The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (the Act) enables people, employees and members of the public, to make disclosures about wrongdoing within the State public sector, Local Government and public universities without fear of reprisal. The Act aims to ensure openness and accountability in government by encouraging people to make disclosures, and protecting them when they do.
The Act allows you to disclose public interest information and provides you with protection for doing so. Making a public interest disclosure (a disclosure) enables public authorities to investigate and deal straight away with matters that may otherwise have gone unnoticed or unreported.
Making a disclosure or 'whistleblowing' is a serious matter and in many cases it will take courage and trust for people holding information to come forward.
Register of Gifts
The Local Government Act 1995 was amended on 20 October 2019 which amended the gift requirements of local government council members and CEO's.
The new requirements require council members and CEO's to declare any gift over $300 that is received as a result of their role as a council member or CEO.
Previously contributions to travel were treated separately to gifts but with the changes a contribution to travel has been incorporated into the definition of gift.
The City of Mandurah Register of Gifts is available here.
The former City of Mandurah Register of Gifts and Contributions to Travel is available here and shows gifts and travel contributions for the period March 2016 to 19 October 2019.
Inquiries should be directed to Governance Services on (08) 9550 3735 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register of Notifiable Gifts for Employees
The Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996 (the Regulations) requires the Chief Executive Officer to publish an up-to-date version of the Register of Notifiable Gifts for Employees on the City’s website.
A notifiable gift is valued between $50.00 and $300.00 or are two or more gifts with a cumulative value between $50.00 and $300.00 (where the gifts are received from the same donor within a six-month period). The gift is to an employee from a donor who is undertaking or seeking to undertake an activity involving a local government discretion or, it is reasonable to believe is intending to undertake an activity involving a local government discretion.
Gifts over the value of $300 are prohibited as per the Regulations. A gift valued below $50 may be accepted and need not be disclosed (providing the gift is not one of 2 or more gifts given by the same person within a 6-month period whereby the total value exceeds $50).
Disclosure of Electoral Gifts
Part 5A of the Local Government (Elections) Regulations 1997 requires both candidates and donors to disclose information about any electoral related gift with a value of $200 or more that that was given or promised during the disclosure period.
The Chief Executive Officer is required to establish and maintain a public electoral gift register. Disclosures will be removed three days after election Day for unsuccessful candidates and at the completion of the term of office for successful candidates.
Please note: The Electoral Gift Register is maintained in accordance with the Local Government (Elections) Regulations 1997, and in particular draw your attention to Regulation 30I:
30I. Offence to publish information in certain cases
(1) A person must not publish —
(a) any information derived from an electoral gift register unless that information constitutes a fair or accurate report or summary of information contained in the register and is published in good faith; or
(b) any comment on the facts set forth in an electoral gift register unless that comment is fair and published in good faith.
Penalty: $5 000.
(2) In subregulation (1) —
publish has the same meaning in relation to any information or comment referred to in that subregulation as it has in sections 348 and 349 of The Criminal Code 2 in relation to the publication of defamatory matter.
Electoral Gift Registers are available here and as well as available for public inspection at the City's Administration Centre.
Following each local government ordinary election, unsuccessful candidate gift disclosures are removed and successful candidate disclosures will remain on the register for the term of their office.
Enquiries should be directed to Governance Services on (08) 9550 3735 or via email email@example.com.
Register of Complaints
The Local Government Act 1995 requires a Complaint Register be maintained.
5.121. Register of certain complaints of minor breaches
(1) The complaints officer for each local government is required to maintain a register of complaints which records all complaints that result in a finding under section 5.110(2)(a) that a minor breach has occurred.
(2) The register of complaints is to include, for each recorded complaint —
(a) the name of the council member about whom the complaint is made; and
(b) the name of the person who makes the complaint; and
(c) a description of the minor breach that the standards panel finds has occurred; and
(d) details of the action taken under section 5.110(6).
(3) The CEO must publish an up to date version of the register of complaints on the local government’s official website.