Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BRISBANE WHISTLEBLOWER HOTLINE?
The Archdiocese of Brisbane Whistleblower Hotline is an independent and confidential service available to receive information relating to improper conduct, unlawful or unethical behaviour by anyone connected to the Archdiocese through employment, contract or appointment and supports the Archdiocese’s values and relevant Codes of Conduct.
WHAT CAN BE REPORTED?
Any breaches of the Code of Conduct, related policies, and “Reportable Conduct” which may adversely affect the Archdiocese of Brisbane, its Agencies, Parishes and Schools. Reportable Conduct includes:
- Serious improper conduct including fraudulent, corrupt, illegal, unethical conduct;
- Conduct involving gross mismanagement or a substantial mismanagement of resources;
- Repeated serious breaches of the policies and practices of the Archdiocese its Agencies, Parishes or Schools;
- Conduct seriously jeopardising risk to work health and safety or the environment;
- Conduct involving sexual abuse, abuse, harm or misconduct in relation to children or adults (*); or
- Suspicion in regard to potential or actual sexual abuse, abuse, harm or misconduct in relation to children or adults (*).
* NOTE: In all cases where there is statutory mandatory requirement to report a wrongdoing or student/client abuse/mistreatment – for example, in child protection or disability services areas, or as a condition of public funding and contracts those processes will be adhered to as part of this Policy.
WHY IS ARCHDIOCESE OF BRISBANE INTRODUCING THIS SERVICE?
The Archdiocese believes that all employees, members of religious orders, volunteers, parishioners, parents and other members of the public should be able to assist in ensuring the Archdiocese (including its Agencies, Parishes and Schools) maintains its status as an ethical organisation. The Archdiocese is adopting best practice in the area of corporate governance.
HOW DO I MAKE A REPORT?
The Archdiocese of Brisbane has engaged an independent consultant to manage the receipt, recording and reporting of serious misconduct. Stopline is an independent, confidential and impartial conduit for information that enables the reporting of corrupt or improper conduct. Stopline has people experienced in handling sensitive information from stakeholders. Details of how you can make contact are listed below.
WHO IS STOPLINE?
Stopline is an Australian company which specialises in providing integrity/whistleblowing services. It has been operating for over a decade and assists listed and private companies; local, state and Commonwealth public sector bodies and not-for-profit organisations. Further details are available at www.stopline.com.au
DO I HAVE TO GIVE MY NAME?
No. Your call to Stopline can, if you wish, be anonymous and the staff of Stopline will not ask for any personal details. You may volunteer the information anonymously to Stopline if you desire or you can be overt. If you do not wish to remain anonymous, this information may be provided to the Whistleblower Governance Officer at the Archdiocese. If you choose to remain anonymous Stopline will issue a confidential reference and password should you wish to seek the status of your disclosure at some later date. Stopline can assist at the time of your contact.
IF I MAKE A COMPLAINT REGARDING SUSPECTED MISCONDUCT, HOW WILL I BE PROTECTED?
The Archdiocese of Brisbane, its Agencies, Parishes and Schools are committed to the protection of genuine Whistleblowers against action taken in reprisal for the making of protected disclosures. Maintaining confidentiality is a crucial component of this protection. All disclosures will be treated with a high level of confidentiality. The Archdiocese of Brisbane has appointed Stopline to enhance confidentiality and anonymity within the Archdiocese with respect to Whistleblower procedures.
HOW DOES STOPLINE WORK?
Stopline enables employees, members of religious orders, volunteers, parishioners, parents and members of the public generally to report in good faith, suspected Reportable Conduct via telephone, email, internet, facsimile or mail, to an independent organisation with trained staff who will receive your concerns confidentially (anonymously if you wish) and provide the confidential information to the Whistleblower Governance Officer at the Archdiocese. The program then places procedural requirements on dealing with and finalising the outcome of the disclosure.
WHO AND WHAT IS THE WHISTLEBLOWER GOVERNANCE OFFICER?
The officer within the Archdiocese of Brisbane who is responsible for ensuring that all disclosures are handled appropriately.
The Whistleblower Governance Officer is responsible for the Archdiocese’s role in managing disclosures and being the contact point for both STOPline and the Vicar General. That person is the Financial Administrator of the Archdiocese.
WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT STOPLINE?
You can contact the Stopline when you have knowledge of any behaviour identified as Reportable Conduct by an employee, member of a religious order, volunteer, parishioner and/or contractor.
AT WHAT TIME CAN I CONTACT STOPLINE?
You can telephone the Stopline on 1300 30 45 50 (in Australia) or +61 3 9811 3275 (overseas – reverse charges) during business hours (0800 – 2000 Mon – Fri AEST) to speak with a trained Stopline interviewer. Any messages left will be responded to within one working day. You can also send your disclosure via the internet (this website), email, facsimile or mail.
AS AN EMPLOYEE, HOW DO I KNOW THAT SOMEBODY WON’T JUST MAKE SOME FALSE CLAIM TO SETTLE A PERSONAL GRUDGE?
The strength of Stopline is that all allegations will be professionally managed by trained Stopline staff. The experience of Stopline is that vexatious calls occur very infrequently. Stopline focuses on the message, not the messenger. The Whistleblower Governance Officer may decline to investigate the matter if satisfied that the disclosure is trivial, frivolous or vexatious.
WILL I BE KEPT INFORMED ABOUT THE RESULT OF MAKING A REPORT?
Yes. You will be kept advised about the status of the report, decisions made regarding how the matter is to be handled, timeframes that apply and the result of any investigation and action taken (where appropriate). If you choose to remain anonymous, you will be issued with a confidential reference and password and must initiate contact through one of the methods above to receive feedback.
IF I MAKE A REPORT, AM I LIABLE IN ANYWAY?
Where a person who makes a disclosure is implicated in the Reportable Conduct, the Archdiocese or the applicable Agency, Parish or School will use all reasonable efforts to protect the individual from reprisals; however the act of reporting Reportable Conduct may not shield the person from the reasonable consequences flowing from any involvement in serious misconduct.
WHERE ELSE CAN I OBTAIN INFORMATION ABOUT THE HOTLINE SERVICE AND RELATED POLICIES?
The Codes of Conduct for staff are available through the various internal Intranet sites maintained by the Agencies of the Archdiocese. If you do not have access to the appropriate Intranet site, you may request a copy through your manager or People and Culture representative (HR).
CAN I MAKE A COMPLAINT THROUGH STOPLINE?
No. Complaints are not items of “Reportable Conduct” and should be referred to your manager, principal, director, executive director or the Vicar General.