By Ian Edwards
Changes to WA reporting requirements

Coming into effect on July 1 are the changes to the reporting of Serious and Minor misconduct in accordance with the WA Corruption and Crime Commission Act 2003. The changes mean that minor misconduct is no longer required to be reported to the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC), but instead must be reported to the Public Sector Commission (PSC). Our new WA workplace investigations expert Ian Edwards goes through some of the changes, and what they mean for you. Ian, a former police officer with extensive experience in workplace investigations, will be providing investigation and training services to our WA clients.

So What do the reporting Changes mean for you?
Principal officers must now determine whether a complaint is minor or serious misconduct, as defined by the Corruption and Crime Commission Amendment (Misconduct) Act 2014, and notify accordingly. The PSC advises against notifying both organisations to avoid duplication.
What is serious misconduct?
Police misconduct is, by definition, serious misconduct. Additionally, the Act defines serious misconduct as occurring when a public officer:
(a) corruptly acts or corruptly fails to act in the performance of the functions of the public officer’s office or employment; or
(b) corruptly takes advantage of the public officer’s office or employment as a public officer to obtain a benefit for himself or herself or for another person or to cause a detriment to any person; or
(c) whilst acting or purporting to act in his or her official capacity, commits an offence punishable by 2 or more years’ imprisonment.
Serious misconduct should the reported to the CCC.
what is minor misconduct?
Minor misconduct is conduct that:
i. adversely affects, or could adversely affect, directly or indirectly, the honest or impartial performance of the functions of a public authority or public officer, whether or not the public officer was acting in their public officer capacity at the time of engaging in the conduct; or
ii. constitutes or involves the performance of his or her functions in a manner that is not honest or impartial; or
iii. constitutes or involves a breach of trust placed in the public officer by reason of his or her office or employment as a public officer, or
iv. involves the misuse of information or material that the public officer has acquired in connection with his or her functions as a public officer, whether the misuse is for the benefit of the public officer or the benefit or detriment of another person and constitutes, or could constitute –
v. an offence against the Statutory Corporations (Liability of Directors) Act 1996 or any other written law; or
vi. a disciplinary offence providing reasonable grounds for the termination of a person’s office or employment as a public service officer under the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (whether or not the public officer to whom the allegation relates is a public service officer or is a person whose office or employment could be terminated on the grounds of such conduct).
Minor misconduct should be reported to the PSC.
What about misconduct that is neither serious or minor?
Does the conduct apply to a public officer? 
Only conduct of a public officer is subject to reporting responsibilities
Secondly, is it serious misconduct? 
Serious misconduct needs to be reported to the CCC.
If it is NOT serious, could the conduct lead to dismissal? 
If yes, it is likely to be minor misconduct and needs to be reported to the PSC
If it’s not serious or minor, is the conduct as alleged a breach of a code of conduct or departmental policy?
If yes, then you may still deal with the conduct alleged under disciplinary or grievance processes, but there is no obligation to report. 
Still unsure?
Should you need advice as to whether you need to make a notification and which agency you should notify, do not hesitate to contact WISE Workplace for a no-cost, no-obligation discussion.
Want to know more?
Catch our three-day Conducting Workplace Investigations – Advanced course in WA on August 18-20 for a special introductory price of $1,200 save $400!

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