Protected disclosure reports
Protected Disclosure Policy
Protected disclosures can be made to the Registrar/Chief Executive of the Health Insurance Authority. To make a protected disclosure please:
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Dedicated phone line: 0818 929 166. Phone calls are not recorded however voice messages are.
Persons designated to receive and handle reports can access the email inbox or voicemail system available to a person who wishes to make a protected disclosure.
By post to:
The Registrar/Chief Executive,
Private and Confidential,
The Health Insurance Authority,
Beaux Lane House
Mercer Street Lower
Dublin 2/ D02 Dh60
The Registrar/Chief Executive, may assign an Authority officer to receive the protected disclosure. If a person wishes to make a protected disclosure in person, at The Health Insurance Authority's offices, the Registrar/Chief Executive or an Authority officer, will be assigned by the Registrar/Chief Executive for the purposes of receiving the protected disclosure. The Registrar/Chief Executive or designated Authority officer will agree a date and time in advance. This is to facilitate a meeting at the Authority offices with the person who wishes to make the protected disclosure under the Protected Disclosures Acts 2014 and 2022, in order to make a report.
Anonymous disclosures may also be submitted to the Authority.
The Protected Disclosure Acts 2014 and 2022, s. 5(3) list relevant wrongdoings for the purposes of the Acts which are:
(a) that an offence has been, is being or is likely to be committed,
(b) that a person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation, other than one arising under the worker’s contract of employment or other contract whereby the worker undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services,
(c) that a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur,
(d) that the health or safety of any individual has been, is being or is likely to be endangered,
(e) that the environment has been, is being or is likely to be damaged,
(f) that an unlawful or otherwise improper use of funds or resources of a public body, or of other public money, has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur,
(g) that an act or omission by or on behalf of a public body is oppressive, discriminatory or grossly negligent or constitutes gross mismanagement,
(h) that a breach has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur, or
(i) that information tending to show any matter falling within any of the preceding paragraphs has been, is being or is likely to be concealed or destroyed or an attempt has been, is being or is likely to be made to conceal or destroy such information.
There is more information available on the particular powers relevant to this legislation which you can find here https://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2014/act/14/enacted/en/html
In order to assist any person wishing to make a disclosure please find our Protected Disclosure Form in Appendix A in the pdf titled Confidential Disclosure Policy
The HIA will safeguard confidentiality and protect the identity of the person reporting the protected disclosure and other persons concerned by making sure that access rights and measures that lawfully limit such disclosures are in place, in line with section 16B of the Protected Disclosure Act 2014 (as amended) and the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 [OJ No. L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1.] on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC and Directive 2016/680/EU - Police and Criminal Justice Authorities Directive (also known as Law Enforcement Directive (LED Directive)). Other law may also be applicable which will ensure legal professional privilege or other privilege types may be applied and maintained.
These legislative measures will provide any exemptions that are available under the data protection rights legislation in order to ensure that the HIA can prevent a situation where there may be concerns about hinderances to making a protected disclosure, or endeavour to prevent factors that may impede, frustrate or slow down any progress, in relation to any investigations, or any efforts to reveal the identity of a person or other related persons such exemptions can be applied to.
If a person who makes a protected disclosure considers that their identity is not protected during the process of a protected disclosure, that person should get in touch with the HIA as soon as possible to let us know. The HIA takes these concerns seriously. In cases where such concerns are relevant, the HIA will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that those concerns are addressed as soon as possible.
Timelines and Follow up
HIA will acknowledge receipt of all protected disclosures to a named persons within 7 calendar days of receipt. The HIA will assess the disclosure. If information or other actions are required, the HIA will follow up with the person who provided their contact details to the HIA. If a protected disclosure is anonymously submitted the HIA may not have the required information to acknowledge receipt of the disclosure within 7 calendar days.
Case handling procedures and protection against civil liability when making a disclosure
The HIA will apply conditions under which persons making a report using the external channels and procedures to ensure such persons are protected from incurring a liability for a breach of confidentiality pursuant to sections 14 and 15 of the Data Protection Acts. Section 14 provides immunity from civil liability for a person who wishes to make a protected disclosure. While section 14 does not exclude the possibility of a defamation action, statements are privileged without a requirement for an explanation or a contradiction where it is a protected disclosure within the meaning of the Protected Disclosures Acts. If a protected disclosure is challenged, the party (an employer for example) who challenges that protection must show that the disclosure is not protected under the Protected Disclosures Acts. Employee's who consider that they have suffered some harm or who believe they have suffered some penalty as a consequence of making a disclosure can contact the Workplace Relations Commission within 6 months of a penalty arising, who will be able to provide more information in relation to any remedies available through the courts for a person who wishes to make a protected disclosure. The person disclosing may also apply to the circuit court within 21 days for interim relief in cases of an employee being dismissed.
If a protected disclosure report is made (whether submitted by a named person or otherwise), the HIA will ensure that it provides feedback on any actions that it intends to take. The HIA commits to doing this at quarterly intervals depending on the complexity of the protected disclosure and the extent of the actions required.
Section 21A of the Protected Disclosures Act Support Measures
The Protected Disclosures Acts also provide measures to support a person who wishes to make a protected disclosure. There are "prescribed persons" who must make themselves available for determining whether or otherwise the reporting person is entitled to protections provided under the Protected Disclosures Act.
The Commissioner of the Office of the Protected Disclosures at 6 Earlsfort Terrace, Saint Kevin's, Dublin 2, D02 W773, or other suitable persons (within the meaning of section 10C or 10D, as the case may be), Workplace Relations Commission at Lansdowne House, Lansdowne Rd, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Labour Court at Lansdowne House, Lansdowne Rd, Dublin 4 or any court of competent jurisdiction.