Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS STOPLINE?
STOPline is an independent and confidential service for use by any person for the disclosure of suspected improper conduct by members of the UWA community. A disclosure may relate to conduct that: may be about to occur; is presently occurring; or that may have previously occurred.
WHO IS STOPLINE?
STOPline Pty. Ltd. is an Australian company that specialises in providing integrity and whistleblowing services to organisations. 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.
HOW DOES THE STOPLINE WORK?
STOPline acts as a conduit between disclosures and UWA. Trained STOPline staff facilitate the receipt and assessment of disclosures and liaise with UWA to ensure disclosures are appropriately considered. A disclosure’s personal details are never provided to UWA without the disclosure’s authorisation.
WHY IS THE UNIVERSITY INTRODUCING THIS SERVICE?
This service has been introduced as another strategy to improve the strength of UWA’s accountability framework. It is hoped that this service will enable UWA to better prevent and detect incidents of improper conduct undertaken by its community members, e.g. staff, students, contractors and associated members.
It is expected that some people may prefer to disclose sensitive information to a confidential, independent service that allows them to choose how much personal information they will provide.
STOPline staff are also professionally trained in receiving and assessing disclosures and UWA wishes to draw upon this expertise.
WHAT CAN BE REPORTED?
A disclosure may relate to conduct that: may be about to occur; is presently occurring; or that may have previously occurred. Such conduct includes breaches of UWA governing instruments, including the Code of Ethics or Code of Conduct, the Charter of Student Rights and Responsibilities, staff employment agreements, policies and procedures.These matters may also be reported directly to the Police or to UWA through its existing internal complaint resolution and public interest disclosure processes, as appropriate.
HOW DO I MAKE A REPORT?
STOPline offers a number of disclosure methods, including phone, fax, online, email and post. Details are available at: Homepage
WILL I RECEIVE A RECEIPT OF REFERENCE NUMBER?
Each disclosure is assigned a reference number. If you make your disclosure by telephone or provide your contact details, you will be advised of this reference number and provided with a password so that you can request an update on the progress of your disclosure at a later stage.
DO I HAVE TO GIVE MY NAME OR OTHER PERSONAL DETAILS TO STOPLINE?
No. You choose how much personal information you will provide and STOPline staff will not ask you for your personal details.
If you do choose to provide your personal details to STOPline, these may be provided to UWA, but only with your prior authorisation.
If you choose not to provide your personal details, the unique reference number and password for your disclosure will enable you to communicate with STOPline after your disclosure is made.
You should note that some legislation, e.g. the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (WA) only provides legislative protection to persons that identify themselves and make a disclosure to a “proper authority”, e.g. a UWA Public Interest Disclosure (PID) Officer. For more information, see UWA’s University Policy on: Public Interest Disclosures.
You should discuss any concerns regarding confidentiality with STOPline staff prior to making a disclosure.
IF I MAKE A DISCLOSURE REGARDING SUSPECTED MISCONDUCT, HOW WILL I BE PROTECTED?
STOPline and UWA endeavour to protect the identity of disclosures in accordance with the request for confidentiality.
However, if your disclosure relates to an issue that directly involves you, and you elect to remain anonymous, the circumstances that you wish to report may tend to identify you, e.g. if you claim to be the victim of workplace bullying. If this is the case, contact STOPline to discuss any risks prior to making a disclosure.
UWA does not tolerate any actual or proposed detrimental action against a person in reprisal for making, or proposing to make, a disclosure either directly to UWA or to STOPline. In such cases, UWA may pursue disciplinary action against any person who carries out such action(s) within its authority.
You should note that some legislation, e.g. the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (WA) only provides legislative protection to persons that identify themselves and make a disclosure to a “proper authority”, e.g. a UWA Public Interest Disclosure (PID) Officer. For more information, see UWA’s University Policy on: Public Interest Disclosures
HOW CAN I MAKE A DISCLOSURE TO STOPLINE?
You can call 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.
STOPline offers other disclosure methods, including fax, online, email and post. Details are available at: Homepage
AS A UWA EMPLOYEE, HOW DO I KNOW THAT SOMEBODY WON’T JUST MAKE SOME FALSE CLAIM TO SETTLE A PERSONAL GRUDGE?
While such a claim may be made to STOPline, STOPline staff are professionally trained to receive and assess disclosures. They also focus on the message, not the messenger. Disclosures referred to UWA will also be assessed by UWA and may be dismissed as being vexatious, frivolous or lacking in substance.
UWA may also pursue disciplinary action against any person who makes a vexatious disclosure,within its authority.
The experience of STOPline is that vexatious calls occur very infrequently.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER STOPLINE RECEIVES A DISCLOSURE?
It does not matter how a disclosure is made, once it reaches the experienced staff at STOPline, it is assessed by an experienced forensic investigator and a report is forwarded to UWA’s Disclosure Coordinators at the Complaint Resolution Unit (CRU). CRU staff then arrange for the disclosure to be internally assessed and managed in accordance with UWA policies and procedures.
WILL I BE KEPT INFORMED ABOUT THE PROGRESS AND OUTCOME(S) IN RELATION TO MY DISCLOSURE?
You will be advised as to whether your disclosure is referred to UWA and be provided details of the referral.
Your right to be advised of how UWA manages your disclosure and any outcomes in relation to it is determined on a case-by-case basis.
In addition, if you choose to provide your personal information to STOPline and authorise STOPline to provide this to UWA, it is possible that UWA will inform you of outcomes. This is because in some situations, UWA may not be at liberty to provide STOPline with this information. .
STOPline staff will not divulge any information relating to a disclosure unless a caller is able to provide sufficient information to identify them as the disclosure.
WILL I BE CONTACTED BY STOPLINE OR THE UNIVERSITY FOR FURTHER INFORMATION IN RELATION TO MY DISCLOSURE?
Potentially. If further information is needed to assist with the inquiry and management of your disclosure, you will likely be contacted.
If you did not authorise STOPline to provide your personal details to UWA, STOPline will act as a conduit between yourself and UWA for the purposes of managing the disclosure.
If you did authorise STOPline to provide your personal details to UWA, UWA will likely contact you directly and provide STOPline with an update regarding the management of your disclosure, with consideration to any privacy requirements.
IF I MAKE A DISCLOSURE, WILL I BE LIABLE IN ANY WAY?
You will not be liable in any way for making a disclosure in good faith and where you are not implicated in any improper conduct.
However, should you be implicated in any improper conduct, you may be subject to consequences as a result of your actions in accordance with the law or UWA policies and procedures, as applicable.
WHERE CAN I OBTAIN INFORMATION ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY’S POLICIES AND PROCESSES IN RELATION TO ANONYMOUS COMPLAINTS?
Full details are available on the University’s website at www.complaints.uwa.edu.au/anonymous