A new era of whistleblower protections

ACU has introduced new measures to detect and deal with illegal, corrupt or unethical conduct at the university, through the updated Protected Disclosures framework.

In 2019, the federal Parliament passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Act 2019 (Cth) which is designed to increase protections for whistleblowers in the corporate sector. In order to comply with its statutory obligations, ACU’s Senate approved an updated Protected Disclosures Policy and Procedure on 8 December 2019.

What is the Protected Disclosures framework?

The new Protected Disclosures framework significantly increases the protections afforded to whistleblowers connected with ACU and its activities and, consistent with our mission, emphasises ACU’s commitment to high ethical standards of behaviour.

Who can make a protected disclosure?

A protected disclosure may be made anonymously by university officers and affiliates including staff, volunteers, suppliers, contractors and certain relatives (such as spouses or dependents), where they have reasonable grounds to suspect illegal, corrupt or unethical activity is being undertaken in connection with ACU.

How do I make a protected disclosure?

In order to maximise whistleblower protections, ACU strongly encourages the use of its external reporting service, known as FairCall. FairCall provides an independent avenue for disclosing various types of reportable conduct via a secure and anonymous series of contact points including a toll-free hotline, an online reporting portal and via post. Within 24 hours of a disclosure being made to FairCall, a de-identified report is sent to ACU’s Protected Disclosures Officer who will manage the disclosure in accordance with the procedure. The contact details for FairCall are available here.

Reports may also be made internally to certain officers within the university, in accordance with the processes set out in the procedure. The use of the independent FairCall service is strongly encouraged to guarantee the anonymity of the discloser.  

Training

The Learning and Development team will shortly contact individual university officers who have been identified as requiring essential training on the operation of the new Protected Disclosures framework. This training will be provided by FairCall and is anticipated to commence in mid-May.

More information

The Protected Disclosures Policy and Procedure page on the ACU website will be updated with a helpful set of FAQs to guide staff and other stakeholders. Updated information will also periodically be added to the suite of knowledge articles available via Service Central.

General queries regarding the operation of the Protected Disclosures framework can be directed to the policy’s responsible officer at Protected.Disclosures@acu.edu.au.


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