We encourage our employees, contractors and all members of the public to speak out if they have concerns about a possible fraud, crime, danger or other serious risk that could threaten customers, colleagues, the public or the council's own reputation.
South Tyneside Council is committed to the highest possible standards of openness, probity, and accountability. Integrity is one of our core values, this means that we will do the right thing whatever the circumstances.
We have developed policies to allow our employees and the public to 'Speak Out' if they have any concerns. We also provide advice and guidance for contractors.
The council is committed to these policies and sees them as an early warning system which can help alert the council to risks such as:
- A danger in the workplace
- Concerns about the welfare of children and vulnerable adults
- Fraud in, on or by the council
- Offering, taking or soliciting bribes
- Dumping damaging material in the environment
- Misreporting performance data
Arrangements for employees
The policy allows staff to by-pass direct management, as that could be the area they are concerned about. Staff should also be able to go outside the organisation if they feel the overall management is engaged in an improper course.
Arrangements for the public
If something is troubling you, or if you think the council should know about or look into something, please let us know.
We encourage all members of the public with any serious concerns to come forward and voice them.
Our Speak Out policy for the public includes advice of who to contact if you have a concern:
If you are not sure whether the matter falls under the Speak Out policy for the public, the council's complaints procedure, or the councillors' complaint procedure, don't worry, we will make sure your concerns are dealt with appropriately. The important thing is that you raise the matter with the council and don't ignore it.
How do I contact you?
If you have a serious concern of this nature it is best to put your concern in writing, either by:
Corporate Assurance Manager and Head of Internal Audit
South Tyneside Council
All concerns will be dealt with confidentially.
Arrangements for contractors and partnerships
Our contractors and partnerships are encouraged to have policies to encourage their employees to Speak Out about any malpractice.
We have produced 'generic' guidance for these organisations to help in the design of these policies.
How can I Speak Out about contractors and partnerships?
Employees of contractors and partners should use the procedures that the contractor has developed. But there may be occasions when it is appropriate to raise the matter with the council. In these circumstances the council's 'Speak out' policy for employees may be used (see Speak out - information for employees[word - 616kb]).
Public Concern At Work provides a free independent helpline and gives free confidential advice about how to raise a concern about serious malpractice at work.
They can be contacted on 020 7404 6609 or by visiting the Public Concern at Work website.
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