This process provides guidance on RMIT responsibilities regarding provisions made under the Protected Disclosures Act 2012 and the prevention of detrimental action.This process belongs to the Staff ethics and integrity policy.
Who is it for?
RMIT staff and students in all jurisdictions and any person making a protected disclosure.
1.1. Complaints received by the University regarding improper or corrupt conduct of its officers will be managed in accordance with University's Complaints resolution policy and related processes.
1.2. Corrupt or improper conduct includes:
1.2.1. The dishonest performance of a public officer or official of their functions;
1.2.2. Knowingly or recklessly breaching public trust by a public officer or official;
1.2.3. Misuse of information obtained by a public officer or official in their official capacity;
1.2.4. A conspiracy to commit or attempt to commit the above conduct;
1.2.5. Conduct that implies:
a) A substantial mismanagement of public resources
b) A substantial risk to public health or safety
c) A substantial risk to the environment
1.2.6. Conduct by any person that adversely affects the honest performance of a public officer or official in their functions.
2.1. A protected disclosure is a report made by a person to an entity authorised by the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 to accept disclosures about improper or corrupt conduct of a serious nature against public bodies or public officers that, if proven, would constitute a criminal offence or reasonable grounds for dismissal.
2.2. A disclosure can also be made about detrimental action taken in reprisal for making a protected disclosure.
2.3. The University is not authorised to accept protected disclosures. Protected disclosures relating to the University or its officers can be made to the Victorian Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).
2.4. If seeking further information on making a protected disclosure please access the Protected disclosure guideline, or contact the RMIT Protected Disclosure Coordinator (University Secretary) for advice.
2.5. Further information on protected disclosures can also be obtained from IBAC (Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission).
3.1. Detrimental action is action taken against another person in reprisal for making or involvement with a protected disclosure. The action does not need to have actually been taken but includes threatening to do so. Detrimental action may include:
3.1.1. Action causing injury, loss or damage;
3.1.2. Intimidation or harassment;
3.1.3. Discrimination, disadvantage or adverse treatment in relation to a person’s employment, career progression, profession, trade or business, including the taking of disciplinary action.
3.2. The taking of detrimental action is prohibited by the Protected Disclosures Act.
3.3. Any instance of detrimental action being taken in reprisal for making or involvement with a protected disclosure must be reported to the Protected Disclosure Coordinator (University Secretary) who will report the action to IBAC.
3.4. Where detrimental action is alleged or has occurred, the University must not make preliminary enquiries or information gathering before instruction by IBAC or their appointed investigative body, to ensure the integrity of any evidence that might be later relied upon in a criminal prosecution is not compromised.
4.1. All reasonable steps must be taken to ensure the confidentiality of any person making or involved with a protected disclosure, including any person about whom the protected disclosure has been made; both during any assessment and any ensuing investigation.
4.2. Where necessary, the Protected Disclosure Coordinator (University Secretary) will determine what further action is required to protect the confidentiality and welfare of individuals involved.
5.1. Protection for a person making a protected disclosure, cooperating or intending to cooperate with the making of a protected disclosure or any investigation into a protection disclosure will be provided by the University in accordance with the IBAC guidelines.
5.2. This protection will be available whether an individual is employed by the University or a member of the public.
5.3. All managers and staff have a responsibility to protect persons involved with a protected disclosure, under both Protected Disclosure and Health and Safety legislation.
5.4. If any person reports an incident of harassment, discrimination or adverse treatment that may amount to detrimental action apparently taken in reprisal for a disclosure, the Protected Disclosure Coordinator (University Secretary) will record details of the incident and advise the person of their rights under the PD Act to make a disclosure to IBAC.
5.5. Where detrimental action is alleged or has occurred, the University must not make preliminary enquiries or information gathering before instruction by IBAC or their appointed investigative body, to ensure the integrity of any evidence that might be later relied upon in a criminal prosecution is not compromised.
5.6. Transfer of employees: An employee who has made a disclosure, and who believes on reasonable grounds that detrimental action is or may be taken, may request a transfer of employment. All such requests must be managed in accordance with the IBAC guidelines.
Status & details
Custodian: Chief Risk Officer
Operational responsibility: Internal Audit & Risk Management
Effective from: 27 April 2017
Last updated: 27 April 2017