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Public Interest Disclosure

All public authorities, including local government, have mechanisms through which either employees or members of the public can raise matters of concern. For the most part, individual issues can be raised and resolved through these mechanisms. Occasionally however an issue may come along which, because of its seriousness, the seniority of the person it affects (or for any other reason), it may not be appropriate to use the usual complaints process. In cases like this, it may be appropriate to lodge a public interest disclosure.

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 enables people to make disclosures about improper conduct within the State public sector, local government and public universities without fear of reprisal.

The PID Act aims to ensure openness and accountability in government by encouraging people to make disclosures and protecting them when they do.

What is a Public Interest Disclosure?

A disclosure must relate to information that would be a matter of public interest and tend to show wrongdoing by a public authority, an officer or a contractor when performing a public function. The information must relate to the performance of a public function of the organisation.

What types of wrongdoing?

Wrongdoing includes:-

  • An offence under State law
  • Substantial misuse or mismanagement of the authority’s resources
  • Substantial risk of injury to public health, safety or the environment
  • Administrative matters covered by the Ombudsman
  • Improper conduct.