The University of Western Australia
This policy and its associated procedures provide for the manner in which the University complies with its obligations under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (PID Act). In particular, how the University:
requires disclosures of public interest information to be made;
investigates or causes disclosures to be investigated;
takes action following the completion of an investigation;
reports on the progress and outcome of an investigation and any action taken as a consequence;
expects all persons directly involved in a public interest disclosure to maintain confidentiality, particularly in regard to the identity of the discloser and subject of the disclosure;
maintains records in relation to public interest information; and
meets its reporting obligations.
CCC Act means the Corruption and Crime Commission Act (WA) 2003.
Commission means the Corruption and Crime Commission established under Section 8 of the CCC Act.
detrimental action includes action causing, comprising or involving:
injury, damage, or loss; or
intimidation or harassment; or
adverse discrimination, disadvantage, or adverse treatment in relation to an person's career, profession, employment, trade, or business; or
discloser means an person who makes a public interest disclosure.
investigating officer means a PID Officer as defined in this Policy or their nominee conducting an investigation of public interest information within the terms of reference given.
proper authority means an person(s) responsible for receiving disclosures of public interest information and for handling Public Interest Disclosures. Proper authorities at the University are its Public Interest Disclosure Officers.
Public Interest Disclosure (PID) means a disclosure to which the PID Act applies and must be:
made by a discloser who believes on reasonable grounds that the information is or may be true;
a disclosure of public interest information;
made to an appropriate proper authority as defined in this Policy.
Public Interest Disclosure Officer (PID Officer) means a person(s) authorised by the University and the Public Sector Commission to undertake the role and duties of such a position at the University.
public interest information means information that tends to show that, in relation to its performance of a public function (either before or after the commencement of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003), a public authority, a public officer, or a public sector contractor is, has been, or proposes to be, involved in -
improper conduct; or
an act or omission that constitutes an offence under a written law; or
a substantial unauthorised or irregular use of, or substantial mismanagement of, public resources; or
an act done or omission that involves a substantial and specific risk of -
(i) injury to public health;
(ii) prejudice to public safety;
(iii) harm to the environment; or
(iv) a matter of administration that can be investigated under section 14 of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1971.
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor means the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Australia or a person acting in the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor's position.
University means the University of Western Australia.
Vice-Chancellor means the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Australia or a person acting in the Vice-Chancellor's position.
1.1 The University does not tolerate corrupt or other improper conduct, including mismanagement of public resources, in the exercise of the public functions of the University and its officers, employees and contractors.
1.2 The University is committed to the aims and objectives of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (PID Act). It recognises the value and importance of contributions of employees to enhance administrative and management practices and strongly supports disclosures being made by any person as to corrupt or other improper conduct.
1.3 The University takes all reasonable steps to provide protection to a person(s) who makes such a disclosure from any detrimental action in reprisal for the making of a public interest disclosure.
1.4 The University does not tolerate any actual or proposed detrimental action against a person(s) in reprisal for making, or proposing to make, a public interest disclosure. In such cases, the University may pursue legal or disciplinary action within its authority.
2.1 The discloser:
Potential disclosers should refer to the Public Sector Commission guide Don't be afraid to speak up at https://publicsector.wa.gov.au/document/dont-be-afraid-speak.
Disclosures must be made to a PID Officer. These include the: Director of Human Resources, General Counsel/the Director of Legal Services and Manager of the Complaint Resolution Unit. Up-to-date contact information is available at https://publicsector.wa.gov.au/document/pid-officer-contact-directory.
Disclosers should be aware that once a disclosure has been properly made, it cannot be withdrawn. The University may still continue to investigate the issues raised.
2.2 A PID Officer, as the proper authority of the University:
The Vice-Chancellor will determine the number of PID Officer's and invite employees to take on this role.
An employee cannot begin to act as a PID Officer until their completed Declaration Form has been sent to and approved by the Public Sector Commission. The form is available at: https://publicsector.wa.gov.au/document/public-interest-disclosure-officers-declaration-form. A copy of the completed form must be forwarded to Information Governance Services.
PID Officers shall act in accordance with the University's Procedures for handling Public Interest Disclosures at https://www.uwa.edu.au/university/complaints/pid, as relevant. These procedures contain links to associated flowcharts and forms.
2.3 The person(s) about whom the disclosure is made may be subject to investigation and other action if improper conduct is established.
2.4 An investigating officer:
Investigating officers shall act in accordance with the University's Procedures for handling Public Interest Disclosures at https://www.uwa.edu.au/university/complaints/pid, as relevant. These procedures contain links to associated flowcharts and forms.
3.1 The PID Act imposes strict confidentiality requirements in relation to the identity of the discloser and person(s) in respect of whom a public interest disclosure has been made. The disclosure of information which might identify or tend to identify these persons, except in accordance with section 16 of the PID Act, is a serious offence, punishable with a maximum penalty of $24,000 or two years imprisonment.
Persons directly involved in a public interest disclosure shall maintain confidentiality as required by Section 2 of this policy and in accordance with the University's Procedures for handling Public Interest Disclosures at https://www.uwa.edu.au/university/complaints/pid, as relevant.
4.1 Under section 23 (f) of the PID Act, the Vice-Chancellor or nominee is required to report annually to the Public Sector Commissioner on the:
PID Officers shall maintain a public interest disclosure register as set out in Section 8 of the University's Procedures for handling Public Interest Disclosures at https://www.uwa.edu.au/university/complaints/pid.
5.1 Records in relation to a public interest disclosure are captured, maintained and transmitted in a confidential manner and in accordance with University policy and procedures.
All persons directly involved in a public interest disclosure shall complete and maintain records as required by the University's Procedures for handling Public Interest Disclosures at https://www.uwa.edu.au/university/complaints/pid.
Assessment and investigation forms (Parts 1 - 5)
Flowchart for receiving and assessing disclosures
Public interest disclosure lodgement form
PID register template
Flowchart for assessing information disclosed
Consent to disclosure of identifying information form
Notification of disclosure of identifying information form
Flowchart for taking action
The above forms are available at https://www.uwa.edu.au/university/complaints/pid.
Approving body or position:
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Date original policy approved: 16/10/2015
Date this version of policy approved: 16/10/2015
Policy revision date:
Date this version of procedures approved: 16/10/2015
TRIM File No:
Manager, Complaint Resolution Unit
Related policies or legislation: