Public interest disclosure
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act) commenced on 15 January 2014. The PID Act promotes the integrity and accountability of the Commonwealth public sector by creating a framework for facilitating the reporting of suspected wrongdoing and ensuring timely and effective investigation of reports.
The public interest disclosure scheme supplements existing avenues for complaints and investigations, and provides support and protection to persons who make disclosures under the Act.
Find out more about the public interest disclosure scheme on the Commonwealth Ombudsman website.
Who can make a disclosure
You must be a current or former public official to make a disclosure under the PID Act.
Under the PID Act, ‘public official’ is a broad term that includes:
- any person employed by the Australian Government
- individuals employed by Commonwealth companies, statutory authorities, statutory agencies, the Parliamentary service, statutory officeholders and government business enterprises
- service providers under contract to the Commonwealth and their staff.
What you can report
You can disclose information that you believe on reasonable grounds tends to show ‘disclosable conduct’.
In general, this means conduct by a Commonwealth agency, public official or a contracted Commonwealth service provider (in connection with the Commonwealth contract) that:
- contravenes a law
- is corrupt
- perverts the course of justice
- is maladministration, including conduct that is unjust, oppressive or negligent
- is an abuse of public trust
- wastes public funds or property
- unreasonably endangers health and safety or endangers the environment
- could, if proved, give rise to disciplinary action.
Disagreement with government policy, action or expenditure does not constitute disclosable conduct.
Make a public interest disclosure
We have several Authorised Officers appointed under the PID Act.
To email your public interest disclosure or request assistance to make a disclosure, email PID@ag.gov.au.
You can also send your public interest disclosure to:
Public Interest Disclosure Contact Officer
3–5 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600
Your identity and contact details, as well as the content of your public interest disclosure, will be protected in accordance with the PID Act.
If you wish to remain anonymous and do not wish to have your identity or contact details provided to the Secretary or the Investigation Delegate, clearly state this in your correspondence.
In many cases it can help the Authorised Officer or Investigation Delegate if they can contact you for further details or clarification. However, we will not disclose your name or contact details to them if you have asked to remain anonymous.
FOI and Privacy Section