Public interest disclosures
All WPCA employees have a responsibility to report suspected wrongdoing, including: corruption; maladministration; serious and substantial waste of public money; and breaches of the GIPA Act. The Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 (PID Act) is aimed at encouraging and facilitating the disclosure, in the public interest, of wrongdoing in the public sector.
The WPCA is committed to protecting staff who make public interest disclosures. The WPCA ensured that staff are aware of their responsibilities under the PID Act by hosting training covering PIDs on how and to whom disclosures can be made. The WPCA has its own guidelines for PID and a PID Internal Reporting Policy available to all staff.
The PID Act, section 31, requires each public authority to report on its obligations under the Act. In accordance with section 31 of the Act and clause 4 of the Public Interest Disclosures Regulation 2011, the WPCA confirms there were no public interest disclosures for the reporting period 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.
Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998
As a NSW Government agency, the WPCA is committed to compliance with the requirements of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PPIP Act). Clause 8 of the Annual Reports (Statutory Bodies) Regulation 2015 requires a statement of the action taken complying with the PPIP Act, and any statistical details of any review conducted by or on behalf of the Authority under Part 5 of that Act.
In compliance with the PPIP Act, the Authority has a published Privacy Management Plan.
The Authority reports that no internal reviews were conducted by or on behalf of the Authority under the PPIP Act during this financial reporting year period.
WPCA’s Obligations Register was reviewed and updated during the reporting period. All new starters are required to undertake compliance training as part of onboarding and all existing staff completed annual compliance refresher training. In addition, all managers completed their annual compliance attestations.
A Probity eLearning training module was developed and rolled out to all WPCA staff to complete. This module will also form part of the onboarding and refresher training undertaken by staff.
Cyber security policy attestation
During the reporting period, the Department of Premier and Cabinet and its outsourced service provider the Department of Customer Service, provided information technology services to WPCA, which included cyber security training, processes, procedures, risk and controls and oversight. Refer to Appendix B for the WPCA’s attestation on the NSW Cyber Security core requirements.
Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009
The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) requires NSW government agencies to make mandatory disclosures of information, encourages proactive releases of information and provides mechanisms for individuals to apply to access government information. Under section 7(3) of the GIPA Act, agencies must review their proactive release of government information program at least once every 12 months. The Authority proactively releases information about strategies and initiatives and listed policy documents for public access freely on its websites, including:
- media releases;
- operational policies;
- details of how stakeholders can comment or
- participate in the WPCA’s work via social media;
- contract award notices; and
- a register of meetings with registered lobbyists.
The WPCA received one formal access application under the GIPA Act in this reporting period, which fell under two categories. The WPCA refused to release any documents that were not already publicly available. Statistical information required to be provided in this Annual Report under clause 8 and Schedule 2 of the Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2018 is available at Appendix C.
Consumer response and complaints
The WPCA is not aware of any complaints lodged.
WPCA responds to correspondence from the public when received.