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Protected Disclosures

Protected Disclosure Act  2012

The Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (the Act) enables people to make disclosures about improper conduct within the public sector without fear of reprisal.  The protection from detrimental action extends not only to the person making the disclosure - it includes witnesses and persons the subject of an investigation.

The Act aims to ensure openness and accountability by encouraging people to make disclosures and protecting them when they do. It replaces the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 as part of reforms in Victoria to promote integrity and accountability across the public sector.  The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) oversees this legislation.

What is a Protected Disclosure?

A protected disclosure is a complaint of corrupt or improper conduct by a public officer or body which includes:

  • Improper conduct
  • Corrupt conduct
  • Specified conduct
  • Detrimental action

Council's Protected Disclosure Policy and Procedures outline the above in more detail.

How does Council treat Protected Disclosures?

Council does not tolerate corrupt or improper conduct by the organisation, its employees, officers and Councillors nor the taking of reprisals against those who come forward to disclose such conduct.

Employees and members of the public are encouraged to report known or suspected incidences of corrupt or improper conduct.

Council will take all reasonable steps to protect people who make disclosures and afford natural justice to the person who is the subject of the disclosure.

How will Council protect a person making a Protected Disclosure?

Council will take all reasonable steps to protect a person who makes a protected disclosure and will direct all disclosures to the Protected Disclosure Officer. Where necessary the Protected Disclosure Officer will arrange for appropriate welfare support for the person making a protected disclosure.

Council's Protected Disclosure Officer will take all necessary steps to keep confidential the identify of the person making a disclosure and the person about whom the disclosure is made. 

All information will be securely stored within Council's electronic and information management systems. 

Council will ensure that all its staff are familiar with its protected disclosure procedures and the obligations under the Act.

How do I make a disclosure?

Protected Disclosures may be made by employees, contractors, Councillors or by members of the public.

Part 2 of the Act provides that a person may make a disclosure:

  • Orally
  • In writing
  • Electronically
  • Anonymously

Protected Disclosures may relate to corrupt or improper conduct by:

  • The organisation
  • Employees of Mansfield Shire Council
  • Councillors of Mansfield Shire Council

Mansfield Shire Council can only address disclosures that relate to Mansfield Shire Council.

Protected Disclosures about Councillors of Mansfield Shire Council can only be made to IBAC.

Who Do I Contact?

Council has appointed the following officer as the contact for taking reports of improper or corrupt behaviour:

Sharon Scott
Human Resources Manager
33 Highett Street, Mansfield   Vic   3722
Ph: 5775 8548
Mobile: 0401-835 979
Email: sharon.scott@mansfield.vic.gov.au

Disclosures may also be made directly to IBAC (all disclosures relating to Councillors must be made directly to IBAC):

Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission

Address: GPO Box 24234, Melbourne Victoria 3000
Internet: www.ibac.vic.gov.au
Phone: 1300 735 135

Protected Disclosure Procedures

Council is legislatively required to established written procedures to facilitate the making, handling and notification of protected disclosures that relate to itself and its employees and officers. Please note that these procedures relate to serious allegations of improper or corrupt behaviour.

Council's normal complaint management process should be used for all other complaints.

Further Information

For further information and guidance on the legislation or any other related matters, please refer to the links below. You can also contact the officer in the "Who do I Contact "section above.