A BARNSLEY Council employee was forced to resign after a whistleblower came forward and the police are investigating a further two incidents.

The council has had a corporate whistleblowing policy since 2000 which has been reviewed regularly to ensure it is ‘fit for purpose’.

It has recently been changed to the Confidential Reporting Policy.

Over the last 12 months, a total of seven people contacted the service, although four cases have been closed.

Three of those concerns regarded abuse of position but on two occasions there was ‘no evidence to support the allegation’.

One incident resulted in the employee resigning from their position at Barnsley Council.

Of the three incidents that are still currently being investigated, two have been referred to the police.

The report states: “The confidential reporting arrangements are part of a wider framework of how employees, particularly can raise concerns.

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“However, specifically in relation to the use of the whistle blowing arrangements, during the last 12 months there have been seven instances of contact, all received via either email or letter.

“Of the concerns raised, two were made anonymously.

“Although there have only been these seven instances where the specific confidential reporting arrangements have been used, there have been other matters raised directly with senior management, both anonymously and with names provided.

“In these cases, advice is sought from the corporate anti-fraud team, internal audit or one of the corporate whistle blowing officers.

“In all cases the circumstances of the matter are considered to identify any opportunities for learning and particularly in the improvement of controls.”

Bosses admit that due to the cost-of-living crisis, employees may undertake some ‘wrongdoing’.

The report added: “Although unpleasant to consider, there is a recognised increased risk to all organisations that when the general economic situation worsens and individuals are put under personal financial pressure, there can be a temptation for employees and those external to organisations to undertake some kind of wrongdoing.

“As we know and appreciate, the vast majority of employees in the council are honest and trustworthy and won’t tolerate others depriving the council of its scarce resources.

“The council is committed to having a robust and effective process to facilitate the raising of concerns as a key part of our armoury to protect its assets and resources.”

A Barnsley Council spokesperson said: “As a council, we are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of personal and professional integrity.

“Our confidential reporting policy allows people to raise concerns about wrongdoing, malpractice, illegality, or workplace risks in the public interest.”