When there is a suspicion of illegal, immoral, or unethical activity on the part of colleagues, it is vital that staff know what to do.

As a publicly-funded organisation, we have a duty to protect the public resources we are responsible for. Portsmouth City Council takes that responsibility seriously, and expects everyone acting on its behalf to do the same.

The council is committed to achieving the highest possible standards of openness, probity and accountability and the highest possible standards of financial integrity are expected from you, your colleagues, council members and all of those who do business with the council.

Failure to act properly with regard to public funds is not tolerated, and you are expected to report any concerns you may have.

To achieve this aim it is essential that council officers know how to report suspicions of malpractice and feel confident that they can do so in the right way.  

Provided that you raise the matter honestly, it does not matter if you are mistaken.  Anyone raising concerns in good faith will be protected and your confidentiality can be protected unless that is impossible under the law.

If you have concerns that someone is breaching the council’s Financial Rules - report it.

If you have any health and safety concerns or if something you have seen or heard as part of your work just doesn't 'feel right' - report it.

It is better to report any concerns you have as soon as possible, do not 'wait and see' if you think something is wrong. Many concerns are easily resolved but we encourage all staff to report anything they are worried about.

Reporting any concerns is easy.  You can contact our Chief Internal Auditor, or any member of the Audit Team or refer to the Policy for whom to report to:

The council also has a whistle blowing policy areas of serious concern, such as:

  •  Breach of the law or committing an offence
  •  Unauthorised or misappropriation of public funds
  •  Suspected fraudulent activities
  •  Approaches of bribery
  •  Physical or sexual abuse of clients

You can of course raise any matter anonymously, but if you do not tell us who you are it will be much more difficult for us to look into the matter.  It means we will not be able to clarify our understanding of the issues raised, or able to protect your position, or to let you know the outcome. We also will not be able to provide you with the same support and assurances.

You do not need to have firm evidence before raising a concern, but we do need as much information as possible.  The earlier you raise a concern the easier it is to resolve it.

The council’s Whistleblowing Policy sets out your rights as a whistleblower, and how the council will deal with concerns that are raised. Please visit Policy hub to see the full whistleblowing policy or again, you can contact the Internal Audit team or any of the following:

 

It is your responsibility to report any concerns you have; if in doubt, report it. 

If you believe that someone is committing fraud with regard to council tax or benefits, you should contact the Corporate Counter Fraud on:

Links

The council’s Anti-Fraud and Corruption policy can be found in Policy Hub.

The council has Financial Rules , setting out in detail the standards expected.

You can access a training course for fraud, including one specifically for managers, via MLE (Managed Learning Environment)

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