18.-(1) Every person to whom
(a) an employee makes a disclosure in accordance with section 7, 8 or 9; or
(b) a disclosure is referred in accordance with section 19(4), shall receive the disclosure and take appropriate steps in accordance with this section to investigate or cause the disclosure to be investigated.
(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the person who receives a disclosure pursuant to subsection (1) shall
(a) receive and record the matter being disclosed;
(b) take steps, where the person considers that an investigation should be proceeded with and that the circumstances specified in section (19)(2) do not apply, to cause the conduct disclosed to be investigated in accordance with subsection (3).
(3) Having considered that an investigation should be proceeded with, the person shall
(a) commence investigations forthwith and issue periodic updates on the investigation to the employee making the disclosure, at intervals of thirty days;
(b) ensure that investigations are carried out fairly;
(c) review the results of investigations into disclosures and report the findings to the employee who made the disclosure and to anybody appearing to the person receiving the disclosure to be appropriate (having regard to the relevant improper conduct and the area of responsibility of that body);
(d) make recommendations regarding the measures to be taken to correct the improper conduct;
(e) take steps to remedy the improper conduct, provide redress where appropriate, take disciplinary action where appropriate, and reduce the opportunity for recurrence of the conduct;
(f) ensure that the rights of the employee making the disclosure, any witness and any person alleged to be at fault are protected; and
(g) receive, record, review, investigate and otherwise deal with complaints made in respect of reprisals as a result of a disclosure made under this Act.
19. (l) An employer or other person to whom a disclosure is made in accordance with this Act, acting in good faith, may, in any of the circumstances set out in subsection
(a) refuse to deal with the disclosure, or commence an investigation into any improper conduct alleged in the disclosure; or
(b) cease an investigation.
(2) The circumstances are
(a) the subject matter of the disclosure or the related investigation has been adequately dealt with, or could more appropriately be dealt with by another person;
(b) the subject matter of the disclosure is frivolous or not sufficiently important to warrant an investigation;
(c) the circumstances surrounding the subject matter of the disclosure have changed (whether by reason of a change in the circumstances of the employee or the employer, insufficiency of evidence or otherwise) so that it renders the investigation unnecessary.
(3) Where an employer decides to refuse to carry out an investigation the employer shall provide reasons in writing to the employee within fifteen days of the decision.
(a) the disclosure has been made to a prescribed person or Minister; and
(b) under the provisions of this Act the prescribed person or Minister is not entitled to investigate the matter disclosed then the prescribed person or Minister to whom the disclosure was made shall forthwith refer the disclosure to such other prescribed person or Minister who, in the opinion of the first mentioned prescribed person or Minister, is so entitled.
Referenced Legislation: Protected Disclosures Act (2011)