Agenda Item No. 6(b)
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
COUNCIL MEETING: 7 MAY 2014
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 24 MARCH 2014
C2254 WHISTLE BLOWING POLICY AND PROCEDURES (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –
Approval was sought for the proposed revision of the Council's Whistle blowing Policy and associated procedures to be adopted within the Council. The Council’s Whistle blowing Policy was intended to encourage and enable employees to raise concerns with the Council without fear of victimisation, subsequent discrimination or embarrassment. The current version of the Whistle blowing Policy was attached at Appendix A to the report and the draft amended Whistle blowing Policy was attached at Appendix B to the report. The, Whistle blowing Policy played an important part in meeting the Council’s commitment to openness, honesty and ethical propriety and complimented the objectives of a number of other Council's policies that supported the Council's Anti-Fraud and Bribery Policy and the Code of Conduct for Qualifying Employees of the Council.
At the meeting of full Council on the 26th day of June 2013 it was agreed to undertake a full review of the Council's Constitution. The Council had set up a cross party member's working party who meet regularly to discuss the review of the Council's Constitution. The amended draft policy had been referred to the relevant Heads of Service and the recognised Trade Unions for consultation with a view to the policy being adopted as part of the Council's Constitution.
A review of the Council's existing Whistle blowing Policy was considered necessary to ensure that it reflected the recent legislative changes, to update the contact details and to respond to the recommendations made following the completion of an internal Audit report that was carried out in August 2013. The new draft Policy included additional provisions including guidance for workers and their line managers to assist them in reporting the concern under the Whistle blowing Policy and progressing this within the Council. In addition revision be included in the new draft Policy which affords protection for the "Whistle Blower" which can be achieved subject to the disclosure meeting the public interest test along with guidance for the "Whistle Blower" to raise their concerns externally, if appropriate and where to obtain free confidential and independent legal advice.
In presenting this item the Leader highlighted a change that needed to be made to appendix B attached to the report. Under the heading additional standards at paragraph 2 on page 3 of Appendix B it read,
'It is important for staff to be made aware that they can only make a public disclosure in certain circumstances’
The Leader commented that the word 'public’ above should be amended to read 'protected’.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the amended Whistle blowing Policy (including the Leaders change above) as attached at Appendix B to the report, its administration and the reporting procedures be approved.
(2) T H A T the draft Whistle blowing Policy be referred to a meeting of full Council for inclusion in the Council's Constitution.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To facilitate the implementation of a new Whistle blowing Policy to ensure that the Council had an effective framework for managing confidential reporting.
(2) In order for Council to approve and adopt an up to date Whistle blowing Policy and revised procedures in its constitution.