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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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 10 2.5.1. The number and kinds of public interest disclosures made During 2011-12, this Office handled 70 disclosure complaints. Of these, 46 were new disclosures. Ten of those matters were referred to the Commissioner by responsible Chief Executives (who are required to refer any public interest disclosure made to them within 14 days.) This is a pleasing increase on the two matters received from Chief Executives the previous year, no doubt a result of the education and training program. The disclosures received related to a wide variety of allegations of improper conduct. Most allegations were about one specific act of improper conduct. A few however involved several different alleged acts of improper conduct and in others, several public officers were allegedly involved. Over 79% of the disclosures related to alleged incidents either ongoing or occurring less than 12 months prior to the disclosure being made. Improper Conduct Improper conduct under the Act can be defined as serious misconduct. It includes conduct which would constitute a criminal offence or provide reasonable grounds for terminating the employment of the public officer because they are: seeking or accepting a bribe or other improper inducement involved in any other form of dishonesty showing inappropriate bias guilty of a breach of public trust misusing public information Improper conduct also includes: substantial misuse or mismanagement of public resources substantial risk to public health or safety substantial risk to the environment substantial maladministration that specifically, substantially and adversely affects someones interests whether or not the conduct constitutes a criminal offence or would provide reasonable grounds for terminating the services of the public officer. A substantial risk or misuse means it must be significant or considerable. Finally, improper conduct includes an act of reprisal (e.g. sacking a whistleblower because of their disclosure) or a conspiracy or attempt to engage in improper conduct that constitutes a criminal offence.
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