Main Content Anchor

Public interest disclosure policy and procedure

In December 2010, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 was introduced to replace the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1994.

Legal Aid Queensland (LAQ) is committed to creating and sustaining a positive ethical climate with accountable behaviour. This comes from leadership that openly recognises the significant contribution staff make to our success and strongly encourages disclosure of unethical and fraudulent behaviour.

View our Public Interest disclosure policy and procedure(PDF, 211KB).

Statement of commitment

The reporting of suspected corrupt conduct within the Queensland public sector is fundamental to its ongoing integrity and health. (Brown et al. 2004)

The most effective protection for a person making a public interest disclosure is the right organisational culture. Legal Aid Queensland (LAQ) is committed to creating and sustaining a positive ethical climate with accountable behaviour. This comes from leadership that openly recognises the significant contribution staff make to our success and strongly encourages disclosure of unethical and fraudulent behaviour.

LAQ aims to provide clear guidance to staff on how to handle and deal with the complex issues associated with an ethical dilemma and when faced with potential wrongdoing.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy and procedure is to provide information about:

  • Matters that may be disclosed as a public interest disclosure (PID) under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (“the Act”);
  • The procedure and officials or persons to whom disclosers may make a PID to receive protection under the Act;
  • The support and protection available to people making a PID and to employees who are the subject of a PID;
  • Responsibilities with regard to confidentiality and the fair treatment of people who make, or employees who are the subject of, a PID; and
  • LAQ employees’ responsibility to report suspected wrongdoing under the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service

The policy and procedure also demonstrates LAQ ’s commitment to its governance obligations by ensuring effective compliance with legislation and policy. Encouraging employees and others to disclose information about suspected wrongdoing and taking action on those disclosures maintains public confidence in the integrity, accountability, honesty and impartiality of LAQ operations and decisions.

Legislation

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010
Public Sector Ethics Act 1994
Crime and Corruption Act 2001
Code of Conduct for Queensland Public Service
The Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 and the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 provide the ethical framework and explain the protection principles. The Crime and Corruption Act 2001 provides an external reporting mechanism and an independent investigative and enforcement body.

Definitions

Administrative Action means any action about a matter of administration, including, for example:-

  • a decision and an act; and
  • a failure to make a decision or do an act, including a failure to provide a written statement of reasons for a decision; and
  • the formulation of a proposal or intention;
  • the making of a recommendation, including a recommendation made to the Legal Aid Board; and
  • an action taken because of a recommendation made to the Legal Aid Board.

However this does not include an operational action of a police officer or of an officer of the Crime and Corruption Commission.

Appropriate Person means one of a defined list of people to whom a PID may be made.

Corrupt Conduct means conduct of a person, regardless of whether the person holds or held an appointment, that—

  1. adversely affects, or could adversely affect, directly or indirectly, the performance of functions or the exercise of powers of -
    1. a unit of public administration; or
    2. a person holding an appointment; and
  2. results, or could result, directly or indirectly, in the performance of functions or the exercise of powers mentioned in paragraph (a) in a way that -
    1. is not honest or is not impartial; or
    2. involves a breach of the trust placed in a person holding an appointment, either knowingly or recklessly; or
    3. involves a misuse of information or material acquired in or in connection with the performance of functions or the exercise of powers of a person holding an appointment; and
  3. is engaged in for the purpose of providing a benefit to the person or another person or causing a detriment to another person; and
  4. would, if proved, be—
    1. a criminal offence; or
    2. a disciplinary breach providing reasonable grounds for terminating the person’s services, if the person is or were the holder of an appointment.

Without limiting the above definition, Corrupt Conduct could be considered one of the following: -

  1. abuse of public office;
  2. bribery, including bribery relating to an election;
  3. extortion;
  4. obtaining or offering a secret commission;
  5. fraud;
  6. stealing;
  7. forgery;
  8. perverting the course of justice;
  9. an offence relating to an electoral donation;
  10. loss of revenue of the State;
  11. sedition;
  12. homicide, serious assault or assault occasioning bodily harm or grievous bodily harm;
  13. obtaining a financial benefit from procuring prostitution or from unlawful prostitution engaged in by another person;
  14. illegal drug trafficking;
  15. illegal gambling.

