ACSO call 1800 316 448
About this service

The Protected Disclosure ("Whistleblower") 'hotline' is an independent service that allows employees, contractors, service users/clients or suppliers to report any instances of improper conduct such as fraud, illegal activity, corruption or other unethical behaviour without fear of retribution or reprisal for doing so.

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ACSO's Protected Disclosure (Whistleblower) Hotline

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are PKF?

PKF Australia are a group of independent firms coming together to offer opportunities, benefits and supports to organisations in areas such as Audit and Assurance, Taxation, Recovery and Insolvency. PKF's Forensic and Risk Services offer private and public sector organisations with independent Protected Disclosure (Whistleblower) services. ACSO have engaged PKF to operate a phone line, email, web portal and mail service to provide an opportunity to employees, contractors, service users/clients or suppliers of ACSO to disclose instances of improper conduct.

Why are ACSO implementing a Protected Disclosure service?

ACSO is committed to operating at the highest standard of legal, ethical and moral behaviour and recognise that those who work with us (as an employee, contractor, service user/client or suppliers) are often the first to realise there may be something seriously wrong. Whilst ACSO have had a Whistleblower policy and process in place for some years, the implementation of a service such as that provided by PKF provides an added layer of protection to those wishing to disclose issues (discloser) without fear of reprisal or victimisation and encourages increased trust in the process. ACSO also wish to:

  • Ensure people feel their opinions and experiences are respected
  • Maximise opportunities to uncover and address improper conduct
  • Protect the organisation's reputation and financial position
  • Minimise potential loss through early detection
  • Send a clear message that ethical behaviour is fundamental to the ongoing governance of ACSO

What is improper conduct?

Improper conduct includes any action that causes or can cause harm to the organisation, employees or service users/clients including: fraud, corrupt conduct or unethical/inappropriate/illegal behaviour.

What does the Protected Disclosure (Whistleblower) Service mean for me?

The implementation of this services means that you can take control, do something and communicate your concerns or improper conduct. This service also means you have, if you wish, an increased level of privacy as PKF are entirely independent from ACSO.

Do I have to use the service?

No, you don't have to use this service. There are a range of ways in which employees, contractors, service users/clients or suppliers of ACSO can raise concerns. These may include: raising issues with direct line manager; utilisation of grievance procedures; complaint bodies e.g. Mental Health Complaints Commissioner), or; ACSO's Feedback processes.

Can I remain anonymous?

Yes, you can. You do not have to provide your name, position or contact details to PKF. If you choose to remain completely anonymous, ACSO will not be able to contact you to clarify information, provide feedback or detail outcomes of any investigation.

NOTE: whilst every measure will be taken by PKF and ACSO to ensure confidentiality, disclosers of information need to understand that they may be able to be identified due to the information provided e.g. if the discloser was the only person present during an incident.

Do I have to report?

Anyone who has a reasonable belief that improper conduct has occurred or is occurring is required to report. If improper conduct is revealed through other sources and it come to light that staff were aware but did not report, they may be subject to disciplinary action themselves.

What happens if I make a disclosure?

PKF will send a notification to an internal ACSO Disclosure Officer. The Disclosure Officer will then notify a relevant and appropriate Disclosure Owner (DO). Generally, the DO will be a member of the Executive Team. If the disclosure is about a member of the Executive, this will go to the CEO. If the disclosure is about the CEO, the report will be forwarded to the Board Chair.

The disclosure will assessed by the DO and a determination made as to whether the information warrants investigation. The DO will then allocate an investigator (internal or external) and determine the parameters of the investigation. If contact details are provided, the person who made the disclosure will be informed of progress and any outcomes of the assessment or investigation.

How can I raise an issue?

You can raise an issue/disclosure with PKF in the following ways:

  • Phone: 1800 316 448
  • Email: ACSOhotline@pkf.com.au
  • Mail: c/- Viv Mercer, Senior Investigator, PKF Integrity Services (BMNS) Pty Ltd, Level 8, 1 O'Connell Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Who will I be talking to if I call the 'hotline'?

The Protected Disclosure ("Whistleblower") hotline service is answered by an experienced investigation professional trained to extract information relevant to a disclosure. This approach has been adopted in recognition that there may only one opportunity to obtain information being provided.