An effective public service depends on the commitment of everyone who works in it to maintain the highest possible standards of honesty, openness and accountability. The Act creates a safe avenue for public servants to speak out about wrongdoings or make complaints of reprisal. Employees covered by this legislation can choose whether to report internally or to the Public Interest Commissioner.
The chief officer is responsible for the administration of the Act within their organization including developing internal procedures for receiving and investigating disclosures of wrongdoing from employees.
The chief officer is responsible for ensuring information about the Act and procedures for reporting wrongdoing are widely communicated to employees in their organization. Chief officers also have the responsibility of preparing an annual report detailing the number of disclosures received and investigated.
A chief officer may appoint a designated officer who is responsible for receiving and investigating allegations of wrongdoing made by employees.
The outcome of an investigation by a designated officer or by the Public Interest Commissioner are ultimately reported to the chief officer. Chief officers are therefore accountable for implementing corrective measures when wrongdoing is found. In doing so, they promote public confidence in the administration of their organization.
From a greater perspective, chief officers, as heads of their organization, set the cultural tone. Chief officers are responsible for fostering an environment where employees are encouraged to come forward to report wrongdoing without fear of reprisal.