7.1 The responsibility for the operation of this policy rests with the corporate leadership team to ensure all employees are fully aware of its provisions.
7.2 Audit committee is responsible for assuring the council that the risks across the council are being identified and managed. It is therefore responsible for ensuring that this policy is robust in identifying concerns and that the identified risks are addressed. It is also responsible for ensuring that the principles within this policy are upheld.
7.3 Investigations should be undertaken by appropriate officers with relevant expertise, and may be someone independent of the person receiving the referral. Internal audit (IA) and human resources (HR) will jointly ensure that investigations are swift and effective and undertaken by someone with relevant skills and experience. IA and HR will act as the corporate services who maintain records of all referrals and subsequent investigations received by the council. Additionally:
7.4 IA will lead on all financial referrals, including those where there are significant financial implications to an allegation, whilst not explicit within the referrals. The audit team will ensure that concerns raised through the informal process are logged and trends identified.
7.5 HR will lead on allegations regarding serious misconduct of council employees. The HR team will advise and support employees involved in the investigation process to ensure that such processes are fair and supportive to all those involved.
7.6 The monitoring officer will lead on allegations regarding misconduct of councillors.
7.7 Line managers must create an open and fair culture within their area of responsibility and ensure that employee concerns are listened to and action taken where necessary.
7.8 They are responsible for ensuring that there is a safe environment for employees to raise their concerns and that there is no retribution as a result of someone raising their concerns.
7.9 In all contracts of employment there is an implied understanding of mutual trust and confidence between the employer and employee. All employees, therefore, have a responsibility to raise concerns about work and they may do so in the manner described in this policy.