The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Whistle-blowers the subject of review

Document on whistle-blowers’ role and why they must be protected

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The report states: “When someone ‘blows the whistle’ they tell their employer, a regulator such as Audit Scotland, the Accounts Commission, Auditor General for Scotland or the police about wrongdoing that they are aware of through their work.

“Such informing is known as making a disclosure. A disclosure made under this policy must relate to something which involves an issue in the public interest and which the informant has a reasonable belief to be true.”

The report continues: “The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 introduced certain rights and safeguards for those who disclose informatio­n to a third party about alleged wrongdoing in defined circumstan­ces.

“The council is committed to the principles underlying the Act and to make sure the arrangemen­ts in place in the council are working effectivel­y.

“Employees, contracted workers or members of the council are often the first to realise that there could be something seriously wrong with the way the council is operating.”

The council report, drawn up by Jackie Clark, Perth and Kinross Council’s chief internal auditor, says the local authority has to have a formally documented counter-fraud and corruption strategy to comply with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountanc­y’s code of practice.

Ms Clark recommends that a further exercise be undertaken to “ensure” all the actions and recommenda­tions in the policies advised are being carried out.

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