Freedom of Information, Privacy Protection & Public Interest Disclosures in the Northern Territory : annual report 2011-2012
Commissioner for Information and Public Interest Disclosures annual report 2011 - 12
Northern Territory. Commissioner for Information and Public Interest Disclosures
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Whistle blowing; Law and Legislation; Annual report; Periodicals
Northern Territory Government
Commissioner for Information and Public Interest Disclosures annual report; Annual Report
Office of the Information Commissioner
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Northern Territory Government
Page 6 report containing details of the improper conduct and the public bodys failure to deal with it. This report is tabled in Parliament. A disclosure which contains allegations of serious criminal behaviour is referred for information to the Police Commissioner prior to the investigation commencing. Any criminal offences identified during our investigations (apart from those in breach of the Public Interest Disclosures Act) need to be reported to and investigated by the Northern Territory Police. If, during an investigation, it becomes clear that criminal conduct has occurred, then a decision is made as to whether our investigation should continue to completion or be suspended, pending a Police investigation. In circumstances where our investigation continues, the final report may contain a recommendation that the responsible authority refers the improper conduct to the Commissioner of Police for investigation. Breaches of the Code of Conduct identified during investigations are dealt with by recommendations for the Agency to conduct their own disciplinary investigations. 2.2. Legislative amendments During this past financial year, the Childrens Commissioner joined the Commissioner for Public Employment and the Work Health Authority as a prescribed referral body as per section 22(1)(d) of the Act. This allowed the Commissioner, if considered appropriate, to refer a public interest disclosure to one of these bodies for investigation. Other legislated referral bodies include the Ombudsman, the Police Commissioner and the Auditor-General. 2.3. Functions of the Commissioner for Public Interest Disclosures The Commissioner is responsible for disclosures of improper conduct made under the Act including: assessing public interest disclosure complaints to decide whether or not they should be investigated; providing support and legislative protections to disclosers; investigating public interest disclosures; referring certain investigations to the above mentioned referral bodies and considering any objections to referral. (Note: Memoranda of Understanding have been signed with the Northern Territory Police Commissioner and the NT Ombudsman to facilitate the sharing of information as required. Memoranda of Understanding between the Commissioner and the Childrens Commissioner and the Health and Community Services Commissioner are under development)1; reporting to public bodies and to the discloser regarding the outcome of an investigation and any recommendations for change2; 1 four disclosures have been referred see section 2.5.4 2 five reports have been made to public bodies this reporting period see section 2.5.6
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