Detriment includes:–

  1. personal injury or prejudice to safety; and
  2. property damage or loss; and
  3. intimidation or harassment; and
  4. adverse discrimination, disadvantage or adverse treatment about career, profession, employment, trade or business; and
  5. financial loss; and
  6. damage to reputation, including, for example, personal, professional or business reputation.

Disability means a permanent disability or one likely to be permanent:-

  1. that is attributable to an intellectual, psychiatric, cognitive, neurological, sensory or physical impairment or a combination of impairments; and
  2. that results in -
    1. a substantial reduction of the person’s capacity for communication, social interaction, learning or mobility; and
    2. the person needing support.

Discloser means a person who makes a public interest disclosure.

Environment includes:–

  1. ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people and communities; and
  2. all natural and physical resources; and
  3. the qualities and characteristics of locations, places and areas, however large or small, that contribute to their biological diversity and integrity, intrinsic or attributed scientific value or interest, amenity, harmony and sense of community; and
  4. the social, economic, aesthetic and cultural conditions that affect, or are affected by, things mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c). (Environmental Protection Act 1994).

Journalist means a person engaged in the occupation of writing or editing material intended for publication in the print or electronic news media.

Maladministration is administrative action that:-

  • was taken contrary to law; or
  • was unreasonable, unjust, oppressive, or improperly discriminatory; or
  • was unreasonable, unjust, oppressive, or improperly discriminatory in the particular circumstances even though it is within the law; or
  • was taken for an improper purpose, or on irrelevant grounds, or having regard to irrelevant considerations; or
  • was an action for which reasons should have been given, but were not given; or
  • was based wholly or partly on a mistake of law or fact; or
  • was wrong.

Oversight Agency means The Office of the Ombudsman.

Protected Discloser means a person who makes a PID in accordance with provisions contained within the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 and who is granted protected status (previously known as “whistleblower protection status”).

Public Funds are funds available to, or under the control of, a public sector entity and include, for example, public moneys within the meaning of the Financial Accountability Act 2009.

Public Health or Safety includes the health or safety of persons:

  • under lawful care or control; or
  • using community facilities or services provided by the public or private sector; or
  • in employment workplaces.

Public Interest Disclosure means a disclosure of information specified in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (sections 12 and 13) and made to an appropriate public sector entity that has the responsibility or power to take appropriate action about the information disclosed or to provide an appropriate remedy.

Reprisal means causing, attempting to or conspiring to cause, detriment to another because, or in the belief that, they have made, or intend to make, a PID.

Substantial and specific (e.g. describing danger to the environment) While not defined in the Act, substantialmeans “of a significant or considerable degree”. It must be more than trivial or minimal and have some weight or importance. Specificmeans “precise or particular”. This refers to conduct or detriment that is able to be identified or particularised as opposed to broad or general concerns or criticisms.

Responsibilities

The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for:

  • Creating an ethical workplace culture where employees report suspected wrongdoing when they become aware of it and are supported when they do so. (Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service);
  • Ensuring reasonable procedures are in place to deal with a PID and that those procedures are published to enable members of the public and employees to access them (Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010);
  • Ensuring that PIDs are properly assessed, investigated and dealt with, including appropriate action being taken in relation to any wrongdoing in a PID (Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010);
  • Ensuring that employees making a PID receive support and protection from reprisal (Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010);
  • Ensuring that all legislative obligations in relation to reporting and investigation are met (Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010);
  • Ensuring that all matters involving suspected corrupt conduct are referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission. (Crime and Corruption Act 2001).

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Directors and Manager Regional Services are accountable within their areas of responsibility for:

  • Ensuring reasonable procedures are in place to receive and deal with a PID made by:
    1. employees reporting suspected corrupt conduct and making PIDs within their business areas about any matters which may be disclosed (under sections 12 and 13 of the PID Act 2010); and
    2. members of the public making a PID to LAQ about:-
      • a substantial and specific danger to the environment; 
      • a substantial and specific danger to the health or safety of a person with a disability; or
      • a reprisal because of a belief that a person has made or intends to make a PID.
  • Ensuring employees are aware of these procedures and the support and protection that is provided to employees who make a PID and for those employees who are the subject of a PID;
  • Ensuring employees are aware of the protection offered to members of the public as a protected discloser when making a PID to LAQ under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010;
  • Ensuring employees, managers and supervisors are trained in ethical decision-making, Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service, corruption prevention and relevant LAQ policies;
  • Ensuring approved recommendations arising from reports investigating information provided as a PID are acted upon appropriately; and
  • Creating an ethical workplace culture by leading by example.

