Policy Complaints about the Vice Chancellor Procedure

Complaints about the Vice Chancellor Procedure


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Intent

This procedure outlines how the University will action a complaint that is suspected to involve, or may involve, corrupt conduct of the Vice Chancellor and President. This procedure enables the University to comply with s48A of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (CC Act); promote public confidence in the way suspected corrupt conduct of the Vice Chancellor is dealt with; and promote accountability, integrity and transparency in matters to do with public officials.

Scope

The University is a unit of public administration under the CC Act and the Vice Chancellor and President is the public official of the University as defined by the CC Act.

This procedure applies:

  1. if there are grounds to suspect that a complaint may involve corrupt conduct of the Vice Chancellor and President of the University;
  2. to all staff employed under the JCU Enterprise Agreement, whether they are continuing, fixed-term, temporary or casual appointments, including senior management, executive, academic, professional and technical, and conjoint appointments;
  3. to members of the University Council and its Committees; and
  4. to all contractors and volunteers (such as adjunct staff, work-experience people or external consultants who may be working at the University).

Definitions

Except as otherwise specified in this Procedure or the Code of Conduct, the meaning of terms used are as per the Policy Glossary.

Corrupt Conduct

As defined in section 15 of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001:

(1) Corrupt conduct means conduct of a person, regardless of whether the person holds or held an appointment, that:

(a) adversely affects, or could adversely affect, directly or indirectly, the performance of functions or the exercise of powers of:

(i) a unit of public administration; or

(ii) a person holding an appointment; and

(b) results, or could result, directly or indirectly, in the performance of functions or the exercise of powers mentioned in paragraph (a) in a way that:

(i) is not honest or is not impartial; or

(ii) involves a breach of the trust placed in a person holding an appointment, either knowingly or recklessly; or

(iii) involves a misuse of information or material acquired in or in connection with the performance of functions or the exercise of powers of a person holding an appointment; and

(c) would, if proved be:

(i) a criminal offence; or

(ii) a disciplinary breach providing reasonable grounds for terminating the person’s services, if the person is or were the holder of an appointment.

(2) Corrupt conduct also means conduct of a person, regardless of whether the person holds or held an appointment, that -

(a) impairs, or could impair, public confidence in public administration; and

(b) involves, or could involve, any of the following:

(i) collusive tendering;

(ii) fraud relating to an application for a licence, permit or other authority under an Act with a purpose or object of any of the following (however described):

(A) protecting health or safety of persons;

(B) protecting the environment;

(C) protecting or managing the use of the State’s natural, cultural, mining or energy resources;

(iii) dishonestly obtaining, or helping someone to dishonestly obtain, a benefit from the payment or application of public funds or the disposition of State assets;

(iv) evading a State tax, levy or duty or otherwise fraudulently causing a loss of State revenue;

(v) fraudulently obtaining or retaining an appointment; and

(c) would, if proved, be:

(i) a criminal offence; or

(ii) a disciplinary breach providing reasonable grounds for terminating the person’s services, if the person is or were  the holder of an appointment.

Crime and Corruption Commission

The Commission continued in existence under the Crime and Corruption Act 2001.

Nominated Person

The Chancellor of the University is the nominated person to notify the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) of the complaint and to deal with the complaint under the CC Act

Public Official

The public official means the chief executive officer of a unit of public administration. At JCU, this means the Vice Chancellor and President.

Third Party

For the purposes of this procedure, third parties include adjunct staff, contractors and consultants of the University and its controlled entities.

1. Application and nominated person

1.1  All staff, including the Vice Chancellor, are required to comply with University policy, including the Code of Conduct which sets out the standards of behaviour expected of staff. Staff members who are aware of any activity or incident that they consider is wrongdoing or which would adversely impact on the operation of the University are encouraged to report the behaviour.

1.2  A complaint of corrupt conduct against the Vice Chancellor may also constitute a Public Interest Disclosure and afford the discloser certain protections under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (see the Public Interest Disclosure Procedure).

1.3  Having regard to s48A (2) and (3) of the CC Act, the Chancellor of the University is the nominated person to notify the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) of the complaint and to deal with the complaint under the CC Act. Therefore, any reference to the Public Official/CEO in the CC Act references the Chancellor for the purposes of dealing with a complaint about the Vice Chancellor.

