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Integrity policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy is effective from 20 December 2022.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Policy sets out the University’s principles for maintaining integrity in all aspects of University operations.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to members of the University, associates and the controlled entities.

(4) This Policy does not apply to academic integrity which is managed through the Academic Integrity policy.

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Section 4 - Policy

(5) Deakin University is an Australian public university established by the Deakin University Act 2009 (Vic). Its objects are set out in section 5 of the Act, and broadly described, are to be a higher education provider undertaking teaching, research and community engagement. The University’s stakeholders are its members as well as its partners, collaborating institutions, funders, government, regulators and the broader public. Its reputation for excellence in all that it does is fundamental to its purpose and social license.

(6) Ethical, lawful and accountable conduct and practice is integral and essential to the University’s reputation and mission.

(7) As a public and publicly funded institution established by statute in Victoria, Deakin University is subject to the integrity system established by the Victorian Government. This system of accountability and oversight includes:

Name Function
Victorian Ombudsman
as per the Ombudsman Act 1973 (Vic)
Has the power to receive complaints and investigate administrative actions of state government departments, local councils and statutory authorities.
Independent Broad-based Anti Corruption Commission
as per Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011 (Vic) and Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic)
Exposes and prevents public sector corruption and police misconduct. Under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic) individuals may be afforded statutory protections when making a public interest disclosure.
Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO)
as per the Audit Act 1994 (Vic)
Provides independent assurance to the Parliament and Victorian community as to the financial integrity and performance of the State.
Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC)
as per the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) and Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and the Information Privacy Principles (IPP)
Provides independent oversight of the Victorian public sector’s collection, use and disclosure of public sector information and personal information.
Financial Management Act 1994 Mandates standards of financial administration and requires the University to provide an annual report to the Victorian Parliament.
Public Records Act 1973 Requires the University to keep proper records.

(8) The University is also subject to a range of accountabilities to the Commonwealth Government, particularly as a registered higher education provider subject to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 and as the recipient of Commonwealth funding.

(9) In addition to meeting its regulated standards and compliance obligations, Deakin University is committed to the highest ethical standards in its teaching, research and operations, and ensuring that decision making, conduct and actions are undertaken honestly and transparently and are not unduly or improperly influenced, including by personal, private or other interests.

(10) The University’s governing body, the University Council, is responsible for ensuring that the University has in place the requisite controls to prevent and control unlawful, unethical, improper or corrupt conduct.

(11) The Vice-Chancellor will ensure that:

  1. appropriate systems are in place to ensure the University values and supports a culture of transparency and accountability across all of its operations;
  2. appropriate integrity standards are reflected in Deakin’s policies, procedures and practices and a culture of integrity  is fostered and valued;
  3. University records are properly and securely maintained and confidential and personal information are managed lawfully;
  4. conflicts of interest are disclosed and properly managed;
  5. staff, students, researchers and associates are appropriately supported and guided to perform and discharge their functions including through training, policies and procedures and other avenues;
  6. opportunities for unlawful, unethical, improper or corrupt conduct are minimised;
  7. policies and procedures set out processes for reporting breaches or suspected unlawful and/or unethical conduct, including in relation to fraudulent, corrupt or improper conduct, and in relation to breaches of academic integrity and research misconduct
  8. processes for recording, addressing and reporting suspected incidents of fraud are in place;
  9. confidential disclosures can be made and received by the University. An independent and externally hosted service (Stopline) will be maintained to facilitate anonymous reporting;
  10. allegations or instances of integrity breaches are addressed in a fair, transparent and timely manner and in accordance with the relevant procedures;
  11. an effective internal audit function is maintained as a key component of the University’s governance framework, and to meet financial reporting and accountabilities imposed by law and contractual obligations assumed by the University;
  12. oversight of integrity measures falls within the terms of reference of the Audit and Risk Committee.

(12) Where no existing process applies, the Vice-Chancellor is responsible for ensuring that any integrity matter is appropriately investigated and addressed.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(13) Associated procedures are:

  1. Declaration of Interest procedure
  2. Fraud and Corruption Prevention and Control procedure
  3. Gifts and Hospitality Acceptance procedure
  4. Internal Audit policy and Internal Audit procedure.
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Section 6 - Definitions

(14) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. associates: contractors, consultants, volunteers, visiting appointees and visitors to the University.
  2. breach: act or omission which leads to the University and/or staff member(s) failing to meet their compliance obligations. 
  3. integrity: moral and ethical standards applied consistently in decision making and in day-to-day operations that results in all actions being undertaken honestly and transparently without undue influence by personal or private interests.
  4. member of the University: as defined in section 4(3) of the Deakin University Act 2009 (Vic) and includes members of Council, staff and students of the University.
  5. staff: a member of the academic or professional staff, executive or honoraries appointed by the University.
  6. student:
    1. a person enrolled in a course or unit in the University;
    2. a student of another higher education institution to whom the University grants rights of access to University premises and facilities;
    3. a candidate for an award of the University whose work has been examined or assessed but on whom the award has not been conferred;
    4. a person who is on leave of absence from or who has deferred enrolment in a unit or course of the University.