Whistleblowers’ Protection and Procedures
The Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 began operation on 1 January 2002. It aims to encourage and facilitate disclosure of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies.
Melbourne Water is committed to the aims and objectives of the Act, has established the following procedures and takes the following approach to disclosures of improper conduct:
- A reporting system was established with Protected Disclosure Officers reporting to the Protected Disclosure Coordinator, who in turn, reports to the Managing Director
- Melbourne Water will take all reasonable steps to protect the identity of a whistleblower and is committed to the protection of genuine whistleblowers against reprisals for making protected disclosures
- The principles of natural justice will be followed in any investigation of a public interest disclosure.
The following appointments were made to manage disclosures of improper conduct:
Protected Disclosure Coordinator
Leigh Keath, Manager, Human Resources
Protected Disclosure Officers:
Melbourne Water has established written procedures, which are contained in this report, at melbournewater.com.au
or by contacting a Protected Disclosure Officer or the Protected Disclosure Coordinator at:
100 Wellington Parade,
East Melbourne Victoria 3002
Telephone: 03 9235 7297
These procedures establish a system for reporting disclosures of improper conduct or detrimental action by Melbourne Water or its people under the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 (the Act). The system enables such disclosures to be made to the Protected Disclosure Coordinator or to one of the nominated Protected Disclosure Officers.
Disclosures may be made by Melbourne Water people or by members of the public. These procedures are designed to complement normal communication channels between Melbourne Water people. People are encouraged to continue to raise appropriate matters at any time with their managers/team leaders. As an alternative, people may make a disclosure of improper conduct or detrimental action under the Act in accordance with these procedures.
Melbourne Water is committed to the aims and objectives of the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001. It does not tolerate improper conduct by its people, nor the taking of reprisals against those who come forward to disclose such conduct. Melbourne Water recognises the value of transparency and accountability in its administrative and management practices, and supports the making of disclosures that reveal corrupt conduct, conduct involving a substantial mismanagement of public resources, or conduct involving a substantial risk to public health and safety or the environment.
Melbourne Water 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 who is the subject of the disclosure.
3. Performance Standards
The Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 began operation on 1 January 2002.
The purpose of the Act is to encourage and facilitate the making of disclosures of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies. The Act provides protection to whistleblowers who make disclosures in accordance with the Act, and establishes a system for the matters disclosed to be investigated and rectifying actions to be taken.
Three key concepts in the reporting system are improper conduct, corrupt conduct and detrimental action. Definitions of these terms are set out below.
4.1 Improper conduct
Improper conduct means conduct that is corrupt, a substantial mismanagement of public resources, or conduct involving substantial risk to public health or safety or to the environment. The conduct must be serious enough to constitute, if proved, a criminal offence or reasonable grounds for dismissal.
4.2 Corrupt conduct
Corrupt conduct means:
- Conduct of any person (whether or not a public official) that adversely affects the honest performance of a public officer’s or public body’s functions
- The performance of a public officer’s functions dishonestly or with inappropriate partiality
- Conduct of a public officer, former public officer or a public body that amounts to a breach of public trust
- Conduct by a public officer, former public officer or a public body that amounts to the misuse of information or material acquired in the course of the performance of their official functions
- A conspiracy or attempt to engage in the above conduct.
4.3 Detrimental action
The Act makes it an offence for a person to take detrimental action against a person in reprisal for a protected disclosure.
- Detrimental action includes:
- Action causing injury, loss or damage
- Intimidation or harassment
- Discrimination, disadvantage or adverse treatment in relation to a person’s employment, career, profession, trade or business, including the taking of disciplinary action.
Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001
Melbourne Water Code of Conduct