The Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (Vic) (the PD Act) provides protections to people who make a “protected disclosure” – a process commonly known as ‘whistleblowing’.
What is it about?
If you wish to make a disclosure about improper or corrupt conduct by LPLC or its Committee members or employees and want that disclosure to be protected, the disclosure must be made to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).
The purpose of these protections is to ensure that those making disclosures are not subject to detrimental action taken in reprisal against them.
LPLC is committed to transparency and accountability. LPLC does not tolerate improper conduct, misconduct or reprisals against persons who disclose such conduct.
You can help ensure that LPLC is free from corruption and serious misconduct by coming forward and providing information if you have concerns.
What is a protected disclosure?
A protected disclosure is a complaint or report of improper conduct.
Improper conduct includes:
(a) corrupt conduct
This is conduct that would, if proved beyond reasonable doubt, constitute:
- an indictable criminal offence (i.e. a serious criminal offence)
- the criminal offences of attempting to pervert the course of justice, perverting the course of justice or bribery of a public official
(b) other specified conduct
This is conduct that, if proved, would constitute:
- a criminal offence that is not indictable (i.e. a more minor criminal offence)
- reasonable grounds for dismissal from employment.
Protected disclosures can also be made about detrimental action that has occurred, is occurring or is likely to be engaged in by LPLC or a Committee member or employee of LPLC. Detrimental action includes harassment or discrimination or other adverse action taken against the discloser in reprisal for having reported the alleged improper conduct.
For a disclosure to be protected it must be made in accordance with the requirements of Part 2 of the PD Act (refer to ‘How to Make a Protected Disclosure’ below)
If the improper conduct you wish to make a complaint or report about does not fall into the above categories, you can make a complaint directly to LPLC through LPLC’s standard complaints handling procedure (see our complaints FAQ for answers to common questions).
Who can make a protected disclosure?
Any person can make a disclosure about improper conduct by public bodies and public officers. This includes a person who is a member, officer or employee of a public body or public officer. However, the making of disclosure is not limited only to ‘internal’ disclosers.
A company or a business cannot make a disclosure. The disclosure must be by an individual or a group of individuals.
A disclosure can be made anonymously. A person can also make a disclosure in circumstances where they cannot identify the person or the organisation to which the disclosure relates.
How to make a protected disclosure
If you wish to make a protected disclosure, you must make it directly to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).
LPLC cannot receive or notify of protected disclosures.
Disclosures to IBAC may be made in a number of ways set out in the Act, including anonymously, in writing or orally.
Level 1, North Tower
459 Collins Street
GPO Box 24234
Melbourne VIC 3000
If you make a complaint or disclosure to IBAC about an LPLC officer or employee, you do not need to let LPLC know.
If IBAC decides that your complaint is not a disclosure about improper conduct or detrimental action, IBAC may refer you back to LPLC for your complaint to be dealt with under LPLC’s standard complaints handling procedures.
Protections and welfare management
Any person within the scope of this policy is protected from detrimental action taken against that person in reprisal for a protected disclosure.
Part 6 of the PD Act sets out the protections provided to persons who make a protected disclosure in accordance with Part 2 of the PD Act. These protections include (but are not limited to) immunity from liability, protection from defamation and protection from detrimental action in reprisal for a protected disclosure.
The protections apply whether IBAC determines that it is a protected disclosure or not.
The protections also apply to further information relating to a protected disclosure made by the original discloser, if the further information has been provided to IBAC or an entity investigating the protected disclosure.
Need more information?
For further information on reporting corruption and IBAC’s protected disclosures processes please contact IBAC (contact details above) or visit IBAC’s website.
For further information on LPLC’s complaints processes please contact:
Legal Practitioners Liability Committee
Level 31, 570 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: (03) 9672 3800