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1. Policy Overview:
1.1 As part of the Fiji National University’s (FNU) good corporate governance practices, this policy is intended to protect an employee who engages in good faith disclosure of alleged wrongful conduct to a designated FNU official. More specifically it:
1.1.1 encourages employees to disclose serious breaches of conduct covered by FNU policies or laws of the Republic of Fiji;
18.104.22.168 informs employees how allegations of wrongful conduct may be disclosed;
22.214.171.124 protects employees from reprisal by adverse employment action as a result of having disclosed wrongful conduct; and
126.96.36.199 provides individuals who believe they have been subjected to reprisal, a fair process to seek relief from retaliatory acts.
1.1.2 Nothing in this policy is intended to interfere with legitimate employment decisions to provide protection to FNU employees who:
188.8.131.52 disclose or threaten to disclose to their supervisor an act or omission that the employee reasonably believes to be a violation of law, rule or regulation by another FNU employee;
184.108.40.206.1 provide information to or testify before any authorised state authority conducting an investigation hearing or inquiry into a violation of law, rule, or regulations; or
220.127.116.11.2 assist or participate in a proceeding to enforce the Code of Conduct.
1.1.3 FNU shall not reprimand, discharge, suspend, demote or deny promotion or transfer an employee in relation to an employee’s exercise of any one of the three protected activities listed in s1.1.2 above.
1.1.4 The Code of Conduct Policy provides remedies for employees if retaliation occurs, and if the employee’s work performance or behaviour did not warrant the adverse action.
2. Policy Principles
2.1 Breach of Policy
2.1.1 Notwithstanding any other policy, regulation or national or international law:
18.104.22.168 any disclosure to an individual or organisation outside FNU prior to exhausting the processes provided for in this policy; or
22.214.171.124 a disclosure in breach of the procedures for disclosure, shall comprise a breach of the Whistle-blower Protection Policy. Such breach shall be deemed to be a gross misconduct.
2.2 Conduct and Behaviour
2.2.1 FNU has developed policies and procedures for enforcing standards of conduct and behaviour.
2.2.2 An employee cannot be compelled by a supervisor to violate an FNU policy, an applicable law, or public policy.
2.2.3 In the interest of FNU, an employee who has particular knowledge of specific acts, which he or she reasonably believes constitute wrongful conduct should disclose the conduct to the Director Human Resources and/or the Vice Chancellor.
2.3 Wrongful Conduct
2.3.1 Wrongful conduct is defined in this policy to be:
126.96.36.199 a violation of any FNU policy;
188.8.131.52 a violation of applicable laws of the Republic of Fiji; and/or
184.108.40.206 the use of FNU property, resources, or authority for personal gain or other non-FNU-related purposes except as provided for under FNU policies.
2.4 Disclosure and Investigation
2.4.1 Where the University has defined policies and procedures for maintaining standards of conduct and disclosure of violations, the applicable FNU policies should be followed to disclose such violations.
2.4.2 In matters relating to wrongful conduct, mismanagement of FNU resources, or an abuse of authority, which is not covered by FNU policy, the Director Human Resources is designated to receive such disclosures and conduct or co-ordinate follow up, which may include an investigation of the disclosure.
2.4.3 The Human Resources Department maintains records of these allegations. The Director Human Resources will determine whether to refer it to other Departments (for example, internal audit, campus security, OHS Committee, and so
220.127.116.11 on who will follow up on the matter, which may include an investigation of the disclosure.
2.4.4 Laws and FNU policies impose privacy and confidentiality restraints on reporting the results of such a review or investigation. Within the constraints of these laws and policies, the Director of Human Resources will acknowledge, and as appropriate and permissible by law and policy, provide confirmation of the status and outcome of the review.
2.4.5 It should be noted that a disclosure warranting an investigation is not the same as making a complaint of reprisal.
