Protected Disclosures Act: Guidance for Public Bodies on the performance of their functions under the Act.

Issued 25 September 2015

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr. Brendan Howlin T.D., has today (25th September 2015) published for public consultation draft Guidance for public bodies on the performance of their functions under the Protected Disclosures Act.

The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 provides statutory protections for workers in all sectors of the economy against reprisals in circumstances where they disclose information relating to wrongdoing that has come to their attention in the workplace. All public bodies are obliged under the Act to have internal procedures in place for dealing with protected disclosures and made available to their workers.

Commenting on the draft Guidance, the Minister said: “Since the Protected Disclosures Act was enacted in 2014, I have noticed a strong and increasing awareness and understanding of the need for a workplace environment where raising concerns and speaking-up in situations where a worker has a reasonable belief that wrongdoing is taking place is valued.

The Guidance that I now propose to issue to public bodies is founded in, and aligned with, this objective and should be of significant further assistance to public bodies in the performance of their functions under the Act.”

The Guidance (which contains a sample Protected Disclosures Procedure) has already been the subject of written consultation with all Government departments. A consultative event was also held on it in the National Gallery in April at which a wide range of public bodies were represented.

Anyone wishing to submit their views on the Guidance may do so by forwarding them to PDconsultation@per.gov.ie by close of business onFriday 23 October, 2015. All submissions will be considered, may be published on the Department’s website and will be subject to Freedom of Information legislation. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform will then proceed to finalise the Guidance and make it available to all public bodies.