9. How to raise a concern
9.1 In raising a concern, you should be prepared to provide the following information:
- Your name and a contact point. As referred to above it will be more difficult for the councils to pursue issues if concerns have been raised anonymously.
- The background and history of the concern (giving relevant dates);
- The reason why you are particularly concerned about the situation;
- Any personal interest or connection which you may have in the matter; and
- The name(s) of any colleagues/ employees who you consider are either directly involved or can help provide further information.
9.2 The earlier you express the concern the easier it is to take action. Although you are not expected to prove beyond doubt the truth of an allegation, you will need to demonstrate to the person contacted that there are reasonable grounds for concern.
9.3 If you ultimately feel that you have to take the matter outside of the Council, possible contacts are included at Section 14 of this policy
Procedure for Council Employees
9.4 As a first step, you should raise concerns with the Monitoring Officer in the first instance. A central log of all concerns will be kept by the Monitoring Officer. If the concern relates to financial irregularities or failures of financial controls the receiving officer of the report must immediately notify the Service Lead Audit & Risk. Contact details are included in the Policy.
9.5 Concerns are usually better in writing. If you do not feel able to put your concern in writing, you can telephone or meet the appropriate officer.
Procedure for Members
9.6 Elected Members who have a genuine concern about malpractice should raise any concern with the Monitoring Officer. If a Member is approached by a member of the public wishing to raise a concern, they can either signpost them to the Whistleblowing Policy or report the matter to either the Monitoring Officer or the Service Lead Audit & Risk.
Procedure for Contractors
9.7 As a first step, you should normally raise concerns with your contract manager, who will then inform the lead Council Officer who is dealing with the particular contract. This depends on the seriousness and sensitivity of the issues involved and who is suspected of the malpractice. For example, if you believe that your manager or the lead Council Officer is involved, you should directly approach the Monitoring Officer.
Procedure for Members of the Public
9.8 The Council encourages those external to the Council who suspect fraud and/or corruption to contact the Monitoring Officer or the Service Lead Audit & Risk on the contact details contained at Section 14 of this Policy.
9.9 Any concerns raised via social media platforms should be reported to the Service Lead Audit and Risk who will raise it with senior managers. This method of reporting is not considered to be a formal channel of raising a concern.