Whistleblowing has become a crucial component of maintaining the integrity of organisations and promoting accountability, and it is especially relevant in Victoria where there is a strong commitment to transparency and ethical conduct.
The basics of whistleblowing: Whistleblowing refers to the act of reporting any illegal, unethical, or harmful behaviour within an organisation. It is a brave act that can be done by anyone who witnesses such behaviour, regardless of their position within the organisation. Whistleblowers play a crucial role in exposing corruption, protecting the public interest, and maintaining the integrity of organisations.
In Victoria, whistleblowers are protected under the Protected Disclosures Act 2012, which provides legal protection to individuals who report misconduct. The act also provides guidance on the procedures that must be followed when making a disclosure, including who to report to and the steps that must be taken to ensure the safety of the whistleblower.
An independent and external hotline provider like Core Integrity provides your organisation with:
We call this our 3C’s.
We also have a secure technology platform that allows people to report both confidentially and anonymously. Anonymous whistleblowers can remain anonymous throughout the reporting process using our technology but also engage in the process, receive updates, and provide further information. Additionally, using a company like Core Integrity also helps provide advice to design and manage your whistleblower program to help reduce or minimise the risk of breaching the legislation.
One of the key things to know about whistleblowing in Victoria is that it can be done in a variety of ways. Whistleblowers can report misconduct to their superiors, to internal reporting mechanisms within the organisation, or to external bodies such as regulatory agencies or the media. The key is to ensure that the information is reported to the right people and in a manner that ensures the safety of the whistleblower.
We provide our clients with 5 reporting channels:
It is also important to understand that whistleblowers are protected against retaliation. This means that organisations cannot take any adverse action against individuals who make a protected disclosure, such as firing them, demoting them, or harassing them. Organisations that engage in retaliation against whistleblowers face serious consequences, including fines and imprisonment.
Another important thing to know about whistleblowing in Victoria is that it is not limited to public sector organisations. The Protected Disclosures Act applies to all organisations, regardless of size or sector, and individuals can make disclosures about any type of misconduct, including fraud, corruption, and abuse of power.
It is also worth noting that whistleblowers do not need to have concrete evidence to make a disclosure. They simply need to have a reasonable belief that misconduct has occurred. This is important because it allows whistleblowers to report their concerns without fear of retribution, and it encourages organisations to investigate and address any misconduct that has been reported.
In addition to the Protected Disclosures Act, there are other mechanisms in place in Victoria to promote transparency and accountability. For example, the Victorian Ombudsman provides independent oversight of public sector agencies, and the Victorian Auditor-General provides independent assurance to the public about the use of public resources. These institutions play a crucial role in ensuring that organisations are held accountable for their actions and that the public’s trust in the government is maintained.
Whistleblowers play a crucial role in promoting transparency and accountability in organisations, and it is essential for individuals to understand the importance of their role and the protections that are in place to support them. The Protected Disclosures Act, in conjunction with other mechanisms such as the Victorian Ombudsman and the Victorian Auditor-General, provides a robust framework for promoting transparency and accountability in Victoria.
It is my hope that this discussion has helped to shed light on the important things to know about whistleblowing in Victoria and has
Employees are encouraged to speak out when they witness misconduct. By doing so, they can ensure that organisations are held accountable for their actions and that the public interest is protected.
Whistleblower legislation refers to the laws and regulations that govern the reporting of misconduct within organisations and provide protection to individuals who make disclosures. These laws aim to encourage individuals to speak out about illegal, unethical, or harmful behaviour and to protect them from retaliation for doing so.
In Victoria, the primary piece of legislation that governs whistleblowing is the Protected Disclosures Act 2012. This act provides a framework for making protected disclosures, including guidelines on who to report to and the procedures that must be followed to ensure the safety of the whistleblower. The act also provides strong protections against retaliation, including fines and imprisonment for organisations that engage in such actions.
We partnered with Bingo Industries as an integrity-risk partner to develop and implement a Speak Up Integrity Hotline that supported Bingo’s values of working honestly and ethically.
Darren, Ian, Dylan and the team at Core Integrity bring a breadth of public and private sector experience to our team. Our staff now have a secure, confidential and safe way to speak up when they see something wrong in the workplace. The integrity hotline provides a vehicle for our staff to come forward in a confidential way should they wish to with the comfort that someone will listen and take the necessary action. Core Integrity have also provided us assistance in strengthening our fraud risk management processes and help us build strong intelligence networks with law enforcement and other agencies.
The team are committed, polished and professional – I would be more than happy to speak with anyone thinking about taking them on to share our experience.
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