PROTECTED DISCLOSURES POLICY

Document Sample
PROTECTED DISCLOSURES POLICY Powered By Docstoc
					Policy Manual


PROTECTED DISCLOSURES POLICY

Summary              A protected disclosure program is an important element in deterring
                     corrupt, illegal or other undesirable conduct.

                     The Qantas Code of Conduct requires all Qantas employees, agents,
                     contractors and consultants (Employee) to act:

                     i.      ethically, honestly, responsibly and diligently;
                     ii.     in full compliance with the letter and spirit of the law and the Code;
                             and
                     iii.    in the best interest of Qantas.

                     Any Employee may have concerns about conduct within the Qantas
                     Group which appears to them to be illegal, unethical or otherwise
                     improper. The Employee may feel apprehensive about raising their
                     concern because of the fear of possible adverse repercussions to them,
                     particularly where their immediate or a senior manager is involved in the
                     alleged conduct.

                     This Policy:

                     •       encourages Employees to report their concerns, preferably openly
                             but, if necessary, anonymously;
                     •       ensures that an Employee reporting their concerns is afforded
                             confidentiality (unless the Employee indicates otherwise);
                     •       ensures that the matter raised is properly investigated with a view
                             to establishing the truth and correcting any wrongdoing;
                     •       ensures that the Employee is advised of the outcome of the
                             investigation and any action taken (unless anonymous); and
                     •       ensures that the Employee is not in any way victimised or
                             adversely affected because of their action (provided that there is a
                             basis for their concern).


Background           Qantas is absolutely committed to compliance with ethical business
                     practices (see the Qantas Code of Conduct).

                     This Policy has been designed to support that commitment and to adopt
                     the principles of the:

                     •       Corporations Act;
                     •       Qantas Code of Conduct;
                     •       ASX Corporate Governance Guidelines; and
                     •       Australian Standard on Whistleblower Protection Programs for
                             Entities (AS 8004-2003) (Australian Standard).

                     Accordingly, if an Employee becomes concerned about possible illegal,
                     unethical or otherwise improper conduct that they think is not being
                     properly handled within Qantas, it is critical that they take steps to advise
                     Qantas Management.


Scope of this        This Policy is not intended to replace or supersede other policies within
Policy               Qantas dealing with regular and ad hoc internal reporting. It is to be read
                     in conjunction with other policies including the Qantas Code of Conduct.

  Section No.:      1 – Protected Disclosures                   Authorised:     Board & CEO
   Policy No.:                                                       Date:      20 June 2006

 Page No.: 1 of 5
Protected            Where an Employee (Reporting Staff Member) is aware of any
Disclosure           Reportable Matter (see below), they are encouraged to report (Report) it
                     to the Protected Disclosures “hotline” (Hotline). The Hotline number is
                     1 800 855 212 or email qantasprotecteddisclosures@au.pwc.com.

                     Alternatively, the Report can be made to any member of the Protected
                     Disclosures Committee (Committee).

                     The Committee members are: EGM Qantas (Chairman), EGM People,
                     Chief Risk Officer, General Counsel and GGM Security.

                     The Protected Disclosure Co-ordinator (PDC) will be the Secretary of the
                     Committee. Neither the Committee membership nor the secretarial
                     functions can be delegated.

                     If the Report involves a Director or a member of the Qantas Executive
                     Committee, the Reporting Staff Member should report the matter to the
                     Hotline or the Committee Chairman (who will immediately discuss the
                     matter with the Chairman and Chairman of the Audit Committee).

                     Reports can also be made anonymously through the internal mail to the
                     Committee (SYD/QCA9).


What is a            A “Reportable Matter” is any concern about a possible breach of the
Reportable           Qantas Code of Conduct, including, for example:
Matter
                     •       criminal offence;
                     •       failure to comply with any legal obligation;
                     •       failure to comply with any other obligation of Qantas as a company
                             listed on the Australian Stock Exchange;
                     •       unfair or unethical dealing with a customer of Qantas;
                     •       breach of internal policies;
                     •       corrupt conduct;
                     •       risk to the health or safety of any person;
                     •       unethical conduct; or
                     •       any deliberate concealment relating to the above,

                     where the Reporting Staff Member is apprehensive about raising his/her
                     concern because of the fear of possible adverse repercussions to them
                     and includes any anonymous report made to the Hotline or a member of
                     the Committee.

                     In other circumstances, reports of breaches of the Qantas Code of
                     Conduct should be made in accordance with that Code.


Action Required      Upon receipt of a Report, the Committee is responsible for ensuring that
by Staff Member      the matter is properly investigated.
to Whom the
Report is Made       Any Report made to a Director or executive is to be referred to the
                     Committee for investigation.

                     The Committee must ensure that the matter is investigated in a timely
                     manner and that, when requested, confidentiality is maintained at all
                     times.

                     Upon receipt of a Report, the Committee must:

                     •       ensure that the matter is properly investigated;
                     •       ensure a written report is prepared; and
                     •       ensure action is taken to correct any wrongdoing.
  Section No.:      1 - Protected Disclosures                 Authorised:        Board & CEO
   Policy No.:                                                     Date:         20 June 2006

 Page No.: 2 of 5
                     In addition, the Committee must:

                     •       provide a quarterly report on matters investigated to the Chief
                             Executive Officer (while protecting relevant confidentiality details);
                             and
                     •       prepare an annual report on matters investigated for the Audit
                             Committee (to be tabled at the June Audit Committee Meeting).


