Skip to Content

What is whistleblowing?

A whistleblower is a person who provides information and exposes corrupt conduct within an organisation in the hope of stopping it.

Whistleblowing plays a crucial role in managing risk and cultivating an ethical culture, and is an effective way of uncovering potential fraud and corruption.

Our obligations

The department is subject to two pieces of legislation in relation to whistleblowers.

  1. The Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 protects public officials who report public sector wrongdoing under certain circumstances.
  2. The Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 protects individuals who provide the Commission with information about suspected corrupt conduct or assist it in other ways.

The department is committed to protecting the confidentiality of persons reporting misconduct if there is a genuine fear of reprisal or detriment.

Your obligations

As an organisation funded by us, you’ve agreed to maintain policies that are consistent with the intent of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 and Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988.

A whistleblowing program that aligns to better practice (AS 8004-2003, Corporate governance – Whistleblower protection programs for entities) would generally include:

  • a clear statement of commitment to enable the reporting of wrongdoing and to encourage whistleblowing
  • multiple reporting options, including senior and non-senior staff, a direct line to the governing body, and/or an accessible and independent external contact
  • provisions to protect whistleblowers, including confidentiality of information provided, maintaining their anonymity, and protecting them against litigation, reprisals and victimisation
  • a process for investigating allegations and referrals from external parties.

Resources to assist you

These resources will assist your organisation to develop a fit-for-purpose whistleblowing program that accords with best practice.

Whistleblowing policy template, Justice Connect, Not-for-profit Law

Whistleblowing at your Not-for-profit: A Leaders Guide, Institute of Community Directors Australia

Guidelines for public interest disclosures, NSW Ombudsman

Whistleblowing program checklist, Your Call Whistleblowing Solutions

Whistleblowing, Australian Securities and Investment Commission

Was this content useful?
Last updated: 03 Mar 2020