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Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE PACIFIC NATIONAL WHISTLEBLOWER HOTLINE?

The Pacific National Whistleblower Hotline is an independent and confidential service available to receive information relating to improper conduct, unlawful or unethical behaviour and supports Pacific National’s values and Code of Conduct.

WHAT CAN BE REPORTED?

Any suspected conduct which is:

  • in breach of the Code;
  • illegal, dishonest, fraudulent or corrupt;
  • in breach of legal obligations (e.g. legislation);
  • in serious breach of internal policy;
  • unethical, such as dishonestly altering company records or data, adopting questionable accounting and taxation practices;
  • unsafe and may cause serious harm to the public, the environment or the health and safety of any Pacific National person; and/or
  • any other conduct which represents misconduct or an improper state of affairs in relation to Pacific National, causes or may cause financial or non-financial loss to Pacific National or damages its reputation or is otherwise detrimental to Pacific National’s interests.

The Pacific National Whistleblower Hotline should not be used to report personal work-related grievances (See Whistleblower policy for full details).

WHY IS PACIFIC NATIONAL INTRODUCING THIS SERVICE?

Pacific National believes that all employees and other stakeholders should be able to assist in ensuring Pacific National maintains its status as an ethical business. Pacific National is adopting best practice in this aspect of corporate governance and will be compliant with international and Australian corporate governance standards.

HOW DO I MAKE A REPORT?

Pacific National has engaged an independent consultant to manage the receipt, recording and reporting of serious misconduct. Stopline is an independent, confidential and impartial conduit for information that enables the reporting of corrupt or improper conduct. Stopline has people experienced in handling sensitive information from stakeholders. Details of how you can make contact are found here.

WHO IS STOPLINE?

Stopline is an Australian Company which specialises in providing integrity/whistleblowing services. It has been operating for over a decade and assists listed and private companies; local, state and Commonwealth public sector bodies and not-for-profit organisations. Further details are available at Stopline.

DO I HAVE TO GIVE MY NAME?

No. Your call to Stopline can, if you wish, be anonymous and the staff of Stopline will not ask for any personal details. You may volunteer the information anonymously to Stopline if you desire or you can be overt. If you do not wish to remain anonymous, your identity will only be provided to the Whistleblowing Committee at Pacific National where you consent. If you choose to remain anonymous Stopline will issue a confidential reference and password should you wish to seek the status of your disclosure at some later date. The Whistleblowing Policy sets out further information on how Pacific National will protect your confidentiality and protect you from detrimental conduct.

IF I MAKE A COMPLAINT REGARDING SUSPECTED MISCONDUCT, HOW WILL I BE PROTECTED?

Pacific National is committed to the protection of genuine Whistleblowers against action taken in reprisal for the making of protected disclosures. Maintaining confidentiality is a crucial component of this protection. All disclosures will be treated with a high level of confidentiality. Pacific National has appointed Stopline to enhance confidentiality and anonymity within Pacific National with respect to Whistleblower procedures.

HOW DOES STOPLINE WORK?

Stopline enables employees, contractors and stakeholders to report suspected misconduct via telephone, email, internet, facsimile or mail, to an independent organisation with trained staff who will receive your concerns confidentially (anonymously if you wish) and provide the confidential information to the Whistleblowing Committee at Pacific National. The program then places procedural requirements on dealing with and finalising the outcome of the disclosure.

WHO AND WHAT IS THE DISCLOSURE OFFICER?

The Whistleblowing Committee within Pacific National is responsible for ensuring that all serious complaints are handled appropriately. The Whistelblowing Committee is responsible for Pacific National’s role in managing disclosures and being the contact point for both Stopline and the Pacific National Board. The Whistleblowing Committee also oversees investigations and compliance with the Whistleblower Policy.

WHEN SHOULD I CONTACT THE STOPLINE?

You can contact the Stopline when you have knowledge of any suspected conduct which is:

  • in breach of the Code;
  • illegal, dishonest, fraudulent or corrupt;
  • in breach of legal obligations (e.g. legislation);
  • in serious breach of internal policy;
  • unethical, such as dishonestly altering company records or data, adopting questionable accounting and taxation practices;
  • unsafe and may cause serious harm to the public, the environment or the health and safety of any Pacific National person; and/or
  • any other conduct which represents misconduct or an improper state of affairs in relation to Pacific National, causes or may cause financial or non-financial loss to Pacific National or damages its reputation or is otherwise detrimental to Pacific National’s interests.

The Pacific National Whistleblower Hotline should not be used to report personal work-related grievances (See Whistleblower policy for full details). These matters should be reported under the Grievance Resolution Policy. If you are unsure whether a matter is Reportable Conduct, please contact  Stopline or the Whistleblower Committee.

AT WHAT TIME CAN I CONTACT STOPLINE?

You can telephone the Stopline on 1300 30 45 50 (in Australia) or +61 3 9811 3275 (overseas – reverse charges) during business hours (0800 – 2000 Mon – Fri AEST) to speak with a trained Stopline interviewer. Any messages left will be responded to within one working day. You can also send your disclosure via the internet (this website), email, facsimile or mail.

AS AN EMPLOYEE, HOW DO I KNOW THAT SOMEBODY WON’T JUST MAKE SOME FALSE CLAIM TO SETTLE A PERSONAL GRUDGE?

The strength of Stopline is that all allegations will be professionally managed by trained Stopline staff. The experience of Stopline is that vexatious calls occur very infrequently. Stopline focuses on the message, not the messenger. The Whistleblowing Committee may decline to investigate the matter if satisfied that the disclosure is trivial, frivolous or vexatious.

WILL I BE KEPT INFORMED ABOUT THE RESULT OF MAKING A REPORT?

Yes. You will be kept advised about the status of the report, decisions made regarding how the matter is to be handled, timeframes that apply and the result of any investigation and action taken. If you choose to remain anonymous, you will be issued with a confidential reference and password and must initiate contact through one of the methods above to receive feedback.

IF I MAKE A REPORT, AM I LIABLE IN ANYWAY?

Where a person who makes a disclosure is implicated in the misconduct, Pacific National will use all reasonable efforts to protect the individual from reprisals; however the act of reporting improper conduct may not shield the person from the reasonable consequences flowing from any involvement in serious misconduct.

WHERE ELSE CAN I OBTAIN INFORMATION ABOUT THE HOTLINE SERVICE AND RELATED POLICIES?

Full details are available on Pacific National’s intranet site, including in the Whistleblower Policy.