At its meeting on 12 September 2023, Council adopted the Public Interest Disclosure Policy and resolved to place the Policy on public exhibition.
What is this policy about?
This policy outlines what public interest disclosures are, how public officials, including Council Officials, can make a public interest disclosure, the protections that they will be afforded and how Council will respond to a public interest disclosure.
This policy sets out the requirements for public interest disclosures as set out in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2022.
All agencies in NSW are required to have a Public Interest Disclosure (PID) Policy under section 42 of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2022 (PID Act).
At Inner West Council (Council), reports of serious wrongdoing are taken very seriously. Council is committed to building a ‘speak up’ culture where public officials are encouraged to report any conduct that they reasonably believe involves wrongdoing.
The integrity of Council is reliant upon its Council Officials, volunteers and service providers/service partners speaking up when they become aware of wrongdoing.
This policy sets out the following:
- How Council will support and protect a person when coming forward with a report of serious wrongdoing.
- How Council will deal with the report and its other responsibilities under the PID Act.
- Who to contact if you want to make a report.
- How to make a report.
- The protections which are available to those who make a disclosure under the PID Act.
This policy also documents Council’s commitment to building a speak up culture. Integral to ensuring a speak up culture is having a framework in place that facilitates public interest reporting of wrongdoing by:
- Protecting those who speak up from detrimental action.
- Imposing duties on those who receive reports of wrongdoing to take appropriate action to investigate or otherwise deal with them.
In NSW, that framework is the PID Act and at Council, the framework provided by the PID Act is supported by this policy, which is mandatory under the PID Act.
This policy applies to, and for the benefit of, all Council Officials, being “public officials” as defined under the PID Act. It also applies to the following people to whom the concept of the “public official” extends, under the PID Act:
- A person providing services or exercising functions on behalf of Council, including a service provider/service partner, or volunteer.
- An employee, partner or officer of an entity that provides services under contract, subcontract, or other arrangement, on behalf of Council or exercises functions of Council, and are involved in providing those services or exercising those functions.
The General Manager, other nominated disclosure officers and managers within Council have specific responsibilities under the PID Act. This policy also provides information about how people in these roles will fulfil their responsibilities. Other public officials who work in and for the public sector, but do not work for Inner West Council, may refer to this policy in order to determine who they can report wrongdoing to within Council.
This policy does not apply to:
- People who have received services from Council and want to make a complaint about those services.
- People, such as contractors, who provide services to Council. For example, employees of a company that sold computer software to an agency.
This means that if you are not a public official, this policy does not apply to your complaint (there are some circumstances where a complaint can be deemed to be a voluntary PID, see section 5 of this policy for more information).
However, you can still make a complaint to Council. This can be done by lodging a complaint in accordance with the Complaints Handling Policy.
Timeline item 1 - complete
Open for comments
This consultation is closed.
Timeline item 2 - complete
This consultation is closed. We are summarising your feedback.
Timeline item 3 - complete
Policy published on Council's website
Have your say
This consultations is closed. Thanks to all who provided feedback.
Other ways to provide feedback
- By mail, addressed to Inner West Council, PO Box 14, Petersham 2049, attention to Acting Director Corporate Beau Jane De Costa
- Call a FREE Interpreter or the National Relay Service, Monday to Friday between 9am-4pm and provide our phone number 02 9392 5589
- Free Interpreter call TIS National on 131 450
- Voice relay call 1300 555 727
- TTY call 133 677
- SMS relay call 0423 677 767
- To request a paper copy of the survey form please call Beau Jane De Costa on 02 93925589.
Last day to provide feedback is Thursday 12 October 2023.
What happens next?
If no feedback received the policy will become active and available to read at Council's website.