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Blowing the whistle into an empty room

By Robina Cosser - posted Tuesday, 14 December 2010


But the CMC officer does not open your email. She simply records that you have sent her yet another pesky email. And the CMC officer “devolves” your disclosure - she sends it back to The Department, The department that you are complaining about.

And so the CMC have no record of your disclosure, just a record of their own gibberish version of your disclosure. And The Department’s investigation into your disclosure is based on the gibberish version of your disclosure.

And The Department’s investigation is not really an investigation; it is a “review”. And the rules of the “review” are that you are not allowed to speak to the reviewer. And the reviewer is not allowed to ask any questions. So you have no way of finding out that your disclosure has been reduced to gibberish.

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A few days before or after the “review” begins, Freedom of Information documents are released to you by The Department. And you realise that your official records have been extensively falsified. So you email the Director-General. And you tell him that your official records have been extensively falsified.

He emails back.

Lots of times.

With lots of promises and re-assurances.

And you email the Director of Ethical Conduct. You tell him that your official records have been extensively falsified. And he emails back. Lots of times. With lots of promises and re-assurances.

Then, a few days before a copy of the review is released to you under “Freedom of Information”, the CMC and The Department each “accept” the review - the review based on the gibberish version of your disclosure and the falsified records - and they each declare your case “closed”.

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So that when you write and protest that the review has been based on a gibberish version of your disclosure and on a huge mass of falsified “official records”, no public servant reads your letters. No public servant “knows”. Because your case has been declared “closed”.

And when you ask, under freedom of Information, what the Director-General and the Director of Ethical Conduct actually did in response to your emails, you are advised that there was a computer problem in The Department. And all of your emails to and from the Director-General and the Director of Human Resources over several months were “lost”. And so there is no official record of your complaint to them that your “official records” have been extensively falsified. And there is no official record of any of their promises and the re-assurances.

So you decide to phone another government department, one that is not corrupt. And you explain your disclosure again, very clearly. You notice a slight whining noise as you are speaking. When you have finished making your disclosure the Public Servant asks you if, “besides that”, anything else is bothering you. And so you struggle to give him some other examples of corruption. And you notice that the whining noise has now stopped. And later you wonder if the Public Servant could have been pausing his tape recorder while you were explaining your disclosure.

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About the Author

Robina Cosser edits the Teachers Are Blowing Their Whistles and Whistleblowing Women. She is Schools Contact Person and a Vice-President of Whistleblowers Australia.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Robina Cosser

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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