Public Interest Disclosure

We’ve all heard the term ‘whistleblowing’ - The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act), replaced the whistleblowing provisions in January 2014. But it’s not just about a name change.

About the Commonwealth Public Interest Disclosure (PID) scheme

The purpose of the PID scheme is to:

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 applies to this scheme and protects people making disclosures in most cases. The Act applies across the Australian Government public sector.

What information can I report?

You can report / disclose information that you believe on reasonable grounds tends to show, wrongdoing within an Australian Government agency, or by a public official, or a Commonwealth contracted service provider.

You may disclose the following types of suspected wrongdoing:

You cannot disclose:

Not all matters will fall under the PID Act. It may be more appropriate for your disclosure to be dealt with under another process.

Also, matters that have already been subject to a previous investigation process may not be further investigated under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013.

Making a PID in the Digital Transformation Agency

Public interest disclosures can be made by a current or former public official. This includes:

Public interest disclosures can be made orally or in writing:

You can also report anonymously, however:

To contact DTA authorised officers:

Read more about how we manage public interest disclosures in DTA in our PID Procedures.

Protections offered under the PID Act

If you make a public interest disclosure under the Act (even if an investigation subsequently determines that there was no wrongdoing), you are protected in two ways. 

Liability:

You cannot be subject to any civil, criminal or administrative liability, including disciplinary action, for making a disclosure in accordance with the PID Act, and no contractual or other remedy can be enforced against you on the basis of your disclosure.

This protection does not apply if you knowingly make a statement that is false or misleading. It also does not apply if you knowingly contravene, without a reasonable excuse, certain publication restrictions listed in the PID Act.

Reprisal:

You are also protected against reprisal. It is an offence for any person to cause you any detriment because they suspect or believe that you made or will make a public interest disclosure.

Information you will need to provide

The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Guide to making a Disclosure includes helpful information on what to include in your report of suspected wrongdoing

More information

You can find more information about making a Public Interest Disclosure on the Commonwealth Ombudsman website.