Whistle-blowing at the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission
Information Standards Freedom of Information Response
Our Ref: FoI 12-21
04 May 2021
Freedom of Information Act 2000
I can confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission holds information relevant to your request of 23 March 2021. In your request you asked for the following information:
“1. How many reports did you receive from whistleblowers in 2019 and in 2020?
In 2019 and 2020, the Assembly Commission has not received any reports from whistleblowers.
2. How many people do you have in your organisation that are trained/permitted to take reports from whistleblowers?
Six staff have attended training on whistleblowing.
3. What training have the people in question number 2 received in whistleblowing?
The training covered:
- the legal position of whistleblowing;
- governance issues around whistleblowing;
- whistleblowing policies and procedures;
- how to ensure whistleblowing mechanisms are effective.
4. What cost, if any, was there for this training?
The cost of training was £950 excluding VAT.
5. Which organisation delivered each course?
The training was delivered by CIPFA.
6. What is the name of the person that arranged this training and what is their email address?
Training is arranged by the Learning and Development team of the Human Resources Office and their email address is email@example.com.
7. What methods do you have for whistleblowers to contact a person that is authorised to take their report and what are the specific details of these, i.e., email addresses, telephone numbers etc?
Whistleblowers can make contact through email, telephone or hard copy written correspondence. The policy sets out the post holders who can be contacted if a staff member wishes to raise a disclosure and the post holders’ contact details are available on the organisation’s intranet. Individuals are not named in the policy as staff movements can result in changes and therefore reference to the post rather than the individual retains relevancy beyond staffing changes. The post holders are:
- Head of Human Resources
- Clerk Assistants
- Director of Legal, Governance and Research Services
- Clerk/Chief Executive
8. What are the email addresses for the people authorised to receive whistleblower reports?
- Head of Human Resources: Sinead.Mcdonnell@niassembly.gov.uk
- Clerk Assistant: Paul.Gill@niassembly.gov.uk, Frank.Geddis@niassembly.gov.uk and Kevin.Pelan@niassembly.gov.uk
- Director of Legal, Governance and Research Services: Tara.Caul@niassembly.gov.uk
- Clerk/Chief Executive: Lesley.Hogg@niassembly.gov.uk
9. How many whistleblowers have left the organisation within 12 months of making a report?
There have been no instances of whistleblowers having left the organisation within 12 months of making a report.
10. How many whistleblowers have made an allegation of ‘detriment’ against your organisation?”
There have been no instances of whistleblowers having made an allegation of “detriment” against the organisation.
If you feel that the information we have provided does not meet your request fully, please contact this office as soon as possible. You have the right to request a formal review by the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission and if you wish to do so, please write to me at the above address.
If after such an internal review you are still unhappy with the response, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF who will undertake an independent review.
The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission may publish details of your FOI request and our official response within the organisational disclosure log. The request will be completely anonymised and you will not be identified in any way. This is to meet the requirements as laid out by in the agreed publication scheme with the Information Commissioners’ Office.
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above.