26 September 2023

Health Network takes medicine from ICAC

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A report from the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) relating to how the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CAHLN) examined its practices, policies and procedures when relating them to its receipt, management, investigation and outcomes of complaints has been tabled in the Parliament.

The report includes 25 recommendations aimed at improving internal agency communication and training as well as achieving consistent and transparent decisions, streamline investigations and disciplinary processes.

The report said ICAC received feedback from Network staff indicating that management did not consistently encourage that wrongdoing be reported.

Deputy Commissioner at ICAC, Paul Alsbury said leaders needed to engender a culture of reporting in the workplace.

“If employees do not have confidence in the complaint process, they are unlikely to report inappropriate conduct,” Mr Alsbury said.

“They must be confident that complaints will be dealt with independently, fairly, objectively, and timely,” he said.

“In workplace cultures where poor behaviour is tolerated or goes unchecked, small indiscretions often develop into more serious acts, including corruption.”

Mr Alsbury said ICAC evaluated the Network’s complaint system on how well it encouraged employees to report inappropriate conduct and how well it worked to discourage and deal with corruption.

It said the results suggested management did not consistently encourage reporting inappropriate behaviour with some employees suggesting reporting was even discouraged to avoid reprisals from those with power.

Despite this, the Deputy Commissioner commended the Network for its improvements made during the Evaluation and its commitment to implement further improvements.

Chief Executive of CALHN, Lesley Dwyer said the Network was determined to create a safe and respectful workplace where staff could be working at their best.

“We have already introduced a range of reforms aimed at improving our workplace culture and complaints management, including the world-leading Professional Accountability Program,” Ms Dwyer said.

“There is no tolerance for bullying or harassment at CALHN, and we will redouble our efforts to make sure these behaviours have no place here,” she said.

The full 91-page ICAC report on the Network’s performance can be accessed at this PS News link.

The ICAC evaluation team was Peter Healey, Michelle Elliott and Angela Melville.

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