Prevention and Management of Corrupt Conduct and Public Interest Disclosure Policy

Prevention and Management of Corrupt Conduct and Public Interest Disclosure Policy

POLICY ID 1.14
Version 2.1 (June 2021)
POLICY CATEGORY Human Resource - Internal
AUTHOR Amanda Allen
VERSION CONTROL DATE COMMENTS
First Draft March 2021
Second Draft
Approved by Board 21 June 2021
Superseded

BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS OF QUEENSLAND

The Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland (Board) is a statutory body established under the Professional Engineers Act 2002 (Act), to uphold the standards of practice through regulating the engineering profession in Queensland. The Board strives to achieve best practice in managing its human resources and does so through the overarching principles of:

    1. Leadership
    2. Recruitment
    3. Performance management
    4. Employee wellness
    5. Employee engagement
    6. Change management

These principles are supported by policies and guidelines to ensure the Board achieves its aim of being an employer of choice.

PURPOSE

This policy has been formulated to:

    1. support high standards of professional and ethical conduct of Board members and employees
    2. prevent corrupt conduct in the Board
    3. facilitate the effective notification, assessment and management of complaints of suspected corrupt conduct and public interest disclosures (PIDs) in accordance with the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (CC Act) and the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (PID Act).

This policy forms part of the Board’s approach to integrity management and should be read in conjunction with the Prevention and Management of Corrupt Conduct and Public Interest Disclosure Procedure, the Board approved Code of Conduct, the Complaints Management Policy and the Fraud and Corruption Prevention Policy.

This policy applies to all employees, both Board appointed and public servants

POLICY STATEMENT

The Board’s commitment

The Board is committed to:

    1. implementing awareness initiatives and internal control systems to prevent and/or minimise corrupt conduct
    2. promoting public confidence in the way suspected corrupt conduct is dealt with
    3. promoting accountability, integrity and transparency in the way the Board deals with a complaint that is suspected to involve, or may involve Board members or employees
    4. promoting the public interest by facilitating complaints of corrupt conduct and PIDs which relate to the Board
    5. ensuring that allegations of suspected corrupt conduct and PIDs, including those made anonymously, are properly assessed and appropriately dealt with
    6. ensuring that appropriate consideration is given to the interests of employees who are the subject of a complaint or PID
    7. taking appropriate action on proven corrupt conduct and wrongdoing by employees, suppliers, providers and other external parties, and
    8. affording support and protection from reprisals to people making PIDs.

Complaints of corrupt conduct and PIDs will be dealt with in accordance with the Prevention and Management of Corrupt Conduct and Public Interest Disclosure Procedure.

Reporting suspected corrupt conduct and PIDs

All persons working for and with the Board must report suspected corrupt conduct. This applies even where the suspected corrupt conduct relates to someone working in, or who has worked outside the Board (for example, someone working in another agency or a government department or local council).

The Board expects its suppliers, providers and other external parties to report suspected corrupt conduct.

Suspected corrupt conduct and PIDs about the Board members or its employees can be reported to:

    1. the Chair, or
    2. the Board; or
    3. the Registrar, or
    4. a supervisor/manager, or
    5. the Assistant Director-General, Building Legislation and Policy, Department of Housing and Public Works; or
    6. the Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport; or
    7. a Member of Parliament; or
    8. a person to whom such a report may otherwise lawfully be made (for example, if the alleged corrupt conduct/PID involves a criminal offence, it may be reported to a member of the Queensland Police Service).

Suspected corrupt conduct can also be reported to the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).

Complaints about suspected corrupt conduct happening within another unit of public administration can be reported to the chief executive of the other unit (or to an officer of the entity who has the function of receiving or taking action on the type of information being disclosed).

PIDs can also be reported to an entity which has the function of receiving or taking action on the type of information being disclosed, for example if a PID involves a significant public safety matter it can be made to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.

Complaints about the chief executive officer

The CC Act requires a unit of public administration has a policy that addresses how it will deal with a complaint that involves, or may involve, corrupt conduct of a public official. A public official has been defined as the chief executive officer and the Registrar is the chief executive officer of the Board.

Section 48A(2) of the CC Act provides that the policy may nominate a person other than the Registrar to notify the CCC of the complaint and deal with the complaint under the Act on behalf of the Registrar.

Having regard to section 48A(2) and (3) of the CC Act, this policy nominates the Senior Legal Officer, to:

    1. notify the CCC of any complaint that involves, or may involve, the Chairperson under section 38 of the CC Act; and
    2. deal with the complaint under section 44 of the CC Act, subject to the CCC’s monitoring role when:
    3. directions issued under section 40 of the CC Act apply; or
    4. pursuant to section 46, the CCC refers the complaint to the nominated person to deal with.

Where a complaint involves, or may involve, the Registrar personally, it can be reported to:

    1. the Board, or
    2. the nominated person (Senior Legal Officer); or
    3. the Assistant Director-General, Building Legislation and Policy, Department of Housing and Public Works
    4. the Minister for Housing and Public Works, or
    5. a Member of Parliament, or
    6. the CCC, or
    7. a person to whom such a report may otherwise lawfully be made (for example, if the alleged corrupt conduct involves a criminal offence, it may be reported to a member of the Queensland Police Service).

