To encourage the reporting of serious wrongdoing and misconduct; and outline how Navantia Australia will deal with reports of serious wrongdoing and misconduct.
As a service provider under a Commonwealth contract; this policy applies to all Navantia Australia personnel including employees, contractors, consultants and directors. This also applies to relatives, dependants, spouses or dependants of a spouse of any of the above.
Navantia Australia is committed to fostering an ethical, transparent culture. In pursuit of this, Navantia Australia values the disclosure of information about suspected wrongdoing in the performance of its duties so that it can be properly assessed and, if necessary, appropriately investigated. Navantia Australia will provide support to an employee or others who make disclosures about matters in the public interest. This policy aims to protect and support those who make disclosures of serious wrongdoing and misconduct and provide a reporting and investigation process.
This Procedure demonstrates Navantia Australia’s commitment to ensuring that all of its business activities are birth ethical and complaint with legislation, internal policies and accepted community/Defence standards, and ensures that practical and effective procedures are implemented which comply with the requirements of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (PID Act) and section 1.1.1 of the Public Interest Disclosure Standard No. 1/2019. This policy has also been designed to adhere to the provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 and the Taxation Administration Act 1953 with respect to protections for persons who make a qualifying disclosure.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the following Navantia Australia policies:
- Code of Conduct
- Gifts and Benefits Policy
- Anti bribery, corruption and fraud frameworks.
2. Public Interest Disclosure (PID) Management Program
Navantia Australia will:
- promote the public interest by facilitating public interest disclosures (PIDs) of wrongdoing
- ensure that PIDs are properly assessed and, where appropriate, properly investigated and dealt with
- ensure appropriate consideration is given to the interests of persons who are the subject of a PID
- ensure protection from reprisal is afforded to persons making PIDs.
Navantia Australia’s Managing Director will implement procedures to ensure that:
- anyone covered under the scope of this policy who makes a PID is given appropriate support
- PIDs made to Navantia Australia are properly assessed and, where appropriate, properly investigated and dealt with
- appropriate action is taken in relation to any wrongdoing which is the subject of a PID
- a management program for PIDs made to Navantia Australia is developed and implemented
- Navantia Australia personnel including public officers who make PIDs are offered protection from reprisal by Navantia Australia or other public officers of Navantia Australia.
Navantia Australia’s Managing Director has overall responsibility for ensuring that Navantia Australia develops, implements and maintains a PID management program. The Navantia Australia PID management program encompasses:
- commitment to encouraging the internal reporting of wrongdoing
- Navantia Australia executive endorsement of the value to Navantia Australia of PIDs and the proper management of PIDs
- a communication strategy to raise awareness among employees about PIDs and Navantia Australia’s PID procedure
- a training strategy to give employees access to training about how to make a PID, information on the support available to a discloser, and advice on how PIDs will be managed
- specialist training and awareness about PIDs for Navantia Australia executive and other staff who may receive or manage PIDs, disclosers or workplace issues relating to PIDs
- the appointment of a specialist officer/unit to be responsible for issues related to the management of PIDs
- ensuring effective systems and procedures are in place so that issues and outcomes from PIDs inform improvements to service delivery, business processes and internal controls
- regular review of the Public Interest Disclosure Procedure and evaluation of the effectiveness of the PID management program.
Navantia Australia’s Managing Director has designated the following roles and responsibilities for managing PIDs within Navantia Australia:
|PID Coordinator|| ||D-ARQAC |
Office of the Managing Director
(P) 02 8273 4430
(M) 0447 280 856
Level 2, 56 Pitt Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
|Investigator|| ||An appropriate internal or external investigator will be appointed for each PID investigated depending upon the type of disclosure and other relevant considerations.|
|Delegated decision-maker|| ||An appropriate decision-maker will be appointed for each PID investigated.|
The above demonstrates adherence to our requirements under our PID management program and demonstrates compliance with section 28 of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 and Standard 1.3: Management program for PIDs contained within Public Interest Disclosure Standard No. 1/2019
Navantia Australia personnel who are prepared to speak up about misconduct, wastage of public funds, suspected unlawful activity or danger to health, safety or the environment can be the most important sources of information to identify and address problems in Navantia Australia administration. Navantia Australia supports the disclosure of information about wrongdoing because:
- implementing systems for reporting and dealing with wrongdoing contributes to the integrity of Navantia Australia
- the outcomes of PIDs can include improvements to systems that prevent fraud and other economic loss to Navantia Australia
- Defence and the community’s trust in public administration is strengthened by having strong processes in place for reporting wrongdoing
- Navantia Australia intends to demonstrate compliance with sections 36 – 43 and 65 of the Public Interest Disclosure Act and 1.1.6 of Public Interest Disclosure Standard No. 1/2019.
