Wise Workplace Investigations

May 2009 Issue

Latest WISE News

WISE exhibiting at AHRI Convention

WISE will be taking a stand at the AHRI Convention on 15-16 June showcasing our work and talking to HR professionals. The exhibition is free so why not come and visit us and check out the other exhibitors too.  Click here to find out more about AHRI Convention


Child Protection Symposium

Harriet stacey presented two papers on interviewing skills at the  Symposium run by the NSW Ombudsman on 25-26 May.  Copies of Harriet's papers and other presenters will be available on the Symposium Web site this week. 

Corporate Governance Report

Auditor-General's Report to Parliament 2009 Volume Two - on Corporate Governance Arrangements in Large Government Agencies and universities reports on the 17 Components of Corporate Governance. Click here to view the report 

Ethical Issues Website

The Australian Public Service has launched a new Ethical Web site to assist staff with concerns over ethical issues. Check it our here.

eWISE May 2009 | WISE Workplace

Feature article

Five Steps to combat Fraud

Corporate Fraud and theft from organisations is on the rise - particularly in this tough economic climate. As job insecurity grows and people are tightening their belts, the temptation to use company money for personal expenses grows. The biggest motivation for internal fraud is still gambling - an activity that is known to increase at times of recenssion.  WISE Principal Harriet Stacey suggests five easy steps an organisation can take to protect itself against corporate fraud and theft.

Case Study: Management Enquiry

Staff complaints against a manager

Most businesses depend on the efficient working of a number of sometimes complex systems and processes.

Understanding what went wrong can be a vitally important part of the business improvement process.

WISE Workplace Investigations has the skills and expertise required to conduct an investigation to determine the cause of a system failure.

We visit the workplace and talk to management and staff in confidence.

Our independent investigators circumnavigate internal politics and conflict of interests to establish the truth about workplace unrest.

We analyse information and provide feedback to senior management on systems improvement, team building or cultural change that may have impacted productivity.


Two members of the same work team had lodged various and numerous complaints and grievances of bullying and discrimination about one manager.

The manager had previously been promoted to a different organization and no longer worked for the agency. The staff members were on stress leave with no return date.


WISE Workplace Investigations was engaged to investigate the complaints and determine appropriate action to enable the unit to return to normal productivity.


Experienced investigator Stewart Rainnie was assigned to the case. He conducted numerous interviews with the complainants and other staff members to determine the veracity of the complaints and the possible exposure of the company.

Corroboration was sought from electronic records and organizational files.

A digitally recorded interview was undertaken with the accused in the presence of his solicitor. Full procedural fairness was provided and the full extent of the allegations was made known to the former employee.

A full and thorough investigation report was prepared for the organization with recommendations, that affected the three main parties.

Strategic Outcomes

The report empowered senior managers to address long-standing conflict between the employees and the organisation.

No further action was found necessary against the manager. The two employees were found to have made unsupported allegations.

The organization used the WISE report to defend legal action and put an end to continued unrest in the unit.


Law in View - What is Sexual Harassment?

Section 28A of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth):

(1) For the purposes of this Division, a person sexually harasses another person (the person harassed) if:

(a) the person makes an unwelcome sexual advance, or an unwelcome request for sexual favours, to the person harassed; or

(b) engages in other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the person harassed;

in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

(2) In this section:

conduct of a sexual nature includes making a statement of a sexual nature to a person, or in the presence of a person, whether the statement is made orally or in writing.

It includes:

-     Physical harassment

a.     unwelcome touching, hugging, cornering or kissing

b.     inappropriate physical contact

c.      actual or attempted rape or assault.

-     Non-physical harassment

a.     inappropriate staring or leering

b.     repeated or inappropriate advances on email, social networking websites or internet chat  rooms by a work colleague (not asked in 2003)

c.      repeated or inappropriate invitations to go out on dates

d.     intrusive questions about your private life or physical appearance that make you feel  offended

e.     sexually suggestive comments or jokes that make you feel offended

f.      sexually explicit pictures, posters or gifts that make you feel offended

g.     sexually explicit emails or SMS message

h.     requests or pressure for sex or other sexual acts.

              eWISE May 2009 | WISE Workplace 1

What's on........

Australian Human Resources Institute National Convention

Sir Ken Robinson and Richard Watson will explore ideas about doing business in times of economic uncertainty and will share their insights into the future world of work. Physicist and philosopher Danah Zohar and Moet Hennessey, Louis Vuitton's Dr Concettta Lanciaux will speak about ideas on employee satisfaction, peak performance and total intelligence. 

The convention will also present Australia's largest HR trade show of 130 industry exhibitors showcasing the latest in HR and people management practices. 

WISE Workplace Investigations will be exhibiting at stand 43 next to the book shop so come and say 'hello' and talk to our Jo or Harriet about how our business can help you. 

  • When: 15-16 June 2009
  • Where: Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour
For more information visit www.convention.ahri.com.au

Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009

This years conference is a joint initiative of the Crime and Misconduct Commission (QLD), the Independent Commission Against Corruption (NSW), and the Corruption and Crime Commission (WA). 

This is a significant opportunity for Australian and international public officials to learn about contemporary anti-corruption trends and strategies, and to network with senior representatives of leading AUstralian public sector agencies. This conference will also be of particular interest to health administrators, tertiary institutions and agencies providing services in remote locations, with sessions focusing on each of these areas. 

Four days of workshops and conference sessions between 28 - 31 July 2009

  • When: 28th -31st July 2009 
  • Where: Sofitel Hotel, Brisbane
For more information go to www.apsacc.com.au

The Disability and Age Discrimination Law Reform Summit

Key note address by the Hon. Bill Shorten MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services. This summit will discuss legal aspects of discrimination in the workplace, provide advice on key issues for employers such as handling discrimination claims against your organisation and present case studies from  IBM Australia and New Zealand; City of Sydney and Telstra Diversity Council and others.

  • When: 30th and 31st July 2009 
  • Where: Swissotel, Sydney

For more information - www.iir.com.au

Performance Management Conference

The Performance Management and Behavioural Change Conference is designed for HR professionals and will address both the technical aspect of performance management and the communication skills managers can develop to improve outcomes during performance reviews. 

Hear leading HR professionals discuss how to take performance management forward from being a largely paper-based, annual chore to a daily tool line mangers can use to lift productivity. The conference will examine such issues as 

 - Changing the behaviours and attitudes of line managers to make performance management successful

 - Establishing clear goals for all employees linked to corporate objectives

 - Developing strategies to deal with misconduct and poor performance 

  • When: 27-29 July 2009 
  • Where: The Grace Hotel Sydney

For more information - contact Tonkin Corporation: 02 9224 6000 www.TonkinCorporation.com

Five minutes with WISE Senior Investigator Craig Sams

eWISE May 2009 | WISE Workplace 2

Craig Sams has been a Senior Investigator with WISE Workplace Investigations since 2005. He is an expert in Fraud investigations and indigenous issues. In his interview he also reveals a passion for motor scooters....and Dr Who! (more).... 

We want your feedback!

It is important for Wise Workplace Investigations to gain feedback from everything we do - we would welcome your comments on this newsletter - particularly with regard to what you wish to see in future issues.
Please email us with any comments or questions you may have!

Wise Workplace Investigations

We want your feedback!

For more information please contact harrietstacey@wiseinvestigations.com.au or 02 8243 1133

Wise Workplace Investigations

Wise Workplace Investigations 02 8243 1133

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