Raising a Concern Policy Framework

Date published: 25 January 2023

The Raising a Concern Policy Framework (which can be found at the bottom of this web page) sets out at a high level how Departments will address concerns raised with them.  This document is intended as a framework within which each Department will align its own policy. This will ensure a consistency of approach in line with good practice.

Details

Anyone who wishes to raise a concern should contact the relevant Department:

Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA)
Department for Communities (DfC)
Department for the Economy (DfE)
Department of Education (DE)
Department of Finance (DoF)
Department of Health (DoH)
Department for Infrastructure (DfI)
Department of Justice (DoJ)
The Executive Office (TEO)

If anyone wishes to raise a concern about a senior member of the Northern Ireland Civil Service (at Deputy Secretary or Permanent Secretary level) they should go to the Top Management Complaints Procedure:

Making a Complaint about Top Management in the NICS

Next Steps

Following publication of the Raising a Concern Policy Framework:

  • Departments will update their guidance on raising concerns in line with the new framework.
  • All Departments will nominate a Designated Officer responsible for overseeing the handling of concerns, including maintaining a record, and reporting to their departmental Audit and Risk Assurance Committee on a regular basis.         
  • Training will be rolled out across all departments to ensure that there is a shared understanding of their role in dealing with concerns raised by staff or members of the public.    
  • A Designated Officers’ Forum will be established to discuss common issues around the raising and handling of concerns and to ensure system-wide learning.
  • The NICS Board will commission an annual report from the Designated Officers’ Forum on the concerns being raised across departments, in order to monitor trends and identify ways for system-wide improvements.       
  • The Group Internal Audit Service will complete audits within all nine Departments to ensure the Raising Concerns framework is adequate and effective to manage the concerns raised.
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