Public interest disclosure
Disclosing suspected wrongdoing under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act) commenced on 15 January 2014. The PID Act encourages and facilitates the disclosure of information by both current and former public officials about suspected wrongdoing in the public sector. You can find out more about the PID Act at Commonwealth Ombudsman: Public Interest Disclosure Scheme.
Disclosures about suspected wrongdoing in the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) which involve intelligence information* must only be made directly to an authorised officer in ASD or the Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. If your disclosure includes any classified information, inform the authorised officer before disclosing it. The authorised officer will advise you how to appropriately communicate this information to ASD or IGIS.
If you fail to comply with these requirements, you may not receive the protection provided by the PID Act. You may also be subject to other civil, criminal or disciplinary action.
As long as you do not make false or misleading statements, you cannot be sued for defamation if you make a PID Act disclosure.
* Section 41 of the PID Act provides a comprehensive definition of 'intelligence information.'