PID Co-ordinator is responsible for:

  • Overall co-ordination of the LAQ Public Interest Disclosure process;
  • Development, maintenance and communication of the LAQ Public Interest Disclosure Policy and Procedure;
  • Providing training in ethical decision-making; corruption prevention; and managing PIDs, disclosers or workplace issues relating to a PID;
  • Informing the Chief Executive Officer and the Crime and Corruption Commission via the Chief Executive Officer, of any cases of suspected corruption;
  • Providing advice in relation to the LAQ’s obligations under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010;
  • In certain circumstances, arranging for investigations of matters alleged through a PID to be undertaken;
  • Advising line managers and supervisors with regard to case management of employees making a PID and employees who are the subject of a PID to ensure they receive fair treatment, have access to support and assistance and protected disclosers are safeguarded from reprisal;
  • Ensuring legislative reporting obligations on PID issues are met (including reporting to the Office of the Ombudsman as Oversight Agency); and
  • Providing information concerning PIDs to the Chief Executive Officer, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and the Legal Aid Board as required.

Manager, Human Resources is responsible for:

  • Arranging for investigations of matters alleged through a PID to be undertaken.
  • Reporting investigation outcomes of matters alleged through a PID to relevant parties, including the Chief Executive Officer, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, directors and managers as required.
  • Advising line managers and supervisors with regard to case management of employees making a PID and employees who are the subject of a PID to ensure they receive fair treatment, have access to support and assistance and protected disclosers are safeguarded from reprisal.

Managers and Supervisors are responsible for:

  • Ensuring employees in their area are aware of their obligations in relation to the requirements of this policy and procedure;
  • Monitoring the workplace for any signs of reprisal against an employee making a PID and taking reasonable action to protect them, and ensuring an employee, who is the subject of a PID, receives fair treatment and has access to support and assistance; and
  • Ensuring that where allegations made in a PID are substantiated, recommendations from the investigation are implemented as soon as practicable, with effective systems and processes put in place to reduce the likelihood of recurrence.

Employees are responsible for:

  • Being aware of and complying with all relevant whole-of-Government and LAQ policies and procedures, including the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service.
  • Attending training in ethical decision-making, Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service and corruption prevention when offered;
  • Being aware of the possibility that corrupt conduct may exist in the workplace and reporting any concerns to their manager or supervisor or an appropriate official in accordance with this policy and procedure; and
  • Creating an ethical culture by leading by example.

Principles

  1. LAQ will ensure administrative compliance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010.
  2. LAQ employees may make a PID about:-
    • Conduct of another person that could be Corrupt Conduct;
    • Conduct of another person that could be maladministration that adversely affects a person’s interests in a substantial and specific way;
      • A substantial misuse of public resources (other than an alleged misuse based on mere disagreement over policy that may properly be adopted about amounts, purposes or priorities of expenditure);
      • Substantial and specific danger to the environment;
      • Substantial and specific danger to public health or safety;
      • Substantial and specific danger to the health or safety of a person with a disability; or
      • A reprisal because of a belief that a person has made, or intends to make a PID.
  3. Members of the public may make a PID about:
    • A substantial and specific danger to the environment;
    • A substantial and specific danger to the health or safety of a person with a disability; or
    • A reprisal because of a belief that a person has made or intends to make a PID.
  4. A LAQ employee who receives information as a PID must refer the matter to the appropriate LAQ manager (as listed in this procedure) regardless of whether they believe the PID has substance.
  5. All information disclosed will be assessed, appropriately investigated if required and handled with due process.
  6. Allegations of corrupt conduct must be reported to the Crime and Corruption Commission through the PID Coordinator or Manager, Human Resources.
  7. To the extent reasonably possible, LAQ will provide protection from reprisal and detrimental treatment of people who make a PID, and will provide support and fair treatment to employees who may be the subject of an allegation.
  8. A risk assessment of the likelihood of reprisal action will be undertaken for each disclosing employee.
  9. A case management strategy will be developed and implemented by the responsible manager to mitigate risks of reprisal identified through the risk assessment process.
  10. Support and confidential treatment will be provided for people who make a PID of a matter in accordance with the approved LAQ procedure and the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010, and for employees who may be the subject of an allegation.
  11. People who make a disclosure will be provided reasonable information in writing about the action taken on their disclosure and the results.

