The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act) commenced on 15 January 2014.
The legislation creates a public interest disclosure scheme that promotes integrity and accountability in the Australian public sector.
It does this by:
- encouraging and facilitating the disclosure of information by public officials about suspected wrongdoing in the public sector
- ensuring that public officials who make public interest disclosures are supported and protected from adverse consequences
- ensuring that disclosures by public officials are properly investigated and dealt with.
The PID scheme covers all of the agencies within the Australian Intelligence Community (ASIO, ASIS, ASD, AGO, DIO and ONA) and the Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.
The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has responsibilities under the scheme, including:
- receiving and, where appropriate, investigating disclosures about suspected wrongdoing within the intelligence agencies
- assisting current and former public officials who belong, or had previously belonged, to intelligence agencies in relation to the operation of the Act
- providing intelligence agencies with assistance in relation to public interest disclosures, including through education and awareness programs
- monitoring the operation of the PID Act in intelligence agencies.
Disclosures about suspected wrongdoing in the Australian Intelligence Community or in OIGIS, which include intelligence information*, must only be made directly to an authorised officer in the intelligence agency concerned, to your supervisor or to an authorised officer in OIGIS.
External disclosures must not consist of, or include, intelligence information* and must not relate to the conduct of an intelligence agency. Emergency disclosures and disclosures to a legal practitioner must not consist of, or include, intelligence information*.
(Note *: Section 41 of the PID Act provides a comprehensive definition of ‘intelligence information’).
Information about the PID scheme is available on the website of the Commonwealth Ombudsman:
The websites of Australian Intelligence Community agencies will include contact details for the PID scheme, including advice on how public officials can make disclosures under the scheme.
Current and former public officials can also contact OIGIS to make a disclosure by
- Calling the OIGIS number (02) 6271 5692 and asking to speak with a PID authorised officer
- Sending an email to PID@igis.gov.au
- Writing to the OIGIS mailing address: One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600.
More detailed information about the PID Act can be found on the website of the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
15 January 2014