The whistleblower scheme in section 16 of the PS Act was repealed on 15 January 2014 when the PID Act commenced.
In 2013–14, I received three reports, compared to six in 2012–13. Four complaints were carried over from 2012–13, one of which was subsequently ruled invalid. The target of 70% of whistleblower reports responded to within six weeks and with any further investigations conducted promptly was largely met—there was a small delay in acknowledging one report which was complicated by applications being made in two jurisdictions. Table M10 in the appendix shows the number of cases received and finalised and the action I took in response to those cases.
The three complaints received this year from APS employees concerned two allegations of bullying and harassment and the conduct of staff in another agency during a work interaction.
All seven cases were finalised. Two inquiries were conducted which concerned allegations of bullying and harassment and victimisation against a number of employees. In both cases it was decided that there was no evidence to warrant an investigation of an APS employee for suspected breaches of the Code of Conduct, or that there were more appropriate ways for the agency to address the issue than commencing misconduct procedures. In four cases the complainant was advised to refer the matter to the relevant agency head for investigation in the first instance. The remaining case was ruled invalid as the complaint was being investigated by the agency under the review of action scheme.