Investigation        The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether or not the
Process              concerns or claims made by the Reporting Staff Member are true with a
                     view to Qantas then taking such action as is considered appropriate.

                     The investigation must be thorough, fair and independent of the business
                     units concerned, the Reporting Staff Member and any Employee who is
                     the subject of the reportable conduct.

                     The investigation must also comply with the requirements of the
                     Australian Standard.

                     If the Reportable Matter involves an allegation of a criminal offence, the
                     Committee must seek assistance from the GGM Security. If the
                     Reportable Matter involves an allegation of a safety related issue, the
                     Committee must seek assistance from the GGM Safety.

                     Note: Part 9.4AAA of the Corporations Act includes certain obligations in
                     relation to protected disclosures relating to alleged breaches of the
                     Corporations legislation. Care should be taken to ensure compliance
                     with this law.


Feedback for         The Committee must ensure that the Reporting Staff Member is kept
the Reporting        informed of the outcome of the investigation arising from their report,
Staff Member         subject to considerations of the privacy of those against whom
                     allegations are made and normal confidentiality requirements.


Protection of the    Where a staff member makes a Report, the person to whom the report is
Reporting Staff      made must ensure that the identity of the Reporting Staff Member is kept
Member               absolutely confidential, other than with the consent of the Reporting Staff
                     Member.

                     This may be difficult where the nature of the report points to one
                     particular individual having made it or due to the inherent nature of the
                     investigation process. (The Committee may need to discuss with the
                     Reporting Staff Member the possibility that other staff may deduce his or
                     her identity without there actually being a breach of confidentiality.)

                     The Committee must ensure that all files are kept secure (having regard
                     to the possibility that others in the organisation may want to ascertain the
                     identity of the Reporting Staff Member).

                     Information received from the Reporting Staff Member must be held in
                     the strictest confidence and can only be disclosed to a person not
                     connected with the investigation of the matters raised:

                     •       if the staff member has been consulted and consents to the
                             disclosure; or
                     •       if Qantas or any Qantas staff member is compelled by law to make
                             disclosure.



  Section No.:      1 - Protected Disclosures                   Authorised:     Board & CEO
   Policy No.:                                                       Date:      20 June 2006

 Page No.: 3 of 5
                     Note: Part 9.4AAA of the Corporations Act includes certain obligations in
                     relation to protected disclosures relating to alleged breaches of the
                     Corporations legislation. Care should be taken to ensure compliance
                     with this law.

                     Reporting Staff Member Protection Officer (RSMPO)

                     With the approval of the Reporting Staff Member, the Committee is to
                     brief the RSMPO.

                     The role of RSMPO is to safeguard the interests of the Reporting Staff
                     Member in terms of the Australian Standard, any applicable legislation
                     (including the Corporations Act), the principles of natural justice and
                     other Qantas policies.

                     Disclosure of Reportable Matters can be a very stressful and difficult
                     thing to do. Accordingly, to the maximum extent possible, the Reporting
                     Staff Member should not be subject to disciplinary sanctions in respect of
                     matters the subject of the report unless they have engaged in serious
                     misconduct (including vindictive or malicious reports) or illegal conduct.

                     Immunity from criminal proceedings cannot be granted.

                     The RSMPO is required to take whatever action is possible to ensure
                     that the Reporting Staff Member is not personally disadvantaged by
                     reason solely of having made the report. Examples of this may include
                     by dismissal, demotion, any form of harassment, discrimination or any
                     form of bias against them as regards their employment prospects in
                     Qantas, whether currently or in the future.

                     The RSMPO has access to any relevant EGM and/or the Chief Executive
                     Officer, if required, to ensure this occurs.

                     Where the Reporting Staff Member claims to have been the victim of any
                     such action and the matter cannot be resolved internally, that person is
                     entitled to bring that claim before an independent appeal body as
                     envisaged by the Australian Standard. (Arrangements for this would
                     have to be made at the time.)

                     A breach of the provisions of this Policy which are designed to protect the
                     Reporting Staff Member is to be treated as a serious disciplinary matter.


Protection of        When a Reportable Matter comes to the attention of the PDC the
other Qantas         relevant EGM is responsible for ensuring that an appropriate officer is
Staff Members        appointed to protect the interests of any accused Qantas Employee.
                     This officer must be independent to the investigation.


Appointment of       The Protected Disclosures Co-ordinator is the Assistant Company
Officers             Secretary with powers and duties as required by the Australian
                     Standard.)

                     The Reporting Staff Member Protection Officer is the GGM People
                     Corporate Group with powers and duties as required by the Australian
                     Standard.)


Independent          The PDC and RSMPO may request that the Committee authorise the
Advice               provision of such independent legal advice as is considered necessary,
                     at Qantas’ cost.



  Section No.:      1 - Protected Disclosures                 Authorised:     Board & CEO
   Policy No.:                                                     Date:      20 June 2006

 Page No.: 4 of 5
False Reporting      False reports can have significant effects on the reputations of other staff
                     members and would also cause considerable waste of time and effort.

                     Accordingly, any deliberately false reporting under this Policy will be
                     treated as a serious disciplinary matter.


Questions            Any questions about this Policy should be directed to the General
                     Counsel.




  Section No.:      1 - Protected Disclosures                 Authorised:      Board & CEO
   Policy No.:                                                     Date:       20 June 2006

 Page No.: 5 of 5