Legislative 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. Legislative 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 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 a legislative obligation, that may be established in University 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 that may affect your work, your work area or the University more broadly, you need to report using the Breach Report.

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 Legal and Compliance for review and assessment. Reporting will be treated confidentially, if requested.

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?

Legal and Compliance will review the information and determine if a breach has occurred. If a breach has occurred Legal and Compliance will support the impacted College/Division to resolve the breach and understand its relevant compliance obligations. This may include notification to a relevant external agency.

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

All confirmed breaches will be recorded in the University Breach Register and will be reported to Council, Vice-Chancellor, Executive Committee and all staff with compliance obligations that affect their role.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.