Every employee at the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT), whether permanent, temporary or casual, has a responsibility to maintain the highest standard of ethical behaviour.

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (PID Act) facilitates the disclosure, in the public interest, of information about wrongdoing in the public sector and to provide protection for those who make disclosures.

Public interest disclosures can be made by employees and members of the public, and help to uncover corruption and other misuses of public resources.

Any person, including a public sector employee, can make a Public Interest Disclosure (PID) about:

  • substantial and specific danger to the health or safety of a person with a disability
  • the commission of an offence, or contravention of a condition imposed under a provision of legislation mentioned in Schedule 2 of the PID Act, if the offence or contravention would be a substantial and specific danger to the environment
  • reprisal because of a belief that a person has made, or intends to make, a PID.

A public sector officer can also make a PID about:

  • corrupt conduct
  • maladministration that adversely affects a person's interests in a substantial and specific way
  • a substantial misuse of public resources
  • a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety
  • a substantial and specific danger to the environment.

How do I make a public interest disclosure?

All public sector entities are required to have a PID procedure published on their website. The DESBT PID procedure provides the relevant internal and external authorities under the PID Act that can receive verbal or written public interest disclosures.

Internal authorities include:

External authorities include:

You should check the DESBT PID procedure or Queensland Ombudsman website for further information on who you can make a public interest disclosure to.

What do I include in a public interest disclosure?

You may make a PID in any way, including anonymously. To assist in the assessment, and any subsequent investigation of a PID, you should include as much information as possible about the suspected wrongdoing:

  • who was involved
  • what happened
  • when it happened
  • where it happened
  • whether there were any witnesses, and if so who they are
  • any evidence that supports the PID, and where the evidence is located
  • any further information that could help investigate the PID.

You should also include contact details (this could be an email address that is created for the purpose of making the disclosure, or a telephone number).

A PID can still be made even if you do not have all this information. For example, you may have information about an event, time and place but not the names of the officer(s).

When you make a public interest disclosure, you have a responsibility to:

  • keep the information about the PID confidential
  • keep copies of letters or emails you receive about the PID secure
  • comply with your agency's code of conduct
  • report reprisal if it occurs
  • not post on social media about the PID
  • not make false or misleading PIDs
  • not take reprisal action against others.

Under the PID Act, it is an offence to:

  • record, or intentionally or recklessly disclose confidential information
  • make a false or misleading PID
  • take reprisal action against another person because of their involvement in a PID.

What can I expect after I make a public interest disclosure?

When a PID is received, agencies are required to advise you:

  • that the information has been received and assessed as a PID
  • action that will be taken
  • the likely timeframe involved
  • details of any support arrangements
  • your obligations to maintain confidentiality
  • the agency's obligations to maintain confidentiality
  • what protections are available to you
  • how updates and outcome advice will be provided.

Last updated 5 March 2024

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