How to make a public interest disclosure
The Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (the Act) encourages and facilitates people to make disclosures about improper conduct or detrimental action involving public officers or public bodies. It also protects persons who make those disclosures.
The Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions (DJSIR) is committed to the aims and objectives of the Act. It recognises the value of transparency, integrity and accountability in its practices, and supports the making of disclosures.
Purpose of the Public Interest Disclosure Act
The purposes of the Act are to:
- encourage and facilitate disclosures of improper conduct involving public officers and public bodies
- provide the discloser with protection from detrimental action as a result of making a public interest disclosure
- ensure the confidentiality of the content of public interest disclosures and the identity of persons who make those disclosures.
What is a public interest disclosure?
A public interest disclosure is a complaint or allegation made about improper conduct or detrimental action involving a public officer or public body.
Improper conduct includes:
- corrupt conduct
- any of the following conduct by a public officer or public body in their capacity as a public officer or public body:
- criminal offence
- serious professional misconduct
- dishonest performance of public functions
- intentional or reckless breach of public trust
- an intentional or reckless misuse of information
- a substantial mismanagement of public resources
- a substantial risk to health or safety of one or more persons
- a substantial risk to the environment
- conduct of any person that adversely affects, or is intended to affect, the honest or effective performance by a public officer or public body of their functions.
Detrimental action is any adverse action that is taken against a person in reprisal for making or assisting with a disclosure.
For further information, see section 4 of the Act.
Who can make a disclosure?
Any person or group of persons (but not businesses) can make a disclosure.
How do I make a disclosure?
The Act only allows certain people and entities to receive disclosures.
If your disclosure is made to a person or entity that is unable to receive your disclosure, it may not attract the protection of the Act. It is therefore important to determine if you are making your disclosure to the correct body or person.
Disclosures about DJSIR or its staff should be made to the Public Interest Disclosure (PID) Coordinator:
Director, Integrity Services
GPO Box 4509, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 0412 205 128
Disclosures may also be made to:
- the Secretary of DJSIR
- the manager or supervisor of the person who is the subject of your disclosure
- if you are a DJSIR employee, your manager or supervisor.
Disclosures may also be made directly to IBAC:
Disclosures can be made:
- by phone (including leaving a voicemail message)
- in person by arrangement, or
- in writing by email or letter (but not by fax). Any disclosures sent by email or letter should be marked ‘Confidential – for addressee eyes only’.
Disclosures about entities other than DJSIR should be made to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) unless:
- the disclosure is about IBAC or one of its officers, in which case it should be made to the Victorian Inspectorate
- the disclosure is about the Victorian Inspectorate, in which case it should be made to the Integrity and Oversight Committee of the Parliament of Victoria.
The department will, however, refer misdirected disclosures to the appropriate body for action in accordance with the ‘no wrong door’ provisions contained in the Act.
Where can I get more information?
More details about DJSIR’s processes for handling public interest disclosures can be obtained by contacting the DJSIR Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator using the contact details above.
More information on the Act and IBAC's procedures are available on the IBAC website.
Page last updated: 30 December 2022