Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (the Act) is a legislative scheme for the reporting and investigation of allegations of serious wrongdoing in the Commonwealth public sector.
The objectives of the Act are to:
- promote the integrity and accountability of the Commonwealth public sector
- encourage and facilitate the making of public interest disclosures by public officials
- ensure that public officials who make public interest disclosures are supported and protected from adverse consequences relating to the disclosures
- ensure that disclosures by public officials are properly investigated and dealt with
- ensure that PID officers refer serious or systemic corruption issues to the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
The PID Procedures are being updated to ensure compliance with the National Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2022 (NACC), Privacy Act 2013, PID Act and PID Standard.
We will publish the new PID procedures when they are finalised. Section 59 (3) states: The principal officer of an agency must, by instrument in writing, establish procedures for facilitating and dealing with public interest disclosures relating to the agency.
What is an internal Public Interest Disclosure (PID)
An internal PID is a disclosure:
- by a current or former public official
- of information that tends to show ‘disclosable conduct’
- made to an authorised officer or supervisor of the discloser.
Information on this page applies to internal PIDs only. Please refer to the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s website for more information on other types of PIDs, such as:
- emergency disclosure
- external disclosure
- legal practitioner disclosure
- NACC disclosure.
What is ‘disclosable conduct’
Disclosable conduct is defined in s 29 of the Act and includes conduct that:
- contravenes a law
- is corrupt
- wastes public funds
- abuses public trust
- unreasonably endangers health, safety and/or the environment
- could, if proved, give reasonable grounds for disciplinary action resulting in the termination of the official's engagement or appointment.
Who can you make a disclosure to?
Disclosures can be made to your supervisor (if you work for the department) or an authorised officer (AO) at the Department of Health and Aged Care, if the conduct relates to the Department of Health and Aged Care.
How to make a disclosure
You can make a disclosure to us by either:
- calling or emailing the most appropriate authorised officer to receive your disclosure
- writing to the authorised officer at GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
- emailing PID@health.gov.au and the PID Unit will forward the email to the most appropriate authorised officer.
Subject lines or envelopes should be marked "Confidential – Health PID – For the Attention of (insert authorised officer name, if known), authorised officer"
Disclosure to the Ombudsman
If you are concerned about making a disclosure to the department, you can make a disclosure to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
What information to include
You may wish to use the notification form, to ensure you include as much detail as possible.
In general, to assist us in assessing and properly investigating your PID, you should include:
- your name and contact details, unless you want to be anonymous
- details of the alleged wrongdoing
- if you think the alleged wrongdoing could be considered corrupt conduct
- who committed the alleged wrongdoing
- when and where the alleged wrongdoing occurred
- relevant events surrounding the issue
- if you did anything in response to the wrongdoing
- others who know about the wrongdoing and have allowed it to continue
- if you’re concerned about possible reprisals as a result of making your disclosure
- any supporting documentation and/or any witnesses.
For further information, you can visit the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s website or contact our PID Coordination Unit.