Compliance and Breach Reporting

What is compliance?

As University of Newcastle staff members, we are public officials. This means if you suspect, or become aware of any fraud, corruption, misconduct or maladministration in relation to any aspect of the University’s operations, it is a matter of public interest and you have a responsibility to report it.

Compliance means conforming to a rule, such as a specification, policy, standard or law. Regulatory compliance describes the goal that organisations aspire to in their efforts to ensure that they are aware of and take steps to comply with relevant laws, policies, and regulations. The University of Newcastle ensures these requirements are met through our Rules, Policies, Procedures and Guidelines.

Why do we need to ensure the University is ‘compliant’?

Failing to meet relevant State and Federal Legislation and University Rules, Policies, Procedures and Guidelines can result in serious consequences for the University and its officers, including lawsuits, fines and in certain circumstances criminal penalties.

What is a compliance breach?

A compliance breach occurs when there is a failure to comply with established Rules, Policies, Procedures or Guidelines. Breaches can occur, for example, through human error, technical issues, misinterpretation of the obligations, or through a deliberate act.

If you are aware of a breach of Legislation, University Rule, Policy, Procedure or Guideline, that may affect your work, your work area or the University more broadly, you need to report using the Breach Report template.

Even if an actual breach has not yet occurred, but you are concerned that it might, you should report a potential breach.

Why report a breach?

Reporting an actual or potential breach of compliance obligations is the responsibility of all staff, including professional and academic staff of the University, and conjoint’s to assist in the prevention and resolution of issues while supporting the University meet its Legislative requirements.

How do I report a breach?

To report an actual or potential breach, please complete a Breach Report. This information will be emailed to Assurance Services in the Vice-Chancellor’s Division. Reporting will be treated confidentially, if requested.

For any matter that has already been referred to the University's Legal Office, please do not complete this form.

The form includes a brief summary of the breach (or potential breach) that has been identified and if known, the name or title of the relevant Legislation, Rule, Policy, Procedure or Guideline affected by the breach.

What happens next?

Assurance Services will review the information and determine if a breach has occurred.

Assurance Services and, if required, the Legal Office, will provide support to the Division/Faculty to resolve the breach and understand its relevant compliance obligations.

You may be contacted by Assurance Services to discuss your report and to examine appropriate action for the management of the breach.

Assurance Services will record all action taken by the University to manage the breach in a Breach Register. Where required, Assurance Services will ensure that a breach is reported to the relevant external agency.

Assurance Services will use the information in the Breach Register to report, and or, provide support to the Council, Vice-Chancellor, Executive Committee and all staff with compliance obligations that affect their role.

The report will be stored in accordance with our records management policy.