Public interest disclosures

The Queensland Ombudsman administers the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (PID Act). The PID Act provides unique protections from reprisal for public officers disclosing information in the public interest to an appropriate entity about:

  • corrupt conduct
  • maladministration
  • waste of public funds
  • negligent or improper management and
  • a danger to public health, safety or the environment.

Who is a public officer?

A 'public officer' includes a wide range of public sector employees and takes in everyone who works for a Queensland 'public sector entity'.

This includes state and local government employees, courts, tribunals, universities and TAFEs.

Can a member of the public make a PID?

In certain circumstances the PID Act also provides protection to members of the community who make a public interest disclosure about a danger to:

  • public health and safety (including to the health or safety of a person with a disability)
  • the environment and
  • a reprisal.

How are public officers protected from reprisal?

The organisation that receives and manages the disclosure must take action to protect a public officer from retribution or reprisal (such as bullying or harassment) for making a disclosure. This means a representative of the organisation may talk to the public officer about possible reprisals that may occur should another person identify the public officer as a discloser and determine how those possible reprisals will be managed to prevent them from occurring.

Publishing requirement

There is a requirement under the PID Act for each public sector entity to publish on a website maintained by that entity, procedures for dealing with public interest disclosures. The department's PID policy (PDF, 215 KB) PID policy (DOCX, 104 KB) and questions and answers (PDF, 182 KB) questions and answers (DOCX, 96 KB) are published in accordance with that requirement.