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Whistleblowing Policy

How the Combined Authority will Respond

  1. Within ten working days of a concern being raised, the Monitoring Officer or Head of Internal Audit will write to you acknowledging that the concern has been received indicating how we propose to deal with the matter, giving an estimate of how long it will take to provide a final response, telling you whether any initial enquiries have been made, supplying you with information on staff support mechanisms and telling you whether further investigations will take place, and if not, why not. Do not forget that testing out your concerns is not the same as either accepting or rejecting them.
  2. Where appropriate, the matters raised may be investigated by management, internal audit, or through the disciplinary process, be referred to the police, be referred to the external auditor or form the subject of an independent inquiry.
  3. In order to protect individuals and those accused of misdeeds or possible malpractice, initial enquiries will be made to decide whether an investigation is appropriate and, if so, what form it should take. The overriding principle, which the Combined Authority has in mind, is the public interest. Concerns or allegations which fall within the scope of specific procedures (for example, harassment or discrimination issues) will normally be referred for consideration under those procedures.
  4. Some concerns may be resolved by agreed action without the need for investigation. If urgent action is required this will be taken before any investigation is conducted.
  5. The amount of contact between the officers considering the issues and you will depend on the nature of the matters raised, the potential difficulties involved and the clarity of the information provided. If necessary, the Combined Authority will seek further information from you.
  6. Where any meeting is arranged, off-site if you so wish, you can be accompanied by a union or professional association representative, or a friend.
  7. The Combined Authority will take steps to minimise any difficulties which you may experience as a result of raising a concern. For instance, if you are required to give evidence in criminal or disciplinary proceedings the Combined Authority will arrange for you to receive advice about the procedure.
  8. The Combined Authority accepts that you need to be assured that the matter has been properly addressed. Thus, subject to legal constraints, we will inform you of the outcome of any investigation.