When making a PID the discloser receives the protections provided under the PID Act, including:
- confidentiality – the discloser’s name and other identifying information will be protected to the extent possible
- protection against reprisal – the discloser is protected from unfair treatment by Navantia Australia and employees of Navantia Australia as a result of making the PID
- immunity from liability – the discloser cannot be prosecuted for disclosing the information but is not exempt from action if they have engaged in wrongdoing
- protection from defamation – the discloser has a defence against an accusation of defamation by any subject officer.
Under the PID Act, any person can make a disclosure about a:
- substantial and specific danger to the health or safety of a person with a disability
- the commission of an offence, or contravention of a condition imposed under a provision of legislation mentioned in Schedule 2 of the PID Act, if the offence or contravention would be a substantial and specific danger to the environment
- reprisal because of a belief that a person has made, or intends to make a disclosure.
In addition, Navantia Australia personnel officers can make a disclosure about the following matters:
- corrupt conduct
- maladministration that adversely affects a person’s interests in a substantial and specific way
- a substantial misuse of public resources or risk of occurrence
- a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety
- 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
- perverting the cause of justice
- contravening a Commonwealth, State or Territory Law
- fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or deception or other misconduct in relation to analysis or advice
- Acting in behaviours outside of Navantia Australia’s Code of Conduct
A disclosure amounts to a PID and is covered by the PID Act even if the:
- discloser reports the information as part of their duties – such as an auditor reporting a fraud or a WHSE officer reporting a safety breach
- disclosure is made anonymously – the discloser is not required to give their name or any identifying information
- discloser has not identified the material as a PID – it is up to Navantia Australia to assess information received and decide if it is a PID
- disclosure is unsubstantiated following investigation – the discloser is protected when the information they provide is assessed as a PID, whether or not it is subsequently investigated or found to be substantiated.
A PID must be made to the ‘proper authority’ to receive disclosures of the type being made.
Disclosers are encouraged to make a disclosure to an appropriate officer of Navantia Australia first. If the matter is not resolved, or the discloser is concerned about confidentiality, the disclosure may be made to another appropriate agency.
Any person or Navantia Australia personnel (including employees) can make a disclosure to:
- Navantia Australia DARQAC (contact details listed in Section 2 PID Management Program)
- any person in a supervisory or management position
- the human resources unit
- Navantia Australia Managing Director
A disclosure can also be made to a journalist if the following conditions have been met:
- a valid PID was initially made to a proper authority, and
- the proper authority:
- decided not to investigate or deal with the disclosure, or
- investigated the disclosure but did not recommend taking any action, or
- failed to notify the discloser within six months of making the disclosure whether or not the disclosure was to be investigated or otherwise dealt with.
A person who makes a disclosure to a journalist in these circumstances is protected under the PID Act. However, disclosers should be aware that journalists are not bound under the confidentiality provisions of section 65 of the PID Act.
A discloser can make a PID in any way, including anonymously, either verbally or in writing. To assist in the assessment, and any subsequent investigation of a PID, disclosers are requested to:
- provide contact details (this could be an email address that is created for the purpose of making the disclosure or a telephone number)
- provide as much information as possible about the suspected wrongdoing, including:
- who was involved
- what happened
- when it happened
- where it happened
- whether there were any witnesses, and if so who they are
- any evidence that supports the PID, and where the evidence is located
- any further information that could help investigate the PID
- provide this information in writing.
This is to establish Navantia Australia’s compliance with sections 17 and 65, of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 and section 1.1.4 of Public Interest Disclosure Standard No. 1/2019.
Public Interest Disclosures can also be made to the PID@Navantia.es inbox which is accessible only by the PID Officer if the discloser is not comfortable reporting to their manager, supervisor or Navantia Australia contact. This option will be available to all Navantia Australia personal in all Navantia Australia geographies and jurisdictions.
If there is any doubt as to whether a matter is a PID, further information may be obtained to inform the decision. If doubt still remains, the matter will be considered and managed as a PID.
Mere disagreements over policy do not meet the threshold for a PID under the PID Act.
It is an offence under the PID Act to intentionally give false or misleading information intending it be acted on as a PID. Employees may be subject to disciplinary action for intentionally giving false or misleading information in a PID, or during an investigation into a PID.
