Reporting Serious Wrongdoing
The Public Interest Disclosures system
The Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 sets in place a system to encourage people who work in the NSW public sector to report serious wrongdoing in the sector without fear of being sued for defamation or breach of confidence or action in reprisal for their making a report. A disclosure that is protected under the Act is commonly referred to as a PID.
To whom can I make a PID?
Your organisation is required by law to have an internal reporting policy that tells you who else you can make a disclosure to. If it doesn’t, or if you have reasons to doubt your organisation’s capacity to do something about the wrongdoing you have observed, you can report:
- serious maladministration to the NSW Ombudsman
- corrupt conduct by a public official to the Independent Commission Against Corruption
- serious and substantial waste to the NSW Auditor General
- government information contraventions to the Information Commissioner NSW
- serious wrongdoing in a council (of any of the above categories) to the Office of Local Government
- serious wrongdoing by a police officer (of any of the above categories) to the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.
While you can make a PID to the Public Service Commissioner about another organisation it is important to note that, by law, the Commissioner will be obliged to refer the PID to the principal officer of, or officer who constitutes, the organisation concerned, or to an investigating authority, for investigation or other action.
A concern about the way someone’s behaviour is affecting you as an individual (such as inequitable treatment of you in the workplace) will generally be more appropriately dealt with through a grievance process than the PID system.
How can I make a PID to the PSC?
If you do not work for the PSC you must make the PID to the Public Service Commissioner.
If you do work for the PSC you can make the PID to:
- the PSC’s Public Interest Disclosures Coordinator or
- the Public Service Commissioner.
You can make the PID orally or in writing, but it is better if you make it in writing, using the reporting form that is at the end of the PSC’s Public Interest Disclosures Policy
If you have any questions about making a PID contact the PSC’s Public Interest Disclosures Coordinator (contact details below).
PSC’s PID Coordinator
The PSC’s Assistant Commissioner, Performance and Analytics Division, is its Public Interests Disclosures Coordinator and can be contacted on: