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Public Interest Disclosure Policy

1. Purpose

To provide advice on reporting possible illegal, corrupt and/or improper conduct at the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) perpetrated by employees or persons engaged by or on behalf of CIT.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all CIT employees, contractors, volunteers or anyone else who suspects a misuse of public resources or with information that indicates questionable activity relating to the work of CIT.

3. Principles

3.1 Reporting suspected wrongdoing is essential to the integrity of the ACT Public Service. Serious or systemic concerns, outside the bounds of regular complaint handling processes are referred to as Public Interest Disclosure (PID). These matters are dealt with under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012 (the Act).

3.2 Examples of disclosable conduct under the Act include:

  1. Corrupt conduct - accepting money or other benefits in exchange for helping someone avoid prosecution, win a contract or gain Government approval;
  2. Fraud or theft - falsifying documents or information, or stealing an employer's property or funds;
  3. Official misconduct or maladministration, e.g. gaining personal benefit by not revealing a conflict of interest;
  4. Practices endangering the health or safety of staff, the community or the environment.

3.3 CIT employees have an obligation under the Public Sector Management Act 1994 to report suspected corruption, fraud or maladministration.

3.4 Disclosures should be made to the CIT Disclosure Officer, who has been delegated to perform this role by the CEO and who is also the Senior Executive Responsible for Business Integrity Risk (SERBIR). This role has been delegated to the Executive Director Corporate Services.

3.5 The CIT disclosure officer is responsible for determining whether a disclosure qualifies as a PID, the appropriate course of action, including whether an investigation is required.

3.6 Under the Act, CIT is not obliged to take on public interest disclosures if they are frivolous, trivial, vexatious, lacking substance or have already been dealt with adequately by CIT or a court of law. Discloser are subject to heavy penalties for providing information that they know is false or misleading.

3.7 Protections for disclosers are made under Part 7 of the Act. CIT is required to take action to protect disclosers and undertake steps to minimise detrimental action against the discloser as well as the people against whom allegations have been made. Protection will not be provided to people who knowingly make false or misleading claims.

3.8 A disclosure may be made orally or in writing.

3.9 A disclosure can be made anonymously or in-confidence. Where a disclosure is made in-confidence, the discloser's identity should not be revealed without that person's consent, unless required by law.

3.10 Disclosures may also be made inadvertently i.e. during a casual conversation or where a person witnesses the disclosure of information. In such cases, employees are encouraged to report these matters to the CIT Disclosure Officer.

3.11 Under section 17 of the Act the disclosure officer must provide a copy of a disclosure to the CIT CEO and the Public Sector Standards Commissioner. If the disclosure relates to the CEO the Ombudsman must be advised and the Head of Service if it relates to the public service.

3.12 Status reports of the investigation are to be provided to the CEO and the Public Sector Standards Commissioner until the matter is finalised.

3.13 If a disclosure is investigated, the discloser must be informed of the progress of the investigation at least once every three months, and about the outcome of the investigation when concluded.

3.14 If a disclosure involves, or could involve a crime against the Crimes Act, or an assault, the disclosure must be referred to the Australian Federal Police.

3.15 The SERBIR at CIT (Executive Director Corporate Services) can be contacted:

  1. by phoning on 6207 8960
  2. by writing to GPO Box 826, Canberra, ACT, 2601, Attention Senior Executive Responsible for Business Integrity Risk
  3. at Room E105, Reid Campus, Constitution Avenue, Reid.

3.16 Relevant public interest disclosure information is reported in the CIT Annual Report.

4. Documentation

5. Definitions

Public Interest Disclosure - The reporting of any corruption, fraud or maladministration in a government agency. It also includes the reporting of any potential maladministration that an employee or member of the public has reason to suspect.

Disclosable conduct - May include dishonesty at work, bias, misuse of information, breach of public trust, negligent or improper management of funds, trying to influence a public sector employee to act improperly and victimisation of an informant

Disclosure Officer - The person delegated to respond to requests for information concerning making a disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012.

6. Policy Contact Officer

Senior Manager, Audit, Risk and Corporate Governance.

Contact CIT Student Services on (02) 6207 3188 or email for further information.

7. Procedures

This policy is implemented through the ACT Public Interest Disclosure Guidelines 2019 - Notifiable Instrument NI2019 - 281.