The Board’s procedure for dealing with a complaint that involves, or may involve, corrupt conduct of the chief executive officer is detailed in the Prevention and Management of Corrupt Conduct and Public Interest Disclosure Procedure.

If in doubt – report

If there is any uncertainty about whether a matter constitutes corrupt conduct – the matter ought to be reported. Speak with the Registrar if you would like guidance or support in this matter.

Complaint information must be treated as strictly confidential.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Key roles and responsibilities are as follows:

Board

The Board is responsible for:

    1. communicating the expectation that all persons working for and with the Board are required to conduct their duties to high professional and ethical standards
    2. implementing appropriate awareness and control systems to prevent and effectively respond to suspected corrupt conduct
    3. notifying the CCC of a complaint, or information or matter (complaint), which the Board reasonably suspects involves, or may involve, corrupt conduct, in accordance with the CC Act
    4. assessing and dealing with a complaint about, or information or matter involving, corrupt conduct and PIDs within the Board
    5. establishing procedures to protect employees who make PIDs from reprisals that are, or may be, taken against them in accordance with the PID Act
The Nominated Person

The  Senior Legal Officer (as the person nominated under section 48A of the CC Act)  is responsible for:

    1. notifying the CCC of a complaint which the nominated person reasonably suspects involves, or may involve, corrupt conduct of the Registrar
    2. informing the CCC and the Assistant Director-General, Building Legislation and Policy and the Minister for Housing and Public Works that the Senior Legal Officer is the nominated person for the complaint
    3. dealing with a complaint about, or information or matter involving, corrupt conduct of the Registrar.
    4. in accordance with the Crime and Corruption Act 2001.
Registrar

The Registrar is responsible for:

    1. providing advice and information in relation to the prevention and the management of corrupt conduct and PIDs
    2. assessing and dealing with a complaint about, or information or matters involving, or which may involve, corrupt conduct and PIDs within the Board
    3. maintaining policies, procedures and records in regard to corrupt conduct and PIDs
    4. coordinating reporting relating to corrupt conduct and PIDs
    5. providing support to the Board in the effective management of corrupt conduct and PIDs.
Managers

Managers are responsible for:

    1. immediately referring any complaints of suspected corrupt conduct or other PIDs which are received by them to the Registrar
    2. maintaining a workplace culture that values professionalism, integrity and diligence
    3. demonstrating positive ethical standards and values to employees through their own conduct and communications at work
    4. creating a supportive reporting environment
    5. providing appropriate support to employees who report suspected wrongdoing
    6. assisting employees to resolve ethical dilemmas, as required.
Board employees

Board employees are responsible for:

    1. immediately reporting suspected corrupt conduct
    2. conducting their duties and work activities to a high professional and ethical standard
    3. seeking appropriate management guidance if they have an ethical dilemma
    4. cooperating fully with investigations into suspected corrupt conduct and PIDs
    5. maintaining confidentiality of suspected corrupt conduct matters and PIDs in accordance with the Prevention and Management of Corrupt Conduct and Public Interest Disclosure Procedure

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

The Registrar will provide a report to the Board, as required.

RELATED LEGISLATION

Crime and Corruption Act 2001

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010

Human Rights Act 2019

RELATED POLICIES AND OTHER DOCUMENTS

Prevention and Management of Corrupt Conduct and Public Interest Disclosure Procedure

Code of Conduct for Queensland Public Service

Board of Professional Engineers Code of Conduct

Employee Complaints Policy (Policy ID 1.07)

Fraud and Corruption Prevention Policy (Policy ID 1.10)

 

Attachment 1 – Definitions

Term

Description

Employee

 

A person employed either by the Board under the Professional Engineers Act 2002 or persons employed under the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld) as a permanent, temporary, full-time, part-time or casual employee.

Benefit

Includes property, advantage, service, entertainment, the use of or access to property or facilities and anything of benefit to a person whether or not it has any inherent or tangible value, purpose or attribute.

CCC

The Crime and Corruption Commission

Conduct

Includes -

  1. neglect, failure and inaction and
  2. conspiracy to engage in conduct and
  3. attempt to engage in conduct.

Confidential Information

Includes:

  1. information about the identity, occupation, residential or work address or whereabouts of a person:
    1. who makes a PID or
    2. against whom a PID has been made and
  2. information disclosed by a PID and
  3. information about an individual’s personal affairs and
  4. information that, if disclosed, may cause Detriment to a person

but does not include information publicly disclosed in a PID made to a court, tribunal or other entity that may receive evidence under oath, unless further disclosure of the information is prohibited by law.

Corrupt Conduct

Section 15 of the CC Act outlines the definition of corrupt conduct.

Discloser

Means a person who makes a PID.

Nominated Person

Means the person nominated under section 48A(2) of the CC Act.

Reasonably suspects

Means suspects on grounds that are reasonable in the circumstances.

Subject officer

Means an employee against whom a complaint has been made.

Supporting reporting environment

Means creating a workplace culture where employees feel comfortable reporting suspected wrongdoing, have confidence that their concerns will be appropriately dealt with and do not fear or concern adverse treatment arising from their reporting of suspected wrongdoing.