The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act) encourages and enables public officials (disclosers) to raise suspected wrongdoing within the Commonwealth public sector.
All Australian government agencies, Commonwealth companies and public authorities have responsibilities under the PID Act to investigate suspected wrongdoing and take appropriate action. Disclosers are also afforded protections from reprisal action and certain immunities from liability.
Allegations of wrongdoing made under the PID Act are known as public interest disclosures (‘PID’). Conduct which may be the subject of a PID includes, but is not limited to:
- a contravention of the law
- perverting the course of justice
- an abuse of public trust
- falsifying scientific research
- wastage of public money or
- conduct that constitutes a danger to health, safety or the environment.
The Commonwealth Ombudsman has a key role in the monitoring and oversight of the PID Act, and providing assistance to disclosers and agencies. Disclosures to authorised officers can be made anonymously, either in person or by telephone.
Public officials who intend to make a PID related to the Department of Industry should make the PID to an authorised officer. The department’s authorised officers are the Director General and the two individuals who occupy the role of Deputy Director General.
The IP Australia Organisational chart provides the details of the individuals occupying these roles.
The Secretary of the Department has established a PID Procedure on managing public interest disclosure complaints.