The Commission continues to offer a range of training sessions, information resources and advisory services designed to assist public authorities to understand their obligations under the PSM Act, the CCM Act and the PID Act, and to build ethical cultures.
Advisory and consulting services
Our advisory line service assists individuals and public authorities with enquiries regarding a variety of conduct, integrity and ethical issues. During the year, the advisory line responded to or initiated 3677 enquiries, of which 272 consultations were specifically related to minor misconduct or integrity matters and 157 related specifically to public interest disclosure matters. We also completed 22 peer reviews of agency codes of conduct and conduct-related policies and procedures.
Capacity building and information sharing
Conduct and integrity related content was delivered to 467 attendees in 26 sessions through our existing ‘Public interest disclosure (PID)’, ‘Accountable and ethical decision making’, ‘Integrity in recruitment’ and ‘Managing breach of standards claims’ sessions.
Reflecting on the experience of other public authorities and past integrity risks can assist public authorities to mitigate similar risks in future. In 2016/17, we delivered 15 ‘Notification and reflection on the past year’ sessions to 385 public officers throughout regional WA, the metropolitan area and online.
We also hosted a ‘Community in Practice Forum’ at which 58 public officers were able to engage with a panel of experienced governance practitioners from across local government, universities, GTEs and other agencies.
To support managers to understand their role in preventing misconduct, we also launched ‘Misconduct prevention: An introductory workshop for managers’. To accompany this, 16 workshops were delivered to 285 managers and senior leaders across the metropolitan area and regional WA.
As part of our integrity promotion role, we support authorities to understand and meet their obligations under the PID Act. This includes assisting public authorities to develop their PID procedures, distributing a range of information resources, and delivering specialist training to PID officers. In 2016/17, we delivered 10 ‘Navigating the Public Interest Disclosure Act’ sessions to 131 participants and two general awareness sessions on behalf of public authorities to 42 participants. We also completed two peer reviews of public authorities’ PID procedures.
Partnering to build integrity
We provided input to ‘Whistling While They Work 2’, a research project led by Griffith University. As the lead partner agency for WA, we facilitated survey responses from 61 public authorities across the local government and public sectors. The project marks the first ever survey to collect data on whistleblowing processes in a consistent way across organisations from a full range of sectors in Australia and New Zealand.
The first stage of the survey measured the relative strength of organisational processes for responding to staff wrongdoing concerns. We anticipate once the research is finalised it will provide an invaluable snapshot of the effectiveness of whistleblowing practices. Findings from the project will inform our disclosures resources into the future.
Our focus | Building public officers' capability for ethical decision making
Public officers work in a dynamic and ever-changing environment, with increasing scrutiny on decision-making from Parliament, the media and the community.
The ‘Accountable and ethical decision making’ (AEDM) training program is the Commission’s flagship ethics training package which has been integrated into the WA public sector since 2008.
The training is designed to assist public officers to: understand the accountability framework and how to navigate it; understand what it means to act in the public interest; find answers to ethical dilemmas that may arise in their daily work; and explain the standards of conduct expected of them.
We maintain and provide the program’s curriculum and associated resources, but encourage public authorities to tailor the program according to their own integrity risk areas and business context. We also provide assistance to public authorities in relation to AEDM and the development of ethics training.
As part of our increased oversight, prevention and education responsibilities beyond the public sector, we tailored the AEDM program for a range of stakeholders including government boards and committees, ministerial offices and local governments.
The tailored program for local governments—while not mandatory—establishes some consistency in approach for educating local government employees about their ethical responsibilities.
During the next reporting year, we intend to explore the development of AEDM for the university sector, which has its own unique accountability and integrity risks to be managed.
Page last updated 14 September 2017