If a member of the public becomes aware of improper conduct at Western Health and decides to make a complaint, the complaint may be a protected disclosure under the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (Vic) (Protected Disclosure Act).
An individual who makes a protected disclosure is given legal protection to help maintain an effective and transparent public service. Protected disclosures were once known as 'whistleblower' complaints.
Complaints about public bodies may be made by a variety of people including independent contractors, students, recipients of services and patients.
Examples of improper conduct include the misuse of a corporate credit card, accepting gifts and hospitality in return for preferential treatment, favouring a friend or relative during a procurement or recruitment process, and theft or inappropriate use of public resources such as money, equipment, facilities or food.
Concerns about improper conduct can be made directly to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC). Complaints can be made anonymously.
Western Health is committed to supporting staff who make a complaint about improper conduct, or who cooperate with investigations into protected disclosures.
Western Health has an internal procedure that deals specifically with the making of protected disclosures under the Protected Disclosure Act.
It is an offence for a person to take, or threaten to take, detrimental action against any person because of a substantial belief that:
Detrimental action includes:
Bullying and harassment may constitute detrimental action under the Protected Disclosure Act.
An offence under the Protected Disclosure Act may constitute a criminal offence.
An individual should contact IBAC if they believe some detrimental action has been taken, or may be taken against them.
IBAC can be contacted on 1300 735 135 or via their website at: http://www.ibac.vic.gov.au.
More information can also be found at the Victorian Ombudsman website at: https://www.ombudsman.vic.gov.au/Disclosures