Where a discloser states they are making a PID, but it is assessed that the matter is not a PID Navantia Australia will advise the discloser:
- that their information has been received but was not assessed as a PID
- the reasons for the decision
- the review rights available if the discloser is dissatisfied with the decision and how to request review
- any action Navantia Australia proposes to take in relation to the matter
- any other options the discloser has in relation to the matter.
The disclosure will be assessed in accordance with the PID Act, the PID standards, Navantia Australia’s Public Interest Disclosure Procedure and any other relevant procedure(s).
Once the matter has been assessed as a PID, Navantia Australia will advise the discloser:
- that their information has been received and assessed as a PID
- the action to be taken by Navantia Australia in relation to the disclosure, which could include referring the matter to an external agency, or investigating the likely timeframe involved
- the name and contact details of the Navantia Australia support officer they can contact for updates or advice of the discloser’s obligations regarding confidentiality
- the protections the discloser has under the PID Act
- the commitment of Navantia Australia to keep appropriate records and maintain confidentiality, except where permitted under the PID Act
- how updates regarding intended actions and outcomes will be provided to the discloser
- contact details for Navantia Australia’s Employee Assistance Program.
If the PID has been made anonymously and the discloser has not provided any contact details, Navantia Australia will not be able to acknowledge the PID or provide any updates.
If Navantia Australia decides there is another proper authority that is better able to deal with the PID, the PID may be referred to that agency. This may be because:
- the PID concerns wrongdoing by that agency or an employee of that agency
- that agency has the power to investigate or remedy the matter.
Before referring the PID to another agency, Navantia Australia will conduct a risk assessment, and will not proceed with the referral if there is an unacceptable risk of reprisal.
It may also be necessary to refer the PID to another agency because of a legislative obligation, for example, to refer a matter to the Commonwealth Ombudsman, Department of Defence, Crimes Act 1900 etc.
The confidentiality obligations of the PID Act permit appropriate officers of Navantia Australia to communicate with another agency about the referral of a PID. Officers will exercise discretion in their contacts with any other agency.
The discloser will be advised of the action taken by Navantia Australia.
It is important to note that the above demonstrate Navantia Australia’s compliance with sections 15, 31, 32 and 65 of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010, section 1.1.5 of Public Interest Disclosure Standard No. 1/2019 and section 2.1.5 of Public Interest Disclosure Standard No. 2/2019.
Disclosers should not suffer any form of detriment as a result of making a PID. Upon receiving a PID, Navantia Australia commits to conduct a risk assessment to assess the likelihood of the discloser (or witnesses or affected third parties) suffering reprisal action as a result of having made the disclosure. This assessment will take into account the actual and reasonably perceived risk of the discloser (or witnesses or affected third parties) suffering detriment, and will include consultation with the discloser.
A risk assessment will be undertaken if the discloser is anonymous on the basis of information available in the PID. The risk assessment will also take into account the risk to persons who may be suspected of making the PID.
Consistent with the assessed level of risk, Navantia Australia will develop and implement a risk management plan and arrange any reasonably necessary support or protection for the discloser (or witnesses or affected third parties).
Navantia Australia will regularly reassess the risk of reprisal while the PID is being managed, in consultation with the discloser, and review the risk management plan if required.
In the event of reprisal action being alleged or suspected, Navantia Australia will:
- attend to the safety of the discloser (or witnesses or affected third parties) as a matter of priority
- review its risk assessment, risk management plan and any protective measures needed to mitigate any further risk of reprisal
- manage any allegation of a reprisal as a PID in its own right.
Under the PID Act (in compliance with Section 30), the Navantia Australia may decide not to investigate or deal with a PID in various circumstances, including:
- the information disclosed has already been investigated or dealt with by another process
- the information disclosed should be dealt with by another process
- the age of the information makes it impractical to investigate
- the information disclosed is too trivial and dealing with it would substantially and unreasonably divert Navantia Australia from the performance of its functions
- another agency with jurisdiction to investigate the information has informed Navantia Australia that an investigation is not warranted.
If a decision is made not to investigate or deal with a PID Navantia Australia will give the discloser written reasons for that decision.
If the discloser is dissatisfied with the decision or the process by which the PID was managed, they can request a review by writing to Managing Director of Navantia Australia within 14 days of receiving the written reasons for decision. This will ensure conformance to Section 30 of the PID Act.
Under the PID Act, the Navantia Australia must give reasonable information to a discloser.
Navantia Australia will acknowledge receipt of the PID in writing as soon as practicable. The discloser will be provided with information that meets the requirements of the PID Act and the standards issued by relevant governance and compliance obligations, including:
- the action that will be taken in response to the PID
- the protections under the PID Act
- confidentiality obligations of the discloser and the Navantia Australia
- support arrangements.
