Public interest disclosure

The public interest disclosure (PID) scheme has been established to promote the integrity and accountability of the Commonwealth public sector, including at the Australian National University, by:

  • encouraging and facilitating the making of disclosures of wrongdoing by public officials
  • ensuring that public officials who make public disclosures are supported and protected from adverse consequences relating to the making of a disclosure
  • ensuring that disclosures are properly investigated and dealt with.

Who can disclose

Only people who are deemed to be a public official under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 can make a disclosure and receive the protections afforded by the Act.

For the purposes of the University, people who qualify are:

  • a Principal Officer of the University
  • a member of staff of the University
  • a member of the University
  • an individual who is employed by the Commonwealth and performs duties for the University.

What to disclose

In summary terms, disclosable conduct is conduct by an Agency (including the University) or by a Public Official that:

  • contravenes a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory
  • occurs in a foreign country and contravenes a law in force in that country that applies to the agency or Public Official and that corresponds to a law in force in the Australian Capital Territory
  • perverts, or attempts to pervert, the course of justice, or involves corruption of any other kind
  • constitutes maladministration, including conduct that: is based on improper motives
  • is unreasonable, unjust or oppressive, or is negligent
  • is an abuse of public trust, or
  • is fabrication, falsification, or deception in relation to scientific research, or misconduct in relation to scientific work, or
  • results in the wastage of public money or public property or of the money or property of an authority covered by the PID Act, or
  • unreasonably results in a danger to the health and safety of a person or unreasonably results in or increases the risk of a danger to the health and safety of a person, or
  • results in a danger to the environment or results in or increases the risk of a danger to the environment, or
  • is prescribed by the PID Rules, or
  • is engaged in by a Public Official that: involves abuse of the Public Official's position, or could, if proved, give reasonable grounds for disciplinary action against the Public Official. 

Making a disclosure

Disclosures may be made orally or in writing to an Authorised Officer. The ANU currently has three Authorised Officers:

Contact

Corporate Governance & Risk Office
Level 1, Chancelry Building 10
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 2601

pid@anu.edu.au

Andrew Heath
+61 2 6125 4080

Chris Reid
+61 2 6125 2512

Employees in the University may make a disclosure of disclosable conduct to their supervisor or their manager. Where possible, an employee in the University should make their public interest disclosure to an Authorised Officer rather than their supervisor or manager. Please note that Authorised Officers in the University have been trained in receiving public interest disclosures and they can provide information about how to make a public interest disclosure and about the protections given to disclosers under the PID Act.

Where a Public Official in the University discloses information to their supervisor or manager and that supervisor or manager has reasonable grounds to believe that the information concerns, or could concern, disclosable conduct, the supervisor or manager must, as soon as practicable, give the information to an Authorised Officer in the University.