2.4.6 Malicious Complaints – Any employee raising a malicious complaint using the whistle blower provision shall be deemed to have committed a gross misconduct.
2.4.7 In matters of disclosure, FNU will make all reasonable efforts to maintain the identity of the employee making the disclosure confidential, as long as maintaining confidentiality does not interfere with conducting an investigation of the specific allegations or taking corrective action.
2.5 Complaints of Reprisal
2.5.1 The Director Human Resources will co-ordinate with the Vice Chancellor or other senior management staff to appoint an investigator. The investigator will report findings and recommendations to the senior management official concerning whether retaliation occurred, and if so, what should the appropriate remedy or remedies be.
2.5.2 The decision of the Vice Chancellor shall be final.
2.6 Whistle-blowing Procedures
2.6.1 When Wrongful Conduct is alleged against a fellow employee, the person disclosing can disclose the activity to any one or more of the following:
18.104.22.168 Immediate Supervisor of the employee.
22.214.171.124 Section head (Dean or Director).
126.96.36.199 Director Human Resources.
188.8.131.52 Vice Chancellor
2.6.2 When Wrongful Conduct is alleged against a Supervisor, the person disclosing can disclose the activity to any one or more of the following:
184.108.40.206 Immediate Supervisor of the Supervisor
220.127.116.11 Section head (Dean or Director).
18.104.22.168 Director Human Resources.
22.214.171.124 Vice Chancellor.
2.6.3 When Wrongful Conduct is alleged against any officer higher than a Supervisor, the person disclosing can disclose the activity to any one or more of the following:
126.96.36.199 Section head (Dean, Director, Registrar).
188.8.131.52 Director Human Resources.
184.108.40.206 Vice Chancellor.
2.6.4 When Wrongful Conduct is alleged against a Dean or Director or Registrar or any officer between the ranks of Director and Vice Chancellor, the person disclosing may disclose the activity to any one or more of the following:
220.127.116.11 The Vice Chancellor.
18.104.22.168 The Chairperson of FNU Council’s Human Resources Committee.
2.6.5 When Wrongful Conduct is alleged against the Vice Chancellor, the person disclosing may disclose the activity to any one or more of the following:
22.214.171.124 The Chairperson of the Council’s Human Resources Policy Committee.
126.96.36.199 The Chairperson of FNU Council.
2.6.6 When Wrongful Conduct is alleged against the Chairperson of FNU Council, or any chair and/or member of FNU Council, the person disclosing may disclose the activity to the Minister responsible for tertiary education.
2.6.7 It is strongly recommended that employees making disclosures also advise either the Director Human Resources or the Vice Chancellor of the alleged wrongful conduct. This will serve to advance the integrity of this policy, as well as provide further protection to the employee making such disclosure(s).
2.7 Obligation of the Officer with the Disclosure
2.7.1 The office holder who has received any disclosure of wrongful conduct shall deal with the disclosure promptly and decisively by submitting the disclosure to the Director of Human Resources, with a copy to the Vice Chancellor, to be dealt with.
2.8 Anonymous Disclosures or Complaints
2.8.1 Where an anonymous complaint is received which can easily be ascertained by FNU to be true, it shall be regarded as a bona fide disclosure of an irregularity that FNU must act on.
2.8.2 Where anonymous complaints are received which cannot be subject to verification on a prompt check, and/or confirmation without further information from the complainant, shall be disregarded.
Any form of unethical behaviour that violates the integrity of the academic process such as bestowing or seeking academic favours or advancement on the basis of friendship or gifts, concealing conflicts of interest, or deliberate failure to meet professional obligations.
Cheating or doing anything that may help a person to cheat in relation to assessment, research, publications, or consultancy, including but not limited to plagiarism.
3. Credentials Misrepresentations
Theft or forgery of titles, diplomas, transcripts, grades, research publications or other official documents represented by an individual as his or her own.
4. Relationship between employees and students
Failure to disclose conflict of interest whereby employees (academic) have students with whom they have intimate relations attending their classes.
