Annual Report 2005-06: Probity
The protected disclosure policy that CASA established in May 2004 continued to be implemented in 2005–06. The policy lists various types of activities that may be reported, including activities that are illegal, dishonest, fraudulent, corrupt, unethical, improper, unsafe or wasteful.
Under the policy, CASA is obligated to take all lawful steps to protect the identity of a whistleblower so that they will not be subject to discrimination or victimisation of any kind. A key part of the policy is the use of an independent and confidential reporting service, known as STOPline. STOPline facilitates the receipt, recording and reporting of disclosures and is an independent, confidential and impartial conduit for disclosure of reportable conduct.
In 2005–06, six disclosures were reported to STOPline.
All CASA staff must comply with a comprehensive code of conduct as a condition of their employment or engagement. CASA’s current code of conduct was developed as a non-regulatory CEO policy in conjunction with the introduction of the CASA Certified Agreement 2006–08.
The code of conduct fully reflects the values and behaviours expected of CASA employees working within the Australian Government framework.
As a regulatory authority, CASA takes particular care to guard against actual, potential and perceived conflicts of interest among its employees. We have a well-established policy that sets out guiding principles for the consistent handling of conflict of interest issues, in accordance with CASA’s code of conduct, and procedures for declaring such conflicts. The policy applies to all personnel engaged by CASA, including permanent and temporary employees, contractors, consultants and agency staff.
All permanent and temporary employees and agency staff complete a conflict of interest declaration form on commencing work with CASA. Staff receive an annual reminder of their obligations, and must update their declarations.
For consultants and contractors, CASA’s standard contract of engagement imposes the obligation to declare any conflict of interest that may arise during the life of the contract. Senior managers are responsible for resolving conflict of interest issues to ensure that CASA’s regulatory activities are not compromised. Where a conflict of interest is declared, the regulatory duties or responsibilities of the affected individual are rearranged.
In 2005–06, CASA provided fraud awareness training for staff, in accordance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines 2002 and CASA’s fraud control plan.