"Victorian anti-corruption measures circumvented by unlawful legislation"
- Category: Victoria DHHS
- Created: Tuesday, 21 January 2014 06:58
- Written by Alecomm2
The state of Victoria previously had the use of the Victorian Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 to report misconduct and maladministration by public officers and authorities.
In 2012 this legislation was repealed and replaced with the Victorian Protected Disclosures Act 2012.
The benefit of the Whistleblowers Act was that any natural person could make a statement that would have to be investigated by a proper authority. The downside was the act seemed to protect judicial officers by making them non-accountable by classifying them as non-public officers for the purpose of protected disclosures.
Whilst the Victorian Protected Disclosures Act has been amended to include all judicial officers, it has also taken away the publics' ability to be whistleblowers, effectively circumventing their ability to disclosure corrupt activities by any public officer / authority.
This appears to be a deliberate attempt to cut the amount of investigations, however it also provides little to no opportunity for the public to adequately present corruption and maladministration via proper authorities and to have those complaints investigated without it appearing that a natural person has a problem with that authority.
Organisations such as us here at the Australian Legislative Ethics Commission frequently view maladministration in different departments that our clients are dealing with, and now our opportunity to have our complaints dealt with in a professional manner have been deliberately taken away - effectively preventing us from advocating on behalf of our clients.
A point of interest in this matter is that whilst the Protected Disclosures Act claims to have repealled the Whistleblowers Act, it has not been proclaimed and actually brought into use. And the otherside of the coin is that the Whistleblowers Act does not seem to be listed as being in use or having been repealed, giving way to reason that the actual changes haven't come into effect because the deliberate attempt to circumvent the public from complaining about public officers is not legal.