Navantia Australia will maintain contact with the discloser and provide regular updates during the management of the PID. In accordance with the PID Act, after finalising action in response to the PID, the Navantia Australia will advise the discloser in writing of the action taken and the results of the action.
While Navantia Australia will make every attempt to protect confidentiality, a discloser’s identity may need to be disclosed to:
- provide natural justice to subject officers
- provide natural justice to Navantia Australia personnel
- respond to a court order, legal directive or court proceedings.
Navantia Australia will ensure that communication with all parties involved will be arranged discreetly to avoid identifying the discloser wherever possible.
Disclosers should be aware that while Navantia Australia will make every attempt to keep their details confidential, it cannot guarantee that others will not try to deduce their identity.
Navantia Australia recognises that providing appropriate support to a discloser is an important feature of effective PID management. Navantia Australia commits to providing such support.
An assessment will be undertaken to identify the support needs of the discloser. Where appropriate, a PID Support Officer will be assigned to the discloser. The PID Support Officer will assist the discloser to access information about PIDs, protections available under the PID Act and the PID management process. The PID Support Officer will proactively contact the discloser to offer support.
Information and support will be provided to the discloser until the matter is finalised.
Making a PID does not prevent reasonable management action. That means that the discloser will be continue to be managed in accordance with normal, fair and reasonable management practices during and after the handling of the PID.
Navantia Australia commits to ensure that all PIDs will be properly assessed and where relevant or required, properly investigated and dealt with. If a decision is made to investigate a PID, this will be done with consideration for the:
- principles of natural justice
- obligation under the PID Act to protect confidential information
- obligation under the PID Act to protect officers from reprisal
- interests of subject officers.
If as a result of investigation, the information about wrongdoing provided in the PID is substantiated, appropriate action will be taken.
Where the investigation does not substantiate wrongdoing, Navantia Australia will review systems, policies and procedures to identify whether there are improvements that can be made and consider if staff training is required.
Navantia Australia acknowledges that for officers who are the subject of a PID the experience may be stressful. Navantia Australia will protect their rights by:
- assuring them that the PID will be dealt with impartially, fairly and reasonably in accordance with the principles of natural justice
- confirming that the PID is an allegation only until information or evidence obtained through an investigation substantiates the allegation
- providing them with information about their rights and the progress and outcome of any investigation
- referring them to the Employee Assistance Program for support.
Information and support will be provided to a subject officer until the matter is finalised.
In accordance with its obligations under the PID Act and relevant legislation in the jurisdiction we operate, Navantia Australia will ensure that:
- accurate data is collected about the receipt and management of PIDs
- anonymised data is reported to the relevant authorities and oversight agencies.
Records about disclosures, investigations, and related decisions will be kept secure and accessible only to appropriately authorised people involved in the management of the PID.
|Administrative action |
|(a) means any action about a matter of administration, including, for example: |
(i) a decision and an act
(ii) a failure to make a decision or do an act, including a failure to provide a written statement of reasons for a decision
(iii) the formulation of a proposal or intention
(iv) the making of a recommendation, including a recommendation made to a Minister
(v) an action taken because of a recommendation made to a Minister.
|Confidential information||(a) includes: |
(i) information about the identity, occupation, residential or work address or whereabouts of a person:
(A) who makes a public interest disclosure
(B) against whom a public interest disclosure has been made
(ii) information disclosed by a public interest disclosure
(iii) information about an individual’s personal affairs
(iv) information that, if disclosed, may cause detriment to a person
(b) does not include information publicly disclosed in a public interest disclosure 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 |
|(1) Corrupt conduct means conduct of a person, regardless of whether the person holds or held an appointment, that: |
(a) adversely affects, or could adversely affect, directly or indirectly, the performance of functions or the exercise of powers of:
(i) a unit of public administration; or
(ii) a person holding an appointment; and
(b) results, or could result, directly or indirectly, in the performance of functions or the exercise of powers mentioned in paragraph (a) in a way that:
(i) is not honest or is not impartial; or
(ii) involves a breach of the trust placed in a person holding an appointment, either knowingly or recklessly; or
(iii) involves a misuse of information or material acquired in or in connection with the performance of functions or the exercise of powers of a person holding an appointment; and
(c) would, if proved, be:
(i) a criminal offence; or
(ii) a disciplinary breach providing reasonable grounds for terminating the person’s services, if the person is or were the holder of an appointment.
