Why does the University have these policies?
The University has had these types of policies for a long time. It is required to have them to support its broader legal obligations as a NSW public agency and to ensure good governance. The University is established by New South Wales legislation: the University of Sydney Act 1989. This brings it within the jurisdiction of New South Wales, and means that the University is considered to be a ‘public agency’. For example, we are required to report corrupt conduct to the ICAC under Section 11 of the ICAC Act 1988, and, in 2012, as a result of changes to the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 (previously the Protected Disclosures Act 1994), became required to report the number of public interest disclosures we receive to the NSW Ombudsman. We are now also required to report this in our annual report.
The New South Wales laws that govern the University in relation to 'reporting wrongdoing' include:
- Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 - defines corrupt conduct in Section 8, and in Section 11 sets out public agency obligations to report it
- Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 – requires public agencies to handle particular types of reports of wrongdoing, called 'public interest disclosures', in prescribed ways
The University’s Reporting Wrongdoing Policy 2012 and Reports of Wrongdoing – Investigation Procedures 2012, meet the requirements of this legislation.
Further information is available on these websites:
- NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)
- NSW Ombudsman
- Watch a video produced by the New South Wales Ombudsman to raise awareness about public interest disclosures and the reporting of wrongdoing.