Public Interest Disclosures ("Whistleblowing")
Whistleblowing is when an employee reports suspected wrongdoing at work. Officially, this is called ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’.
An employee can report things that aren’t right, are illegal or if anyone at work is neglecting their duties, including:
- someone’s health and safety is in danger;
- damage to the environment;
- a criminal offence, such as fraud, corruption or bribery;
- the company isn’t obeying the law, such as like a breach of data protection legislation;
- covering up wrongdoing.
The National Assembly for Wales Commission encourages a free and open culture in dealings between its employees and other workers and all people with whom it engages in business and legal relations. In particular, the Assembly Commission recognises that effective and honest communication is essential if concerns about breaches or failures are to be effectively dealt with and the organisation’s success ensured.
Commission policy is designed to provide guidance to all those who work with or within the Assembly who may from time to time feel that they need to raise certain issues relating to the Assembly with someone in confidence. The purpose of the policy is:
- To encourage employees to report suspected wrongdoing as soon as possible, in the knowledge that their concerns will be taken seriously and investigated as appropriate, and that their confidentiality will be respected;
- To provide employees with guidance as to how to raise those concerns;
- To protect employees and the Assembly from unfounded and malicious allegations; and
- To reassure staff that employees who in good faith raise genuine concerns under the policy will not under any circumstances be subjected to any form of detriment or disadvantage as a result of having raised their concerns.
In the case of concerns relating to Assembly Members or members of their staff, this may involve referring the matter to the independent Commissioner for Standards where the concern in question relates to a ‘relevant provision’ which the Commissioner is required to investigate.
Contact information, should you have any concerns, is as follows:
The National Assembly for Wales
Contact the Assembly
The Standards Commissioner
http://standardscommissionerwales.org/ (external website)
Wales Audit Office
http://www.wao.gov.uk/ (external website)