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Public Interest Disclousure

A Public Interest Disclosure about improper conduct or detrimental action by the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources [DIER] or its employees, may be made by current Sate service employees, or by a contractor or former contractor who has [or has had] a contract with DIER for the supply of goods and services.

Purpose of the Act

The Public Interest Disclosures Act 2002 (Act) commenced operation on 1 January 2004. The purpose of the Act is to:

  • encourage and facilitate disclosures of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies
  • protect persons making those disclosures, and others, from reprisals
  • provide for the matters disclosed to be properly investigated and dealt with, and
  • provide all parties involved in the disclosures with natural justice.

The Purpose of DIERs Procedures

The DIER Procedures were adopted from the Ombudsmans model procedures [approved on 18 May 2011] and will be reviewed every three years.

These procedures establish a system for reporting disclosures of improper conduct or detrimental action by DIER or members, officers or employees of the public body. The procedures are intended to assist its members, officers and employees to understand the way in which the Act operates and needs to be administered.

These procedures are designed to complement normal communication channels between supervisors and employees. Employees are encouraged to continue to raise appropriate matters at any time with their supervisors, and to use existing grievance procedures within the organisation where possible.

The procedures have been prepared in accordance with Guidelines and Standards published by the Ombudsman under s 38[1] (c) of the Act. These Guidelines and Standards can be seen on the Ombudsman's website at www.ombdusman.tas.gov.au.

Grounds on which a Public Interest Disclosure can be made

A Public Interest Disclosure can be made on the grounds of improper conduct or corrupt conduct.

Improper conduct means

a) conduct that constitutes an illegal or unlawful activity; or
b) corrupt conduct; or
c) conduct that constitutes maladministration; or
d) conduct that constitutes professional misconduct; or
e) conduct that constitutes a waste of public resources; or
f) conduct that constitutes a danger to public health or safety or to both public health and safety; or
g) conduct that constitutes a danger to the environment; or
h) misconduct, including breaches of applicable codes of conduct; or
i) conduct that constitutes detrimental action against a person who makes a public interest disclosure under this Act; or
j) that is serious or significant as determined in accordance with guidelines issued by the Ombudsman.

Corrupt conduct means -

a) conduct of a person (whether or not a public officer) that adversely affects, or could adversely affect, either directly or indirectly, the honest performance of a public officer's or public body's functions; or
b) conduct of a public officer that amounts to the performance of any of his or her functions as a public officer dishonestly or with inappropriate partiality; or
c) conduct of a public officer, a former public officer or a public body that amounts to a breach of public trust; or
d) conduct of a public officer, a 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 functions as such (whether for the benefit of that person or body or otherwise); or
e) a conspiracy or attempt to engage in conduct referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d).

Who can make a Public Interest Disclosure

Public Interest Disclosures may only be made by current State Service employees, or by a contractor or former contractor/s who has [or has had] a contract with DIER for the supply of goods or services.

Meaning of "contractor"

3. Interpretation - "contractor" means -

a) a person who at any time has entered into a contract with a public body for the supply of goods or services to, or on behalf of, the public body; or
b) an employee of the contractor; or
c) a subcontractor engaged by the contractor to fulfil all or part of a contract with a public body for the supply of goods or services to, or on behalf of, the public body;

How to make a Public Interest Disclosure

Any person wishing to report improper or corrupt conduct or any detrimental action should complete the Public Interest Disclosures [PID] Lodgement Form and forward the completed form to the Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator.

Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator

Chelsea Trubody-Jager
Executive Officer [Right to Information]
Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources
GPO Box 936, HOBART  7001

Email: chelsea.trubody-jager@dier.tas.gov.au
Phone: (03) 6233 3142 

You should be aware that all correspondence, phone calls and emails from internal or external disclosers will be referred to the Coordinator in the first instance. Where the disclosure is against a public body, not against a public officer, it is recommended that the disclosure be made to the Ombudsman.

Address:
The Ombudsman
GPO Box 960, HOBART 7001

Or at

99 Bathurst Street, HOBART  7000
 
Internet: www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au 
Email: ombudsman@ombudsman.tas.gov.au 
Phone: 1800 001 170 (Charges from mobile phones apply);

DIER employees can make a Public Interest Disclosure to either

  • persons within DIER
  • the Integrity Commission
  • the Ombudsman; or
  • the State Service Commissioner

Disclosure to persons within DIER

Disclosures of improper conduct or detrimental action by a member, officer or employee of DIER may be made to the following officers:
 
Principal Officer
Norm McIlfatrick
 
Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator
Chelsea Trubody-Jager
Executive Officer [Right to Information]
Email: chelsea.trubody-jager@dier.tas.gov.au
Phone: (03) 6233 3142 

General Manager Corporate Services
Amanda Russell
General Manager Corporate Services

Address:
Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources
GPO Box 936. HOBART 7001
 
Where a person is contemplating making a disclosure and is concerned about approaching the Principal Officer, Public Interest Disclosure Officer or General Manager Corporate Services in the workplace, he or she can call the relevant officer and request a meeting in a discreet location away from the workplace.  A disclosure about the Principal Officer should be immediately referred to the Ombudsman.

Disclosure to the Ombudsman

A disclosure about improper conduct or detrimental action by DIER or any of its members, officers or employees may also be made directly to the Ombudsman.  The contact details for the Ombudsman are:
 
Address:
The Ombudsman
GPO Box 960, HOBART 7001

Or at

99 Bathurst Street, HOBART  7000
 
Internet: www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au
Email: ombudsman@ombudsman.tas.gov.au
Phone: 1800 001 170 (Charges from mobile phones apply)
 
Disclosure to the Integrity Commission

A disclosure about improper conduct or detrimental action by DIER or any of its members, officers or employees may also be made directly to the Integrity Commission. The contact details for the Integrity Commission are:
 
Address:
Tasmanian Integrity Commission
GPO Box 822, Hobart   7001
Level 2, Surrey House, 199 Macquarie Street, HOBART  7000
 
Internet: www.integrity.tas.gov.au
Email: integritycommission@integrity.tas.gov.au
Phone: 1300 720 289
  
Disclosure to the State Service Commissioner

A disclosure about improper conduct or detrimental action by a member, officer or employee of a public body which is a State Service Agency may also be made directly to the State Service Commissioner. The contact details for the State Service Commissioner are:
 
Address:
Office of the State Service Commissioner
GPO Box 621, Hobart 7001
Level 2, 144 Macquarie Street, HOBART  7000

Internet: www.ossc.tas.gov.au
Email: ossc@dpac.tas.gov.au
Phone: (03) 6232 7007

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