Supporting People who Speak Out

Australia – Standards – Disclosure – Procedures

Australia – Standards – Disclosure – Procedures

59. (1) The principal officer of an agency must establish procedures for facilitating and dealing with public interest disclosures relating to the agency. The procedures must include:

(a) assessing risks that reprisals may be taken against the persons who make those disclosures; and

(b) providing for confidentiality of investigative processes.

The procedures must comply with the standards made under paragraph 74(1) (a).

(2) Procedures established under subsection (1) are not legislative instruments.

(3) The principal officer of an agency must take reasonable steps:

(a) to protect public officials who belong to the agency from detriment, or threats of detriment, relating to public interest disclosures by those public officials; and

(b) to ensure that the number of authorised officers of the agency is sufficient to ensure that they are readily accessible by public officials who belong to the agency; and

(c) to ensure that public officials who belong to the agency are aware of the identity of each authorised officer of the agency.

(4) The principal officer of an agency must ensure that appropriate action is taken in response to recommendations in a report under section 51, or any other matters raised in such a report, that relate to the agency.

60. If:

(a) an individual discloses, or proposes to disclose, information to an authorised officer of an agency; and

(b) the authorised officer has reasonable grounds to believe that:

(i) the information concerns, or could concern, disclosable conduct; and

(ii) the individual may be unaware of what this Act requires in order for the disclosure to be an internal disclosure;

the authorised officer must:

(c) inform the individual that the disclosure could be treated as an internal disclosure for the purposes of this Act; and

(d) explain what this Act requires in order for the disclosure to be an internal disclosure; and

(e) advise the individual of any orders or directions of which the authorised officer is aware that are designated publication restrictions that may affect disclosure of the information.

60A. If:

(a) a public official discloses information to a supervisor of the public official; and

(b) the supervisor has reasonable grounds to believe that the information concerns, or could concern, one or more instances of disclosable conduct; and

(c) the supervisor is not an authorised officer of the agency to which the supervisor belongs;

the supervisor must, as soon as reasonably practicable, give the information to an authorised officer of the agency.

Referenced Legislation: Public Interest Disclosure Act (2013)

About Author

Blueprint for Free Speech
administrator