LALCs praised for providing their public interest disclosure reports 
11 April 2016 

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) congratulates Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) for their efforts in providing public interest disclosure reports to the NSW Ombudsman. 

The NSW Deputy Ombudsman Chris Wheeler has contacted NSWALC to pass on its thanks to our LALCs.

To date, 84 percent of LALCs have provided at least one public interest disclosure report to the NSW Ombudsman since January 2012 when the legislative reporting requirements commenced.

This has been described by the NSW Deputy Ombudsman as a significant improvement in reporting.

The Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 outlines a system to encourage public officials to report serious wrongdoing. 

NSWALC and LALCs have actively engaged with the NSW Ombudsman through a range of measures including regional forums to better understand the legislative requirements.

The public interest disclosure report requires LALCs to indicate whether they have a policy for receiving, assessing and dealing with such disclosures.

To assist LALCs to comply with the Act's requirement to have such a policy, the NSW Ombudsman has developed a Model internal reporting policy for LALCs.

The NSW Ombudsman recommends LALC management boards adopt the policy which is specific to the structure of LALCs and outlines the role of the CEO and chairperson in particular. 

To further raise awareness, the NSW Ombudsman has developed Fact sheet 9: Reports of serious wrongdoing - A quick guide to public interest disclosures for Local Aboriginal Land Councils.

This practical resource outlines LALC Chief Executive Officers' responsibilities when a report of serious wrongdoing is received and includes a step by step guide on how to handle reports of serious wrongdoing.

For more information about free PID training for LALCs, please contact the Community Education and Training Unit on 02 9286 1000 or email pid@ombo.nsw.gov.au