Whistleblowing policy

Responding to your concerns

We will, where possible, protect the identity of a notifying individual and not reveal their source at any time during the investigation.

The action taken by us will depend on the nature of the concern. The matters raised may:

  • be investigated internally
  • be referred to the police
  • be referred to First Response at Staffordshire County Council in respect of safeguarding issues
  • be referred to the external auditor
  • form the subject of an independent investigation

In order to protect individuals and ourselves, initial enquiries will be made to decide whether an investigation is appropriate and, if so, what form it should take. Concerns or allegations which fall within the scope of specific procedures (for example suspected housing benefit fraud) will normally be referred for consideration under those procedures.

Some concerns may be resolved by agreed action without the need for an investigation.

Within 10 working days of a concern being received, we will write to you:

  • acknowledging that the concern has been received
  • indicating how it proposes to deal with the matter
  • giving an estimate of how long it will take to provide a final response
  • telling you whether any initial enquiries have been made
  • telling you whether further investigations will take place, and if not, why not.

The amount of contact between the officers considering the issues and you, will depend upon the nature of the matters raised, the potential difficulties involved and the clarity of the information provided. If necessary, further information will be sought from you.

We may ask you to attend a meeting to explore the issues surrounding the concern raised.

We will take steps to minimise any difficulties that you may experience as a result of raising a concern.

We accept that you need to be assured that the matter has been properly addressed. Thus, subject to legal constraints, you will receive information about the outcomes of any investigations.