1. Purpose of the policy
The Council takes malpractice and wrongdoing in relation to the organisation’s procedures and actions very seriously. It is our aim to ensure that as far as possible, our employees are able to blow the whistle and tell us about any wrongdoing at work which they believe has occurred or is likely to occur.
Council upholds the seven principles of public life and conducts its business with these in mind (see Appendix 1). The Council is committed to the highest possible standards of openness, probity and accountability and this is reflected in the Council’s value of being ‘open, clear and transparent’.
It expects all employees (including any agency staff) to maintain these standards in everything they do. Employees, and others that we deal with (so including suppliers and those providing services to the Council), are therefore encouraged to report any wrongdoing by the Council or its employees that falls short of these principles (i.e. they are encouraged to ‘blow the whistle’).
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 and Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 protects employees who report wrongdoing within the workplace. So, any employee or worker who makes a report under this procedure in the reasonable belief that the disclosure they are making is in the ‘public interest’ will not be subject to any detriment.
We recognise that employees may not always feel comfortable about discussing their concerns within the Council, especially if they believe the Council itself is responsible for the wrongdoing. The aim of this policy is to ensure that employees are confident that they can raise the matter with the Council with the knowledge that it will be taken seriously, treated as confidential and that they will not be the subject of victimisation, subsequent discrimination or disadvantage for having reported their concerns, irrespective of the outcome.
You are encouraged to use the procedure set out in this policy if you have any concerns at all about wrongdoing at work which could comprise:
- any criminal offence,
- a failure to comply with our legal obligations (such as our Standing Orders or Financial Procedure Rules) or any other unlawful action,
- improper conduct,
- malpractice or acting against established practice / policies,
- a miscarriage of justice,
- a health and safety danger,
- a risk of environmental damage, or
- concealment of any of the above.
The list is not exhaustive but is intended to illustrate the range of issues which could be raised under this policy.
This policy aims to ensure that the Council investigates and deals with disclosures fairly, promptly and properly.