Procedure

9.1. Making a Public Interest Disclosure

9.1.1. Legal Aid Queensland employees

Under the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service (section 1.1), it is an ethical obligation of public officials to report suspected wrongdoing when they become aware of it or suspect it occurring. LAQ employees may make a PID to:-

  • the Chief Executive Officer, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Director or the Manager, Regional Services;
  • line manager or supervisor of the discloser;
  • Manager, Human Resources;
  • PID Co-ordinator;
  • Crime and Corruption Commission;
  • A member of the Legislative Assembly; or
  • A Chief Judicial Officer of the relevant court or tribunal (if the disclosure relates to a judicial officer).

An employee should clearly advise the person receiving their disclosure that it is a Public Interest Disclosure to ensure their report is given PID status and they receive appropriate protection.

9.1.2. Members of the public

Members of the public may make a PID on matters listed in Section 8 (3).

Members of the public may make a PID to the Chief Executive Officer, Manager Human Resources, PID Coordinator, the Crime and Corruption Commission, a Member of the Legislative Assembly or to any LAQ employee responsible for receiving the type of information being disclosed, or by completing the complaints form published on the LAQ internet site.

When a LAQ employee receives a PID from a member of public, they must treat the matter seriously and confidentially and refer it to:

  • A line manager or supervisor;
  • A Director or Manager, Regional Services; or
  • Manager, Human Resources.

The PID Co-ordinator (Principal HR Officer, Human Resources) must also be advised.

9.1.3. Issues regarding disclosures

  • Under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010, a person may make a PID:-
    • If they have an honest belief, on reasonable grounds, that the information they have tends to show the conduct or other matter.
    • If the information they have tends to show the conduct or other matter being alleged, regardless of whether or not they honestly believe the information tends to show the conduct or other matter.
  • The evidence does not have to be admissible in court.
  • A disclosure does not have to identify a particular person.
  • A disclosure may be about a matter that occurred before the commencement of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010.
  • A disclosure may be about a matter that happened, is happening or the discloser reasonably believes is going to happen.
  •  It is not necessary to have documented evidence. It is the responsibility of the investigating officer to determine if wrongdoing has occurred.
  • When making a disclosure, where possible, be prepared to provide information on:-
    • the name, job title and workplace address of the person the subject of your disclosure;
    • details of relevant events, dates and places;
    • the names of people who may be able to back up what you say; and
    • any other evidence that supports your view.

A disclosure can be made in writing or orally and anonymously. Where an employee receives an oral PID they should request the discloser to put the details in writing. If they are unable or unwilling to do so the employee receiving the PID should document it and ask the discloser to confirm the contents before signing it. If circumstances (e.g. telephone caller who remains anonymous) prevent this occurring, the officer receiving the PID should record the date, time and circumstances of the PID. It should then be forwarded to the PID Co-ordinator, Human Resources.

9.1.4. Anonymous disclosures

The person making the disclosure may remain anonymous. However, the successful investigation of a disclosure often depends on the ability of the investigating officer(s) to obtain further information from the person making the disclosure.

9.1.5. Making disclosures to journalists

Disclosure to a journalist is an avenue of last resort. An employee may only make a disclosure to a journalist when they have made a PID using the approved LAQ procedure, and the entity to which the disclosure was made or, if the disclosure was referred to another agency/department, the entity to which the disclosure was referred:-

  • Decided not to investigate or deal with the disclosure; or
  • Investigated the disclosure but did not recommend the taking of any action in relation to the disclosure; or
  • Did not notify the person, within 6 months after the date the disclosure was made, whether or not the disclosure was to be investigated or dealt with.

In these circumstances only, will the disclosing employee retain protected status. The person may make a disclosure of substantially the same information that was made in the original PID.

9.2. After a PID has been made

9.2.1.

All PIDs received must be referred as soon as possible to the PID Co-ordinator to determine action to be taken. If there is any doubt whether a disclosure is a PID, it should be assumed that it is protected by the Act and be managed as if it were a PID.

