Public Interest Disclosures
Federation Council has a responsibility to the community to prevent serious wrongdoing and misconduct. The Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 (PID Act) sets in place a system to encourage public officials to report serious wrongdoing. Federation Council supports this by establishing and maintaining a working environment that encourages staff and councillors to report wrongdoing and that supports them when they do. This includes keeping the identity of reporters confidential where practical and appropriate, and taking steps to protect reporters from reprisal and manage workplace conflict.
Federation Council's Public Interest Disclosure Policy outlines how a report can be made and what should be reported. It also outlines how a report will be dealt with by the Council.
The policy deals with five categories of serious misconduct:
- corrupt conduct.
- serious and substantial waste of public money.
- breach of the GIPA Act, and
- local government pecuniary interest contravention.
More information about what can be reported under the PID Act can be found in the NSW Ombudsman’s Guideline B2: “What should be reported?” and on the NSW Ombudsman website.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has a role to expose, investigate and prevent public sector corruption in NSW. This short video explains what corrupt conduct is through real-life examples applicable to the jurisdiction of the NSW ICAC.
You may make a report about any suspected corrupt behaviour within Council via the online reporting form or email firstname.lastname@example.org. These FAQs can help you better understand what it means to report corruption to the NSW ICAC.
More information: NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption.
You may also make a complaint direct to Council. Council will assess all reports of wrongdoing it receives and deal with them fairly and reasonably, respecting the rights of any person the subject of a report. Federation Council must report on our obligations under the PID Act and provide statistical information about public interest disclosures in our annual report and to the NSW Ombudsman every six months. To ensure the Federation Council complies with the PID Act and deals with all reports of wrong doing properly, training is provided to key staff and Councillors on their responsibilities.
A PID must be made by a public official (or someone performing a public sector function) and it must be about a public official. This includes contractors and their employees, consultants, volunteers, or committee members.
Staff are encouraged to report any incidents or behaviour that may constitute a public interest disclosure and any barriers to reporting. This has been done via updates from the General Manager, emails and a staff survey.
Council commits to its statutory reporting obligations and completion of Public Interest Disclosure Reports to the NSW Ombudsman under Section 6CA.