Public Interest Disclosures

Date published: 1 March 2024

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. Disclosures can be made anonymously.

The objectives of the Act are to:

  • promote integrity and accountability in the Commonwealth public sector
  • encourage and facilitate the making of Public Interest Disclosures (PIDs) by public officials
  • ensure that public officials who choose to make public interest disclosures are supported and protected from any adverse consequences relating to the disclosures
  • ensure that disclosures made 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. 

IHACPA’s PID Policy and Procedures are being updated to ensure compliance with the National Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2022, the Privacy Act 2013, PID Act and PID Standard. IHACPA will publish the new PID Policy and Procedures when they are finalised. 

What is an internal 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.

The Act provides protection against detrimental action that may be taken against public officials or others who make any type of PID.

What is ‘disclosable conduct’

Disclosable conduct is defined in section 29 of the Act and includes conduct that:

  • contravenes a law
  • is corrupt
  • wastes public funds
  • abuses public trust
  • is misconduct relating to scientific research, analysis or advice
  • 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.

How to make a disclosure

Disclosures can be made to your supervisor (if you work for IHACPA) or an IHACPA’s authorised officer, if the conduct relates to the IHACPA.

To make a disclosure: 

  • call or email the most appropriate authorised officer to receive your disclosure
  • write to the authorised officer at PO Box 483, Darlinghurst NSW, 1300 Australia
  • email PID_IHACPA@ihacpa.gov.au and the PID team will forward the email to the most appropriate authorised officer.

Subject lines or envelopes should be marked "Confidential – IHACPA 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 IHACPA, you can make a disclosure to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

What information to include

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.

Further information

For further information, you can visit the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s website or email our PID team on PID_IHACPA@ihacpa.gov.au

Public Interest Disclosure (PID) Scheme
Public Interest Disclosure (PID) Scheme
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