Under the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct (CCM) Act, the Vice-Chancellor has obligations to both the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) and the Public Sector Commission (PSC) in relation to the reporting of suspected misconduct by staff.
What is misconduct for reporting purposes?
The CCM Act defines two types of misconduct - Serious and Minor:
SERIOUS MISCONDUCT is when a public officer i.e. a staff member:
- acts corruptly or corruptly fails to act in the course of their duties; OR
- corruptly takes advantage of their position for the benefit or detriment of any person; OR
- commits an offence which carries a penalty of two or more years.
Some examples include abuse of public office, blackmail, bribery, deliberately releasing confidential information, extortion, obtaining or offering a secret commission, fraud or stealing, forgery or perverting the course of justice. A more comprehensive list is included here.
MINOR MISCONDUCT is behaviour by a public officer which:
- adversely affects the honest or impartial performance of the functions of a public authority or public officer; OR
- involves the performance of functions in a manner that is not honest or impartial; OR
- involves a breach of the trust placed in the public officer; OR
- involves the misuse of information or material that the public officer has acquired in connection with their functions as a public officer, whether the misuse is for the benefit of the public officer or the benefit or detriment of another person.
and is significant enough to give grounds for termination as a public officer under the Public Sector Management Act (whether or not the public officer to whom the allegation relates is a public service officer or is a person whose office or employment could be terminated on the grounds of such conduct).
Why the distinction between serious and minor misconduct?
If there is reasonable suspicion of misconduct or that which may be misconduct, the Vice-Chancellor is required to report:
- serious misconduct matters to the CCC; and
- minor misconduct matters to the PSC.
In both cases however, to be reportable to either agency, there must first be reasonable grounds for making a notification. This will usually require some form of preliminary enquiry to be conducted to determine relevant facts and circumstances.
Can anyone report misconduct matters to these agencies?
Yes, but we would prefer that if you suspect that a particular matter is of a sufficiently serious nature that it would warrant reporting to these external agencies, you first contact your line manager or Executive Manager, and notify the ISU (if not already done so) either by calling 1800 907 998 or 9266 9184, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or formally lodging your complaint via the ISU Complaints Portal.
Once notified to the ISU, the alleged misconduct will be assessed by the Director ISU and considered by the Vice-Chancellor before deciding whether a report should be made to the relevant agency.
In addition, no attempt should be made to address these matters locally before contacting the ISU. With criminal and corrupt matters in particular, a key consideration is the need to avoid prejudicing the criminal process.
Should you wish to contact these agencies directly, please refer to the External Complaint Mechanisms web page for contact details.
Where can I get more information?
To get more information on serious misconduct reporting and processes, please refer to this CCC website.
The following CCC fact sheets provide detailed information on the above subject matter:
- Fact Sheet 1: About the CCC
- Fact Sheet 2: Definition of Serious Misconduct
- Fact Sheet 3: Reporting Serious Misconduct
- Fact Sheet 4: Definition of a Public Officer
To get more information on minor misconduct reporting and processes, please refer to this PSC website.
The following PSC fact sheets provide detailed information on the above subject matter:
- Fact Sheet 1: What is minor misconduct?
- Fact Sheet 2: What is a public authority and who is a public officer?
- Fact Sheet 3: Notification by principal officers
- Fact Sheet 4: I think it's misconduct. What should I do?
- Fact Sheet 5: Promoting integrity in public authorities
A copy of the CCM Act is available here.