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Wollongong City Council

Professional Conduct Coordinator

Council has an independent Professional Conduct Coordinator (PCC) who investigates complaints against Council staff and services.

The PCC is Council’s Public Interest Disclosures Officer, and works in line with the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994.

The PCC will investigate complaints relating to any Council staff member, contractors, consultants or volunteers across four areas:

  • Alleged corrupt conduct: the dishonest or partial exercise of official functions by a public official
  • Maladministration: action or inaction of a serious nature that is contrary to law, unreasonable, unjust, oppressive, improperly discriminatory, or based wholly or partly on improper motives
  • Serious and substantial waste of public money: the uneconomical, inefficient or ineffective use of resources that could result in the loss or waste of local government funds
  • Breaches of Council’s Code of Conduct that relate to alleged corrupt conduct, maladministration, or the serious and substantial waste of public money.

The PCC’s role does not cover the following issues:

  • Grievance and dispute procedures as set out in the Local Government State Award
  • Performance management issues
  • Complaints that are already being investigated by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), the NSW Ombudsman, NSW Police, the Minister for Local Government or Office of Local Government
  • Matters relating to the dismissal of an employee or industrial disciplinary issues
  • Matters where there is an existing remedy or right of appeal that is considered more appropriate. However, some issues may still be investigated if the remedy or right of appeal would not be likely to address corrupt behaviour, maladministration or serious and substantial waste of public money.
  • Matters concerning the actions or conduct of private individuals who were not Council employees or Councillors at the time the issue occurred.
  • Complaints about the Lord Mayor or PCC. These should be referred to Council’s General Manager
  • Complaints about the General Manager. These should be referred to the Lord Mayor.

When a complaint is received, it is first assessed by the PCC to determine if it falls under their role.

The PCC may:

  • Refer the matter to Council’s PCC Assessment Committee to decide what further action should be taken if it is something that falls within the PCC’s role.
  • Refer the issue to another part of Council for action if it is outside the PCC’s role. The PCC will advise the person who complained that this has happened.

PCC Assessment Committee

The PCC Assessment Committee includes the PCC, the General Manager, the Manager Human Resources, and the Manager Governance and Customer Service.

The PCC Committee meets monthly, or as needed, and decides how complaints that fall within the PCC’s role should be handled. The PCC Committee may:

  • Decide that the PCC should investigate
  • Refer the issue to another part of Council for action, or
  • Refer the complaint to an external agency, such as the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), NSW Ombudsman, Office of Local Government or NSW Police.

The PCC also reports back to this committee about the outcome of their investigations, and can make recommendations about the appropriate action that should be taken.

Members of the community, Council staff or Councillors can make a complaint to the PCC.

To make a complaint about suspected unethical, fraudulent or corrupt behaviour, email or call the Professional Conduct Coordinator on (02) 4227 7111.

Alternatively, you can also report issues directly to ICAC.