Public interest disclosures
Misconduct in the public sector
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 aims to make the Australian public service more accountable and promote integrity by:
- encouraging public officials to report suspected wrongdoing in the public sector
- protecting those who make disclosures from negative consequences (such as bullying and harassment)
- making sure disclosures are properly investigated.
Disclosable conduct includes conduct that:
- is against a law
- is corrupt
- wastes public funds or property
- abuses public trust
- unreasonably endangers health, safety and the environment
- is unjust, oppressive or negligent.
It also includes misconduct related to scientific research, analysis or advice.
Any current or former public official can make a disclosure, including:
- Australian Government public servants and parliamentary service employees
- members of the Defence Force
- staff and directors of Commonwealth companies
- statutory office holders
- staff of service providers under contract to the Commonwealth.
Public interest disclosures can be made in person, by phone or in writing to:
- an authorised officer of PSR (this includes the Director of the agency)
- the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
We will not give your identifying information to anyone without your consent, unless authorised by the Public Interest Disclosure Act.
You can also report anonymously. However:
- Anonymous reporting can make further investigation difficult.
- We cannot provide you with updates on the progress of the investigation.
- It can be difficult to ensure you are protected from reprisal.
When we receive a public interest disclosure, an authorised officer will assess whether:
- the person making the disclosure is a current or former public official
- the disclosed information reasonably shows disclosable conduct.
If you have any questions or want to make a disclosure, call (02) 6120 9100 and ask to speak to an Authorised Officer or contact us.