinary action against the Public Official.
- It does not matter whether disclosable conduct occurred before or after 15 January 2014 (the date that the PID Act commences).
- It does not matter whether the Public Official who carried out the alleged conduct has ceased to be a Public Official since the time the conduct is alleged to have occurred, but it is necessary that they carried out the conduct in connection with their position as a Public Official.