All cases of corruption are referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission (s38, Crime and Corruption Act 2001) for assessment and LAQ will be advised accordingly. In most instances, following assessment, the Crime and Corruption Commission will return the matter to be dealt with by LAQ. Only the most serious and/or disclosures, that demonstrate a reasonable suspicion of corruption and those where it is necessary to promote public confidence, are dealt with directly by the Crime and Corruption Commission.

Code of Conduct breaches are referred to Manager, Human Resources for assessment and follow-up.

9.2.2.  

LAQ may decide to take no further action on a PID when:

  • The subject of the PID has already been dealt with by another appropriate process;
  • The matter raised should be dealt with by another appropriate process;
  • The age of the information makes it impractical to investigate the matter;
  • The information is considered too trivial to warrant investigation; or
  • The entity that has jurisdiction to investigate the matter has notified LAQ that investigation is not warranted.

Written reasons for not taking any further action must be provided to the person making the disclosure. Once received, if the person making the disclosure is not satisfied, they have 28 days to apply for a review of the decision.

9.3. Protection of employees

LAQ will treat all PIDs appropriately.  A discloser’s concerns will be taken seriously and all steps will be taken to ensure the privacy and confidentiality (as far as possible) of a discloser throughout the appropriate process.

An employee making a disclosure needs to be aware that the matters surrounding the investigation will be confidential and the discloser attempt to maintain the integrity of the process by not discussing it with work colleagues or other unconnected with the matter.

LAQ has a responsibility to establish reasonable procedures to support and protect its employees from reprisals that are, or may be, taken against them as a result of making a PID and to support them through the investigation process (Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010).

The manager/supervisor of an employee who makes a disclosure must undertake a risk assessment of the likelihood of reprisal action being taken.

Where the risk level is assessed as anything greater than low, a case management strategy will be developed and implemented to mitigate the risk. One such strategy may be relocation to another work group or location.

Additionally:

  • Protected disclosers incur no criminal or civil liability (e.g. defamation) for PIDs made appropriately;
  • It is a criminal offence for a public officer to take reprisal action against a protected discloser;
  • The Crime and Corruption Commission can investigate suspected reprisals against public sector employees; and
  • A public sector employee can ask the agency/department or the Public Service Commission for relocation if they suffer from or risk reprisal.

Employees who are the subject of an adverse allegation, and their families, are able to seek free, professional and confidential counselling through LAQ’s employee assistance provider, details of which are published on the LAQ intranet – Employee Assistance Service.

Employees will be assumed to be innocent of any adverse allegation until evidence is produced that proves otherwise.

Employees will always be given the opportunity to respond to an allegation before any adverse finding is made. The LAQ delegate’s final decision is impartial and is based on the facts.

To the best of its ability, the LAQ will also support members of the public who make PIDs through providing regular contact and advice throughout the process.

9.3.1. When employees are NOT protected

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 does not provide for protection of a person who:-

  • Fails to follow the correct disclosure process;
  • Intentionally gives false or misleading information; or
  • Makes a PID directly to or through the media rather than through the approved process (e.g. Making a disclosure to a journalist before following the LAQ process).

9.3.2. Reprisals

A reprisal against a protected discloser is a criminal offence.

Reprisals against an employee who makes a disclosure, or fears that they may be subject to reprisal action, must be reported immediately to the PID Co-ordinator, the Manager, Human Resources or their manager/supervisor.

In the event that reprisal action is taken, protected disclosers may lodge a complaint with the Anti-Discrimination Commission or the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, or lodge a claim for damages with the District or Supreme Court.

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission or Supreme Court can grant an injunction against reprisal action.

Protected disclosers may also lodge joint action against LAQ, as employer, with either their complaint in a commission or their claim in court. LAQ is able to defend this claim of vicarious liability by demonstrating that, on the balance of probabilities, it took reasonable steps to prevent reprisal against the disclosers occurring.

9.3.3. Reasonable management action

Reasonable management action is not reprisal and may be taken against an employee who has made a PID. However, the manager’s reasons for taking the action must not include the fact the employee has made the PID and be in accordance with LAQ policies and processes, including procedural fairness principles.

