The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act) which commenced on 15 January 2014 promotes integrity and accountability in the Australian public sector by encouraging the disclosure of information about suspected wrongdoing, protecting people who make disclosures and requiring agencies to take action.

The purpose of the Act is to promote the integrity and accountability of the Commonwealth public sector 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.

Who can make a disclosure under the PID Act?

To make a disclosure under the PID Act a person must be a current or former ‘public official’. 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 the Commonwealth contract, that:

  • contravenes a Commonwealth, state or territory law
  • in a foreign country, contravenes a foreign law that applies to the agency, official or service provider
  • 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.

Protection of Disclosers

The identity of a person who makes a disclosure will be kept confidential as far as practicable. It is an offence to provide identifying information about a person who makes a disclosure without their consent unless authorised by the PID Act. They also have immunity from civil, criminal and administrative liability (including disciplinary action) for making the disclosure. It is a criminal offence to take or threaten to take a reprisal, such as discriminatory treatment, termination of employment or injury, against someone because they make a disclosure.

To gain the protections of the PID Act, a public official must comply with the Act. This means that if they disclose wrongdoing to someone who is not authorised to receive it, their disclosure will not be covered.

How to make a Public Interest Disclosure to the Australian National Maritime Museum

The following Australian National Maritime Museum officers are Authorised Officers for the purpose of receiving Public Interest Disclosures:

Peter Tattersall - Head of Learning
58 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, NSW, 2009
02 9298 3777
peter.tatersall@sea.museum

Rohan Haslam - Head of Finance
58 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, NSW, 2009
02 9298 3777
rohan.haslam@sea.museum


Disclosure may be lodged orally or in writing, and the Discloser can remain anonymous. Any disclosures lodged in writing must be forwarded in a sealed envelope clearly marked “for addressee only”.

Further information on the administration of the PID Act within the Australian National Maritime Museum, including the lodgement of disclosures, may be obtained from the Authorised Officers.

 

The Commonwealth Ombudsman may also be contacted on the details below:

Commonwealth Ombudsman
GPO Box 442, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 362 072
ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.au