1. Accounting Fraud
Intentional manipulation of financial statements by systematic recording and analysis of the business and financial transactions associated with generally accepted accounting practices. (Examples include misstatement of revenues, misstatement of expenses, misstatement of assets, wrongful transactions)
2. Breach of FNU Tender Policy
Disclosing confidential tender information to a third party. Supplier or contractor activity in violation of FNU policies and procedures; improper supplier or contractor selection based on personal gain, improper negotiation, or diversion of contract awards.
3. Conflict of Interest
An employee who has, directly or indirectly through family or business connections, an interest in supplies of goods or services, or an interest in contractors or potential contractors with FNU, does not declare conflict of interest and willingly participates in the selection, award, or administration of a contract with any party with which it has a direct or indirect business/commercial interest
4. Donor stewardship
Mishandling of donor funds directed to FNU for a specific purpose or towards a specific project.
5. Fraud, Waste, Abuse or Misuse of FNU Resources
Fraud is any intentional act or omission designed to deceive others or dishonestly obtaining a benefit or causing loss by deception or other means. Examples include improper or unauthorised use of FNU’s information or intellectual property for personal gain, misuse of FNU assets, equipment or facilities etc.
6. Theft/ Embezzlement
The act of stealing; specifically: the felonious taking and removing of property with intent to deprive FNU of its physical or intellectual property. Examples include bookkeeping errors, misapplication of funds, mishandling of cash and theft of FNU’s assets).
1. Breach of the Confidentiality Agreement
Employees knowingly disclosing confidential information relating to any FNU matter to which the employee has no authority or right to divulge.
2. Breach of Remuneration Policy
Employees not being remunerated fairly and transparently. Improper, misleading or deceptive actions /statements, falsification of records regarding work hours, or misrepresentation of the FNU’s benefits, including health/ welfare benefits, leaves, time-off-in-lieu and flexible working plan.
3. Breach of Recruitment Policy
Discrimination against employees and job applicants based on protected characteristics. Not adhering to the Recruitment policies and standard operating procedures. Recruitment of candidates based on merit not being followed.
4. Conflict of Interest
Non-disclosure of conflict of interest when employees participate in the recruitment, selection, award, or administration of a contract with any party with whom he/she is negotiating regarding potential employment or any arrangement concerning potential employment with the organisation.
Information and Technological Services (ITS)
1. Use of information and communication technology
Misuse of information and communication technology facilities (including software) or communication facilities of FNU.
2. Data Privacy, Security and Copyright Violations
Disclosure of personally identifiable data of students, faculty or other third parties externally including the theft of, and intentional or inadvertent loss of such data. Unauthorised and unlawful disclosure of confidential business information including inventions, research and technical data, computer programs, trademarks, patents, copyrights, unpublished financial and all related documentation.
Occupational, Health and Safety
1. Campus Security
Campus sites posing immediate threat to personal security or property.
2. Unsafe Working Conditions
Failure to meet requirements needed to perform all duties in a secure environment. Potential areas of harm may include environmental damage (pollution), supervisor directive, adequate water supply, poor sanitation, poor housekeeping etc.
Any other violations that is not covered above.
1. Abuse of the Research Policy
With accordance to FNU’s Research Policy, all Researcher’s must:
maintain the highest standards of intellectual honesty in the conduct of their research;
adopt appropriate methods for achieving the objectives of each research proposal;
follow proper practices for safety and security of data – data management;
respect the rights of those affected by their research (human and animals);
obtain written approval from appropriate ethics and safety committees, and other regulatory bodies where required;
manage conflicts of interest in terms of personal ambition and advantage, so as not to compromise good practice and scholarly considerations; and
accept the responsibility for their actions when disseminating research findings.
2. Research Grant Misconduct
Misappropriation of costs or violation of the FNU Research Funding scheme guidelines.