Protected Disclosures

Protected Disclosures Act 2012 

In February 2013, new legislation was implemented by the State Government to introduce integrity reforms in Victoria. The reforms include the creation of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), a body established 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.

The former Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 was repealed and replaced with the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (the Act). The Protected Disclosure Act 2012 enables people to make 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.

What is a 'Protected Disclosure'?

A Protected Disclosure is a complaint of corrupt or improper conduct by a public officer or body.

How does Council treat 'Protected Disclosures'?

Council does not tolerate corrupt or improper conduct by the organisation, its employees, officers, members, Councillors nor the taking of reprisals against those who come forward to disclose such conduct.

Employees and members of the public are encouraged to report known or suspected incidences of corrupt or improper conduct.

Council will take all reasonable steps to protect people who make such disclosures from any detrimental action in reprisal for making the disclosure. It will also afford natural justice to the person or body who is the subject of the disclosure.

How do I make a 'Protected Disclosure'?

Protected Disclosures may be made by employees or by members of the public.

Part 2 of the Act provides that a person may make a disclosure:

  • Orally
  • In writing
  • Electronically; or
  • Anonymously

Protected Disclosures may relate to corrupt or improper conduct by:

  • The organisation
  • Employees
  • Councillors

Council can only receive disclosures that relate to Mildura Rural City Council.

Protected Disclosures about Councillors must be addressed to IBAC.

How will Council protect a person making a 'Protected Disclosure'?

Council will take all reasonable steps to protect a person who makes a protected disclosure.

All correspondence, phone calls and emails from persons making a protected disclosure are referred to the Protected Disclosure Coordinator or a Protected Disclosure Officer.

The Protected Disclosure Coordinator or Officer 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. Where necessary, the Protected Disclosure Officer or Coordinator will arrange for appropriate welfare support for the person making a protected disclosure.

Who do I contact?

Disclosures should be made confidentially to the Protected Disclosure Coordinator or a Protected Disclosure Officer.

All written  correspondence, other than email, should be addressed confidentially to the Protected Disclosure Coordinator or one of the Protected Disclosure Officers detailed below and posted to Mildura Rural City Council, PO BOX 105, MILDURA  VIC  3500.

Emails can be sent to the personal email address of the Protected Disclosure Coordinator or a Protected Disclosure Officer listed below.

Protected Disclosure Coordinator
Richard Sexton
Manager Corporate Administration
108 Madden Avenue
MILDURA  VIC 3500
Phone 03 5018 8189
richard.sexton@mildura.vic.gov.au

Protected Disclosure Officers
Chris Parham
Acting General Manager Corporate
108 Madden Avenue
MILDURA  VIC 3500
Phone 03 5018 8160
chris.parham@mildura.vic.gov.au

Charmaine Calis
Governance Coordinator
108 Madden Avenue
MILDURA  VIC 3500
Phone 5018 8103
charmaine.calis@mildura.vic.gov.au

Alternative Contacts

Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC)
IBAC, GP Box 24234, Melbourne Victoria 3000
www.ibac.vic.gov.au
Phone: 1300 735 135

Victorian Ombudsman
Level 9, North Tower
459 Collins Street
Melbourne Victoria 3000
Phone 03 9613 6222
Toll free 1800 806 314
ombudvic@ombudsman.vic.gov.au

What happens next?

If the Protected Disclosure Coordinator or Protected Disclosure Officer determines that the complaint is a Protected Disclosure, IBAC will be notified by Council within 28 days of receiving it for an IBAC assessment.

The person making the complaint will be kept informed of what action has been taken in relation to their disclosure, and the time frames that apply.

IBAC Guidelines

For further information and guidance on the new legislation or any other matters, please refer to the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission Guidelines for making and handling protected disclosures at the IBAC Website.