The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act) commenced on 15 January 2014. The PID Act provides an avenue for public officials to make a disclosure that they reasonably believe meets the definition of disclosable conduct. The PID Act also aims to promote the integrity and accountability of the Commonwealth sector by:
- encouraging the disclosure of information by public officials about suspected wrongdoing in the public sector
- ensuring that public officials are supported and protected from adverse consequences and
- ensuring that disclosures are properly investigated.
What is disclosable conduct?
This means conduct by an agency, public official or a contracted Commonwealth service provider that:
- contravenes a law
- is corrupt
- perverts the course of justice
- results in wastage of public funds or property
- is an abuse of public trust
- unreasonably endangers health and safety or endangers the environment
- is misconduct relating to scientific research, analysis or advice and
- is maladministration, including conduct that is unjust, oppressive or negligent
Who can make a difference?
A current of former ‘public official’ can disclose that they believe on reasonable grounds tends to show disclosable conduct. This broad term includes Australian Government public servants and parliamentary service employees, members of the Defence force, staff and directors of Commonwealth companies, statutory office holders and staff of Commonwealth contracted service providers.
Protections for the person who makes a difference
The identity of a person who makes a difference will be kept confidential as far as practicable. It is an offence to provide identifying information about a person who makes a disclosure without their consent unless authorised by the PID Act.
Under the PID Act, each Agency must appoint authorised officers to handle public interest disclosures. Disclosures can also be made to a supervisor/manager, who must pass it to an authorised officer. For the purposes of the PID Act, the following staff have been appointed as Authorised Officers:
Policy, Planning and Performance
Phone (02) 6289 1470
Who can a disclosure be made to?
You can make a disclosure to your current manager or the authorised officer.