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Public interest disclosure management program, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) is committed to ensuring the highest level of ethical behaviour in all aspects of our activities. We strongly support and encourage the reporting of Public Interest Disclosures (PIDs).

What is a Public Interest Disclosure (PID)?

A public interest disclosure is a disclosure of wrongdoing in the public sector that serves the public interest. For an allegation to be considered a public interest disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (the PID Act) it must be:

  • public interest information about serious wrongdoing or danger
  • an appropriate disclosure
  • made to a proper authority.

Under section 12 of the PID Act, any person can make a disclosure about a:

  • danger to the health or safety of a person with a disability
  • danger to the environment caused by commission of an offence or contravention of a condition in certain environmental legislation (see Schedule 2 of the PID Act)
  • reprisal after making a public interest disclosure.

In addition, under section 13 of the PID Act public sector officers can make a disclosure about the following public interest matters:

  • suspected corrupt conduct (as defined in the Crime and Corruption Act 2001)
  • maladministration that adversely affects a person’s interests in a substantial and specific way
  • a substantial misuse of public resources
  • a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety
  • a substantial and specific danger to the environment.

A discloser can have either a ‘reasonable belief’ that wrongdoing has occurred or provide evidence which tends to show the wrongdoing has occurred.

Policy

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  • A PID must be made to a proper authority. A proper authority is a person or organisation authorised under the PID Act to receive a PID.

    A person can make a public interest disclosure to the following:

    Non staff memberStaff member

    Disclosures can also be made to an external agency which has a responsibility for investigating the information disclosed, such as:

    • the Crime and Corruption Commission
    • Queensland Ombudsman for disclosures regarding maladministration
    • Queensland Audit Office for disclosures about substantial misuse of resources
    • Office of the Public Guardian for disclosures about the danger to the health and safety of a person with a disability
    • Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women for disclosures about the danger to the health and safety of a child or young person with a disability
    • Department of Environment and Science for disclosures about danger to the environment
    • a member of the Legislative Assembly (MP) for any wrongdoing or danger
    • The Chief Judicial Officer of a court or tribunal in relation to a disclosure about wrongdoing by a judicial officer.
  • Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) has a zero-tolerance approach to wrongdoing, including corruption, fraud and maladministration. These behaviours can erode public confidence in our health system and undermine the good work carried out by SCHHS.

    To eliminate such conduct, SCHHS is committed to creating and maintaining an environment that encourages disclosure of information about wrongdoing or danger. This is achieved by:

    • facilitating disclosures of information, or complaints, about wrongdoing or danger that relate to SCHHS through a management program for PIDs to be made, consistent with the standards issued by the Queensland Ombudsman
    • ensuring disclosures, including those made anonymously to SCHHS are properly assessed and when appropriate, properly investigated or otherwise dealt with
    • ensuring PID assessments, investigations and decision making processes are completed within a reasonable timeframe
    • ensuring any public officer who makes a PID is given appropriate support
    • affording appropriate and reasonable protection from reprisal by SCHHS or other public officers of SCHHS
    • ensuring appropriate consideration is given to the interests of those who are the subject of a PID
    • ensuring appropriate action is taken in relation to any wrongdoing which is subject of a PID.
Last updated: 27 October 2020