Whistleblowing and serious concerns | Oxfordshire County Council

Whistleblowing and serious concerns

Reporting serious concerns about a council service, employee, councillor or contract provider.

Suspicions of serious wrongdoing

The council, whilst making every effort to deal fairly and honestly in providing public services, acknowledges that there may be occasions when you as a member of the general public suspect or realise that there is something seriously wrong with the way in which:

  • a council service is provided or received
  • a council employee, councillor or contract provider, acts or does not act.

The wrongdoing may relate to unlawful conduct, financial malpractice and activities which are dangerous to the public or environment. Some examples of wrongdoing, which may have been or are likely to be committed:

  • miscarriage of justice
  • fraud, corruption, theft or misuse of public funds
  • pollution
  • discrimination (gender, race or disability)
  • physical or verbal abuse
  • breaches of health and safety
  • deliberately concealing (or attempting to) information to pervert justice
  • breaches of the council's Constitution
  • abuse/misuse of power.

The council recognises the need to encourage all members of the public who have serious concerns to come forward and let them be known. To provide an assurance to you, the council has developed a whistleblowing policy (a copy can be downloaded at the bottom of the page), which reaffirms this commitment. We would rather that you raised your concerns at an early stage rather than wait for concrete evidence. If in doubt - raise it!

Whistleblowing policy

The aim of the Whistleblowing policy - arrangements for the public (pdf format, 61 KB) is for you as a member of the public to:

  • feel confident in raising serious concerns
  • receive a response to your raised concern and details of any action taken as a results
  • be reassured that if you raise any serious concerns in good faith and reasonably believe them to be true, you will be protected from possible reprisals or victimisation.

How to contact us

If you have any serious concerns of this nature, we would prefer you to put them in writing; you can contact the council by the following means:

Whistleblowing
Oxfordshire County Council
Internal Audit
County Hall
Oxford
OX1 1TH

24 hour telephone line: 01865 323200

How we will treat your concern

The council acknowledges that you may have personal difficulties in raising serious concerns. However, no matter which method you use to contact us your concerns will be treated on a need-to-know basis.

This policy strongly encourages you to put your name to your raised concern. Concerns expressed anonymously will be much more difficult for us to look into or to protect your position or to give you feedback. Concerns raised anonymously are much less powerful and less likely to be effective, but they will be considered at the discretion of the council.

In exercising discretion, the factors to be taken into account would include the:

  • seriousness of the issues raised
  • credibility and plausibility of the concern
  • likelihood of confirming the raised concerns from the known sources.

Other complaints procedures

The council also has in place arrangements for dealing with:

Last reviewed
02 September 2016
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