Provisions under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 commenced on 15 January 2014.
This legislation establishes Australia’s first stand-alone whistle-blower protection scheme for federal government employees, contractors and employees of contractors who report wrongdoing within the Commonwealth public sector and Commonwealth entities.
The provisions of the Act apply to Outback Stores Pty Ltd and employees of Outback Stores Pty Ltd.
The public interest disclosure scheme seeks to remove barriers, real or perceived, that prevent people working within the Commonwealth public sector and Commonwealth entities from speaking up about serious problems that affect public administration. It aims to further promote a culture that encourages early internal disclosure and pro-active management of identified problems.
The objects of this Act are:
- to promote the integrity and accountability of the Commonwealth public sector to encourage and facilitate the making of public interest disclosures by public officials
- to ensure that public officials who make public interest disclosures are supported and are protected from adverse consequences relating to the disclosures; and,
- to ensure that disclosures by public officials are properly investigated and dealt with
Outback Stores Pty Ltd supports the public interest disclosure scheme and has developed procedures for facilitating and investigating public interest disclosures made to the organisation including appointing Authorised Officers to manage and investigate disclosures.
Who can make a Public Interest Disclosure?
A person must be a current or former ‘public official’ to make a disclosure. This broad term includes Australian Government public servants and parliamentary service employees, members of the Defence Force, staff and directors of Commonwealth companies, statutory office holders and staff of Commonwealth contracted service providers. A person may also be deemed by an Authorised Officer to be a ‘public official’.
What type of wrongdoing can be reported?
A public official can disclose information that they believe on reasonable grounds tends to show ‘disclosable conduct’. This means conduct by an agency, a public official or a contracted Commonwealth service provider (in connection with a Commonwealth contract) that:
- contravenes a law
- is corrupt
- perverts the course of justice
- results in wastage of public funds or property
- is an abuse of public trust
- unreasonably endangers health and safety or endangers the environment
- is misconduct relating to scientific research, analysis or advice
- is maladministration, including conduct that is unjust, oppressive or negligent.
- Disagreement with government policy, action or expenditure does not amount to ‘disclosable conduct’.
Making a Public Interest Disclosure to Outback Stores Pty Ltd under the PID Scheme
Detailed advice on how to make a public interest disclosure can be found on the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s website at the following link: www.pid.ombudsman.gov.au. The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s website also contains further general information on the PID scheme.
If you wish to make a public interest disclosure to Outback Store Pty Ltd or require further information about how Outback Stores Pty Ltd operates under the scheme, please contact the Executive Assistant to the CEO at email@example.com.