(2) Corrupt conduct also means conduct of a person, regardless of whether the person holds or held an appointment, that:
(a) impairs, or could impair, public confidence in public administration; and
(b) involves, or could involve, any of the following:
(i) collusive tendering
(ii) fraud relating to an application for a licence, permit or other authority under an Act with a purpose or object of any of the following (however described)
(A) protecting health or safety of persons
(B) protecting the environment
(C) protecting or managing the use of the State’s natural, cultural, mining or energy resources.
(iii) dishonestly obtaining, or helping someone to dishonestly obtain, a benefit from the payment or application of public funds or the disposition of State assets
(iv) evading a State tax, levy or duty or otherwise fraudulently causing a loss of State revenue
(v) fraudulently obtaining or retaining an appointment
(c) would, if proved, be:
(i) a criminal offence
(ii) a disciplinary breach providing reasonable grounds for terminating the person’s services, if the person is or were the holder of an appointment.
(a) personal injury or prejudice to safety
(b) property damage or loss
(c) intimidation or harassment
(d) adverse discrimination, disadvantage or adverse treatment about career, profession, employment, trade or business
(e) financial loss
(f) damage to reputation, including, for example, personal, professional or business reputation.
|Disability||As defined in section 11 of the Disability Services Act 2006, for the purposes of this procedure: |
(1) A disability is a person’s condition that:
(a) is attributable to
(i) an intellectual, psychiatric, cognitive, neurological, sensory or physical impairment; or
(ii) a combination of impairments mentioned in subparagraph (i); and
(b) results in:
(i) a substantial reduction of the person’s capacity for communication, social interaction, learning, mobility or self-care or management; and
(ii) the person needing support.
(2) For subsection (1), the impairment may result from an acquired brain injury.
(3) The disability must be permanent or likely to be permanent.
(4) The disability may be, but need not be, of a chronic episodic nature.
|A person who makes a disclosure in accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010.|
|of an entity, includes a person engaged by the entity under a contract of service.|
|Investigation||For the purposes of this procedure, investigation includes any enquiry undertaken to establish whether the information provided in a PID can be substantiated, including a review or audit.|
|a person engaged in the occupation of writing or editing material intended for publication in the print or electronic news media.|
|As defined in schedule 4 of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010, maladministration is administrative action that: |
(a) was taken contrary to law
(b) was unreasonable, unjust, oppressive, or improperly discriminatory
(c) was in accordance with a rule of law or a provision of an Act or a practice that is or may be unreasonable, unjust, oppressive, or improperly discriminatory in the particular circumstances
(d) was taken:
(i) for an improper purpose
(ii) on irrelevant grounds
(iii) having regard to irrelevant considerations.
(e) was an action for which reasons should have been given, but
were not given
(f) was based wholly or partly on a mistake of law or fact
(g) was wrong.
|Natural justice||Natural justice, also referred to as ‘procedural fairness’ applies to any decision that can affect the rights, interests or expectations of individuals in a direct or immediate way. Natural justice is at law a safeguard applying to an individual whose rights or interests are being affected. |
The rules of natural justice, which have been developed to ensure that decision-making is fair and reasonable, are:
|Organisational support||For the purposes of this procedure, organisational support means actions such as, but not limited to: |
|Proper authority |
|A person or organisation that is authorised under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 to receive disclosures.|
|Public officer |
|A public officer, of a public sector entity, is an employee, member or officer of the entity.|
|Reasonable belief||A view which is objectively fair or sensible.|
|Reasonable management action |
|Action taken by a manager in relation to an employee, includes any of the following taken by the manager: |
(a) a reasonable appraisal of the employee’s work performance;
(b) a reasonable requirement that the employee undertake counselling
(c) a reasonable suspension of the employee from the employment workplace
(d) a reasonable disciplinary action
(e) a reasonable action to transfer or deploy the employee
(f) a reasonable action to end the employee’s employment by way of redundancy or retrenchment
(g) a reasonable action in relation to an action mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (f)
(h) a reasonable action in relation to the employee’s failure to obtain a promotion, reclassification, transfer or benefit, or to retain a benefit, in relation to the employee’s employment.
|Reprisal||The term ‘reprisal’ is defined under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 as causing, attempting to cause or conspiring to cause detriment to another person in the belief that they or someone else: |
Reprisal under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 is a criminal offence and investigations may be undertaken by relevant authorities.
|Subject officer||An officer who is the subject of allegations of wrongdoing made in a disclosure.|
|Substantial and specific||Substantial means ‘of a significant or considerable degree’. It must be more than trivial or minimal and have some weight or importance. |
Specific means “precise or particular”. This refers to conduct or detriment that is able to be identified or particularised as opposed to broad or general concerns or criticisms.