Western Australian public sector agencies collect, generate and store a broad range of information that public servants access and use in their everyday duties, including confidential and sensitive information.
Members of the public expect that this information is not being accessed by or disclosed to anyone who does not have a legitimate and lawful reason to do so.
Data and information misuse and disclosure is a growing concern in the Western Australian public sector. In the 2016 calendar year, the 'unlawful use of a computer' ranked as the highest conduct category, with over 700 allegations reported to the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC).
Data and information breaches involving public sector employees can occur in a number of ways, including:
- • unauthorised access of sensitive information;
- • unauthorised disclosure of sensitive information;
- • facilitation of a third party access to an agency's records, people or premise;
- • tampering and copying physical documents; and
- • process corruption - which involves manipulating an internal process or system to achieve a specific, non-authorised objective.
Public servants must be alert to receiving requests from individuals or groups for confidential or sensitive information that they are not entitled to. Just like in this example, where Stacey overheard a colleague providing confidential information to a criminal gang.
When a public servant has accessed and disclosed information without authorisation there are significant reputation and safety ramifications for the individual, their agency and the community. The unlawful access and disclosure of confidential information by a public servant is serious misconduct and could constitute a criminal offence.
Report corruption now
The CCC relies on good people doing the right thing.
If you are aware of wrongdoing in the WA public sector, such as the unlawful access and disclosure of confidential information, do the right thing and report it to the CCC.
All information provided is treated confidentially and can be made anonymously.
The following communication materials have been developed to assist WA public officers and members of the community to identify and report corrupt behaviour to the CCC. You are welcome to download, promote, and share this campaign within your organisation and personal networks.