2. Complaints about the Vice Chancellor and President

2.1  If a complaint involves a reasonable suspicion or an allegation of corrupt conduct of the Vice Chancellor of the University, the complaint may be reported:

  • by email to the Chancellor of the University (email: chancellor@jcu.edu.au); or
  • by mail to:   Chancellor
    James Cook University,
    Townsville   QLD   4811
  • or a person to whom there is an obligation to report corruption under another Act.

2.2  If there is uncertainty about whether or not a complaint should be reported, it is best to report it to the Chancellor.

2.3  If the Chancellor reasonably suspects the complaint may involve corrupt conduct of the Vice Chancellor, the Chancellor will:

2.3.1  notify the CCC of the complaint, and

2.3.2  deal with the complaint, subject to the CCC’s monitoring role, when:

  • directions issued under s40 of the CC Act apply to the complaint, if any, or
  • pursuant to s46 of the CC Act, the CCC refers the complaint to the Chancellor to deal with.

2.4  If a complaint is received by the Vice Chancellor and they reasonably suspect that a complaint may involve corrupt conduct on their part, the Vice Chancellor must:

2.4.1  report the complaint to the Chancellor as soon as practicable and may also notify the CCC, and

2.4.2  take no further action to deal with the complaint unless requested to do so by the Chancellor.

2.5  If directions issued by the Commission under s40 of the CC Act apply, the Chancellor is to deal with the complaint and the Vice Chancellor is to take no further action to deal with the complaint unless requested to do so by the Chancellor.

3. Resourcing the Chancellor

3.1  If, pursuant to ss40 or 46 of the CC Act, the Chancellor has responsibility to deal with the complaint:

3.1.1  the University will ensure that sufficient resources are available to the Chancellor to enable the Chancellor to deal with the complaint appropriately, and

3.1.2  the Chancellor is to ensure that consultations, if any, for the purpose of securing resources sufficient to deal with the complaint appropriately are confidential and are not disclosed, other than to the CCC, without:

  • authorisation under a law of the Commonwealth or the State, or
  • the consent of the Chancellor.

3.1.3  the Chancellor must, at all times, use best endeavours to act independently, impartially and fairly having regard to the:

  • purposes of the CC Act
  • the importance of promoting public confidence in the way suspected corrupt conduct in the University is dealt with, and
  • the University’s statutory, policy and procedural framework.

3.2  In dealing with the complaint, the Chancellor:

3.2.1  is delegated the same authority, functions and powers as the Vice-Chancellor and President to direct and control staff of the University as if the Chancellor is the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University, for the purposes of dealing with the complaint only;

3.2.2 is delegated the same authority, functions and powers as the Vice Chancellor to enter into contracts on behalf of the University for the purpose of dealing with the complaint;

3.2.3 does not have any authority, function or power that cannot – under the law of the Commonwealth or the State – be delegated by either the University Council or the Vice Chancellor.

4. Liaising with the Crime and Corruption Commission

4.1  The Vice Chancellor is to keep the CCC informed of the contact details for the Vice Chancellor and the Chancellor, and any proposed changes to this procedure.

5. Consultation with the Crime and Corruption Commission

5.1  The Vice-Chancellor and President will consult with the CCC when preparing any procedure about how the University will deal with a complaint that involves or may involve corrupt conduct of the Vice-Chancellor and President.

6. Record Keeping and Reporting

6.1  Where the complaint may also be determined to be a PID, in accordance with its obligations under the PID Act and the Public Records Act 2002, the University will ensure that accurate data is collected about the receipt and management of all PIDs (as per the Public Interest Disclosure Procedure).

Related documents and legislation

Code of Conduct  (Staff)

Code of Conduct - University Council

Reportable Gifts Policy

Conflict of Interests - University Council Policy

Public Interest Disclosure Procedure

Crime and Corruption Act 2001

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010

Public Interest Disclosure Standard No 2/2019

Public Records Act 2002

Public Sector Ethics Act 1994


Administration

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

Vice Chancellor

Approval Authority

Vice Chancellor

Date for next review

12/06/2022

Revision History

Version

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

19-1

12/06/2019

25/06/2019

Procedure established in compliance with s48a of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (Qld) to provide a process for raising a complaint about the Vice Chancellor.

Vanessa Cannon, Chief of Staff

Contact person:

Chief of Staff

Keywords

Conduct, public interest, corruption, complaint