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Make a protected disclosure

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Where to begin

You can make a protected disclosure through your organisation’s internal procedure for dealing with serious wrongdoing. All public sector organisations must have these procedures or

You can go directly to the head of your organisation; or

You can make a protected disclosure directly to an “appropriate authority”. The Ombudsman has developed checklist and guide to making a protected disclosure (the guide and checklist are currently being updated).

The Ombudsman can also provide you with information or guidance if you are considering ‘blowing the whistle”. Your enquiries will be treated in confidence.

Call 0800 802 602 and ask to speak to someone about a protected disclosure. The team will take your contact details and ask a specialist person to talk to you.

Appropriate authorities

Appropriate authorities are organisations that are able to receive protected disclosures. If you're not sure who is an authority, you can check with the Ombudsman. 

Appropriate authorities include the:

The Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022 includes helpful examples of types of serious wrongdoing, and the corresponding Appropriate Authority/s

Confidentiality

If you make a protected disclosure, information which identifies you will be kept confidential, unless you consent to the disclosure or if disclosure is essential to:

  • the effective investigation of the allegations
  • prevent serious risk to public health or safety or the environment
  • comply with the principles of natural justice;
  • an investigation of law enforcement (by a law enforcement or regulatory agency)

Specialist staff of the Chief Ombudsman are available to provide information and guidance to organisations and employees about their confidentiality obligations.

Protections for whistle-blowing

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