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Managing Internal Witnesses in the APS, 12 July 2005 Whistleblower Protection Ten Years On: Consistencies, Inconsistencies & Regulatory Dilemmas Presenter.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing Internal Witnesses in the APS, 12 July 2005 Whistleblower Protection Ten Years On: Consistencies, Inconsistencies & Regulatory Dilemmas Presenter."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing Internal Witnesses in the APS, 12 July 2005 Whistleblower Protection Ten Years On: Consistencies, Inconsistencies & Regulatory Dilemmas Presenter John McMillan Commonwealth Ombudsman

2 The title of the law oWhistleblower Protection Act oProtected Disclosures Act oPublic Interest Disclosures Act oOther terminology – eg, internal witness management; principled organisational dissent

3 Who is protected oPublic sector employees oPrivate sector employees oContractors oAny person

4 What disclosures are protected: about … oIllegality or contravention of the law by a public official oFraudulent or corrupt conduct oA disciplinary offence/breach of a code of conduct oDanger to public health, safety or the environment oFinancial mismanagement and public wastage oImproper conduct oScope of “public official”

5 What kind of protection oObligation on relevant agency to investigate disclosure oObligation on agency to protect discloser, eg, confidentiality, relocation, progress report oProtection of person against disciplinary and criminal action by reason of disclosure oOffence to take detrimental/reprisal action oCivil damages to redress reprisal oInjunction to restrain reprisal

6 The criteria for protection o“Reasonable belief” that it is a public interest disclosure oDisclosure that tends to show the alleged conduct oDisclosure must be to a designated authority oMade in good faith/not knowingly false/not vexatious or frivolous oPublic disclosure to media oReverse onus of proof applying to agency oAnonymous disclosures

7 Other issues oAnnual reporting on operation of the scheme oObligation on agencies to establish internal reporting system oCoordination/supervision of the scheme oPeriodic review of the scheme

8 Commonwealth Ombudsman 2005


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