Public interest disclosures

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Public Information Disclosure Scheme

The Public Interest Disclosure Scheme is the legislative scheme for the reporting and investigation of allegations of serious wrongdoing in the Commonwealth public sector. The scheme is in accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (the PID Act). The PID Act:

  • removes barriers that prevent people who work in the public sector from speaking up about serious problems that impact on public administration
  • ensures that reports of wrongdoing are properly investigated and dealt with
  • provides protection to public officials who report allegations of wrongdoing.

Public interest disclosure is the reporting of wrongdoing in the Commonwealth public sector. This may include conduct which you reasonably believe:

  • contravenes a law
  • is corrupt
  • perverts the course of justice
  • results in a wastage of public funds or property
  • is an abuse of public trust
  • unreasonably endangers health and safety or endangers the environment
  • is maladministration, including conduct that is unjust, oppressive or negligent.

Disclosures are about matters where investigation and correction is in the public interest. This does not include disagreements with government policy or expenditure.

Making a public interest disclosure

Public interest disclosures can be made by a public official. This includes any person who is, or was, employed by the Australian Government; by any Commonwealth companies, authorities and statutory agencies, the Parliamentary service and statutory officeholders, and service providers under contract to the Commonwealth and anyone employed by them.

Public interest disclosures can be made orally or in writing. We have appointed Authorised Officers to receive public interest disclosures. Initial contact with these officers can be made via email to:

More information

For more information, consult the Commonwealth Ombudsman website.