The Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022 will commence operation on 1 January 2023. This new legislation makes significant changes to the operation of the legal framework for the protection of whistleblowers in Ireland, the Protected Disclosures Act 2014.
The purpose of the Act is to provide a framework within which workers can raise concerns regarding potential wrongdoing that has come to their attention in the work place in the knowledge that protections are available to them from any form of penalisation from doing so. South Dublin County Council has put in place a Policy and Procedure through which is intended to foster a culture and work environment within which workers are encouraged and supported in making reports in the knowledge that their concerns will be taken seriously, will be investigated, where appropriate, and that their confidentiality will be respected.
A wide definition of wrongdoing is contained within the Act –
- that an offence has been, is being or is likely to be committed,
- that a person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation, other than one arising under the worker’s contract of employment or other contracts whereby the worker undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services,
- that a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur,
- that the health or safety of any individual has been, is being or is likely to be endangered,
- that the environment has been, is being or is likely to be damaged,
- that unlawful or otherwise improper use of funds or resources of a public body, or of other public money, has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur,
- that an act or omission by or on behalf of a public body is oppressive, discriminatory or grossly negligent or constitutes gross mismanagement, or
- that information tending to show any matter falling within any of the preceding paragraphs has been, is being or is likely to be concealed or destroyed.
This policy applies to all South Dublin County Council workers including contractors, consultants, agency staff, former employees and interns/trainees.
The policy highlights that it is always appropriate to raise concerns when they are based on a reasonable belief irrespective of whether any wrongdoing is in fact subsequently identified and provides workers with guidance on how to raise concerns.
Protected Disclosures 2021
Section 22 of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 requires the publication of an annual report relative to Protected Disclosures received.
Pursuant to this requirement, South Dublin County Council hereby confirms that no reports were received in 2021.
Designated Officer to Receive Disclosures
In accordance with the Protected Disclosure Act 2014, the Council has appointed Cristina Hurson, Senior Executive Officer, Corporate Performance and Change Management to receive protected disclosures. Contact details for the designated officer are set out below -
Post: Senior Executive Officer, Corporate Performance and Change Management, County Hall, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Phone: 01 4149000