Purpose of the Public Interest Disclosure Act
The purposes of the Act are to:
- Encourage and facilitate disclosures of improper conduct involving public officers and public entities;
- Provide the discloser with protection from detrimental action as a result of making a public interest disclosure; and,
- Ensure the confidentiality of the content of public interest disclosures and the identity of persons who make those disclosures.
What is a public interest disclosure?
A public interest disclosure is a complaint or allegation made about improper conduct or detrimental action involving a public officer or public body. The conduct must be serious enough to constitute a criminal offence or reasonable grounds for dismissal.
Improper conduct includes:
- Corrupt conduct;
- Any of the following conduct by a public officer or public body in their capacity as a public officer or public body;
- Criminal offence
- serious professional misconduct
- Dishonest performance of public functions
- Intentional or reckless breach of public trust
- An intentional or reckless misuse of information
- A substantial mismanagement of public resources
- A substantial risk to health or safety of one or more persons
- A substantial risk to the environment
- And, conduct of any person that adversely affects, or is intended to affect, the honest or effective performance by a public officer or public body of their functions.
Detrimental action is any adverse action that is taken against a person in reprisal for making or assisting with a disclosure. For further information, see section 4 of the Act.
Who can make a disclosure?
Any person or group of persons (but not businesses) can make a disclosure.
How do I make a disclosure?
We can only address disclosures that relate to Wodonga Council.
If your disclosure is made to a person or entity that is unable to receive your disclosure, it may not attract the protection of the Act. It is therefore important to determine if you are making your disclosure to the correct entity or person.
Public interest disclosures about councillors of Wodonga Council can only be made to IBAC or the Ombudsman. Disclosures about Wodonga Council or its staff should be made to the Protected Disclosure Co-ordinator.
PO Box 923, Wodonga, VIC, 3690
T: 02 6022 9272
Disclosures can be made:
- By phone (including leaving a voicemail message);
- In person by arrangement; or,
- In writing by email or letter (but not by fax). Any disclosures sent by email or letter should be marked ‘Confidential – for addressee eyes only’.
Disclosures may also be made directly to IBAC or the Victorian Ombudsman.