Examples of reasonable management action are given below:

  • Scenario 1: The employment contract of an employee who made a PID 6 months previously and was granted protected status is due to expire. Management has decided not to offer another contract as the project on which the employee was working is substantially completed and there is no further budget allocation available. Other employees have the capacity and skills to complete the remainder of the project. In this instance, the decision not to offer another employment contract to the employee is NOT reprisal action but reasonable management action unrelated to the fact the employee made a PID.
  • Scenario 2: The supervisor of an employee who made a PID 12 months previously has noticed the work performance of that employee is not satisfactory. Deadlines are not being met and the quality of the work is poor with the supervisor having to correct many errors. The supervisor requests the employee to attend a meeting with him to discuss the employee’s work performance and explore possible reasons for it (e.g. illness, need for further training, personal concerns). At the meeting a detailed Personal Work and Development Plan is discussed and agreed. The supervisor requests weekly meetings for the next month to discuss work progress. The decision to implement this performance management action was based on the supervisor’s assessment of the employee’s work performance and was not influenced by the employee having made a PID. Therefore it was reasonable management action.

9.4. The investigation

The Chief Executive Officer or delegated officer of LAQ will determine whether an investigation is required based on the seriousness of the allegations and any Crime and Corruption Commission directions. After a decision to investigate has been made, a specialist officer will be engaged to undertake the investigation. During this process, all available parties named in the disclosure, and in subsequent interviews, will be contacted for an interview where they may provide their version of events.

At the conclusion of the interview stage, the investigating officer collates the information they have gathered and prepares a report for LAQ, which may include recommendations, and makes a determination as to whether on the balance of probabilities the complaint (or each allegation) has been substantiated or not.

9.5. After the investigation

The delegate receives the investigating officer’s report, considers the recommendations, then approves or does not approve the recommended action.

The discloser will be provided with reasonable information in writing about the action taken on their disclosure and the results. Before information is released it must be considered whether giving the information is likely to adversely affect:-

  • Anybody’s safety; or
  • The investigation of an offence or possible offence; or
  • Necessary confidentiality about an informant’s existence or identity.

Reporting Requirement

LAQ must report to the Public Service Commission (PSC) statistical information about PIDs and any other information requested by the PSC regarding LAQ’s performance in relation to the administration of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010.

This information, together with the PID statistics for all public service agencies/departments and Government Owned Enterprises covered by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 will be reported in the Annual Report for the PSC.

False PIDs and Corrupt Conduct Reports

It is an offence under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 for a person to intentionally give false or misleading information intended to be acted upon as a PID. The maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.

For employees such action may also be a breach of the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service. Where it is established that the discloser is not acting in good faith, or he or she has intentionally made a false report (including where the allegation has been made maliciously, vexatiously or without any basis), then he or she may be subjected to a disciplinary process. False allegations of corrupt conduct may be investigated by the Crime and Corruption Commission.

Employee Complaints and Appeals

Employees have an obligation to make a PID about matters of concern to them. Employees who are subjects of allegations do not have any grievance or appeal rights, providing the employee making the PID is acting in good faith and the information is not intentionally false or misleading.

However, an employee who is the subject of an administrative decision or action is entitled to lodge a complaint  should they feel that the administrative decision is unfair or biased.

If an employee considers that the issue is not resolved following the finalisation of the complaints process, they may be able to lodge an appeal with the Appeals Officer pursuant to the Appeals Directive. An employee considering an appeal should refer to the Appeals Directive as issued by the Public Service Commission and may seek further information on appeal rights from the Public Service Commission website www.psc.qld.gov.au or the Public Service Commission.

Confidentiality

Section 65 of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 makes it an offence for a person to make a record of, or intentionally or recklessly disclose confidential information received in the administration of the Act to anyone, except where authorised to do so by the Act.

Any employee receiving a PID should be aware that any statements and correspondence in relation to the matter should be regarded as strictly confidential and should not be discussed with anyone unrelated to the matter.

All documentation relating to a PID must be stored in a separate confidential file, secured in a locked area. No details are to be placed on personal files. If an employee is appointed to another Department/Agency the file remains the property of LAQ.

Other Resources and Links

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following:-

LAQ Employee Complaints Policy and Procedure;
LAQ Complaints Procedure;
Public Service Commission Directive – Managing Employee Complaints;
Public Service Commission Directive - Appeals; and
Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service.

Further Information

For further information, LAQ employees should contact:

  • Their supervisor or manager;
  • Manager, Human Resources; or
  • PID Co-coordinator (Principal HR Officers).

Information can also be obtained from the Office of the Ombudsman website.

Back to top