CAIN Update – 26 May 2016

Items of interest for the Complaints, Accountability, Integrity Network


Whistling while they work 2: Improving managerial responses to whistleblowing in public and private sector organisations
"The project is home to two major surveys, for any organisation wanting to establish whether your whistleblowing or 'speak up' policies meet current best practice; whether they are actually working; and if not, why not. It comprises:

  • a threshold Survey of Organisational Processes and Procedures;
  • Integrity@ WERQ, a major survey of staff, managers and systems.

The surveys are for any organisation: public sector, private sector or not-for-profit.
Join the project and contribute to a better understanding of how the benefits of whistleblowing can be realised – for your own organisation, and for society as a whole."
Led by Griffith University's Centre for Governance & Public Policy, May 2016

Complaint resolution

A guide to complaints resolution
The Health & Community Services Complaints Commissioner has recently published a Complaints Resolution Guide. It is supported by training materials relating to Communication Skills and Complaints and Complaint Handling for Managers.
NT Health & Community Services Complaints Commissioner, 2016

Accepting gifts & benefits

Accepting Gifts, Benefits & Hospitality: Policy Framework for the NTPS
To facilitate agency development and review of individual guidelines and policies on acceptance of gifts, benefits and hospitality, the NT Ombudsman has developed a Framework, in co-operation with the Department of the Chief Minister, the Department of Lands, Planning and the Environment and the Department of Infrastructure. The Framework is intended to provide a broad structure to help government agencies identify what issues they should consider in the development and review of appropriate guidelines/policies and provide some background to inform that process.
NT Ombudsman, May 2016

Stakeholder engagement

Successes and unintended consequences of the Northern Territory's smoke-free prisons policy: results from a process evaluation
"In 2013, the NT was the first Australian jurisdiction to introduce a smoke-free policy for all correctional facilities. This is a report on a process evaluation to identify what worked well, key challenges and unintended consequences. The report found that a long lead-in time, collaborative planning and a comprehensive communication strategy were vital for generating support for the policy and ensuring a smooth transition, with no riots or major incidents. It concludes that a comprehensive approach to creating support among staff and prisoners is important for smooth implementation of policies for smokefree prisons and planning should include assessment of prisoners' preferred form of cessation support and strategies to minimise NRT diversion."
M Heflera, R Hopkins and DP Thomas, Public Health Research and Practice, April 2016

Natural Justice

The continuous rise of the rules of natural justice
A slide presentation providing a concise overview of the rules of natural justice including recent cases that point to a need to provide a high level of documentary disclosure whether or not information is adverse and discuss the situation when an allegation of bias relates to officers involved in the process but not as the final decision-maker. The cases highlight that a wide range of factors appear to be relevant where an accused party is facing a significant adverse employment/career outcome.
B Dunphy, Partner Clayton Utz, May 2016

Public servants

Silencing public servants - podcast
"The Fair Work Commission has ruled that Centrelink's decision to sack an employee for anonymous posts critical of the Department on a discussion group was a "gross intrusion on the private lives of public servants". The Department is now appealing. What a public servant is free to say is now being fought in the courts."
ABC RN, May 2016

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