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Protected Disclosure

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As of 11 February 2013, new legislation implementing recent integrity reforms in Victoria came into effect; in particular, the replacement of the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 with the Protected Disclosure Act 2012.

This Act applies to all public bodies, including Councils.

The purpose of the Act:-
(a) To encourage and facilitate disclosures of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies;
(b) To provide protection for
- persons who make those disclosures; and
- persons who may suffer reprisals in relation to those disclosures; and
(c) to provide for the matters disclosed to be properly investigated and dealt with.

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

How does Yarriambiack Shire Council Treat Protected Disclosures?
Yarriambiack 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.

Yarriambiack Shire Council will take all reasonable steps to protect people who make disclosures without the fear of reprisal.

Yarriambiack Shire Council will also afford natural justice to the person who is the subject of the disclosure.

How does Yarriambiack Shire Council Protect Persons Making a ‘Protected Disclosure'?
All correspondence, phone calls and emails from persons making disclosures are referred to the Protected Disclosure Officer/Coordinator.

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

Making a 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 organization
• Employees of Yarriambiack Shire Council
• Councillors

Yarriambiack Shire Council can only address disclosures that relate to Yarriambiack Shire Council. Protected Disclosures about Councillors must be addressed by IBAC.

Who do I Contact?
Disclosures should be made to the Protective Disclosures Officer/Coordinator:

Bernardine Schilling
Yarriambiack Shire Council
PO Box 243
Warracknabeal VIC 3393
Email: bschilling@yarriambiack.vic.gov.au  
Ph: (03) 53980104

Alternative Contact
Disclosures may also be made directly to IBAC:
Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC)
GPO Box 24234, Melbourne VIC 3000
Internet: www.ibac.vic.gov.au  
Phone: 1300 735 135

All disclosures about Councillors should be directed to IBAC.

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