My Department engaged the services of a consultant, Mr Paul Snell, in one protected disclosure case since 2014 to date. The total cost associated with this consultancy was €13,530.75.My Department is committed to fostering a supportive environment for receiving protected disclosures under the 2014 Act to ensure that disclosers are confident that they can speak up about wrongdoing without fear of reprisals. In this context, my Department follows the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s Guidance under section 21(1) of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 and its key principles that:
- all disclosures of relevant wrongdoing in the workplace should, as a matter of routine, be the subject of an appropriate assessment and / or investigation
- the identity of the discloser should be adequately protected and provided that the worker discloses information relating to wrongdoing, in an appropriate manner, and based on a reasonable belief, no question of penalisation should arise.
Penalisation of workers who make a disclosure will not be tolerated and workers who feel that they are being subjected to adverse treatment are encouraged to report the matter immediately to management. If it is found following any such notifications that penalisation has occurred appropriate action will be taken and may include disciplinary action against supervisors and co-workers etc where necessary. These principles and safeguards apply in all cases of disclosures and any consultants engaged would be obliged to adhere to them.