Public Interest Disclosure

The Shire of Esperance does not tolerate corrupt or other improper conduct, and is committed to the aims and objectives of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (PID Act). The PID Act recognises the value and importance of reporting as a means to identify and address wrongdoing.

We strongly support disclosures being made by employees, contractors and members of the community about corrupt or other improper conduct.

For more information or to make a disclosure, please refer to the following documents.

To make a Public Interest Disclosure direct to the Public Sector Commission, click here.

For more information on making a public interest disclosure, click here.

What is a public interest disclosure?

Public Interest Disclosures (PID) are the reporting of improper conduct within local government, state public sector and public universities.

A disclosure is not just a general complaint. It must relate to something that affects the rights, health or finances of the public; and must show serious wrongdoing by a public authority, staff member or contractor when performing their job.

Disclosures can be made about a number of serious issues, including corruption, misuse of public resources, dishonest administration, or danger to public health and safety.

Who can make a disclosure?

Anyone who believes on reasonable grounds that the information they have is true can make a disclosure, including an employee of a public authority and a member of the public.

What is a public body?

Public bodies include:

  • A public authority (includes a State Government organisation, local government, regional local government, or a public university).
  • A public officer (includes a State public service officer, an employee of a public authority, a minister, a member of Parliament, a judicial officer, a police officer, a holder of office under the State, or an officer of the Commonwealth exercising a function on behalf of the State).
  • A public sector contractor (a person or organisation engaged by a public authority, or a subcontractor of this person, for the supply of goods and services or the performance of a public function).

What is a public function?

The information must relate to the performance of a public function of the public body. For example, the Act would not apply to information that an employee of a public authority had engaged in criminal behaviour unconnected with their employment.

What is wrong doing according to the Act?

Your disclosure must tend to show the public body’s involvement in one or more of the following:

  • An offence under State Law
  • Conduct relating to matters of State and local government administration affecting you
  • Substantial mismanagement of public resources
  • Substantial unauthorised or irregular use of public resources
  • Substantial and specific risk of injury to public health, prejudice to public safety or harm to the environment;
  • Improper conduct*

*Generally, improper conduct is a breach of the standards of conduct that a reasonable person would expect of a person or body, knowing their duties, powers and authority in the circumstances of the case.

How do I make a public interest disclosure?

Before making a disclosure, you should contact the public interest disclosure (PID) Officer in the relevant authority to find out more about:

  • How to make the disclosure and who you should disclose to
  • Your rights and responsibilities
  • The protections that will apply
  • Whether the information you have is covered by the Act.

If your information is not covered by the Act you can still make your disclosure to the public authority concerned using its grievance process (if you are or were an employee at the time the incident occurred) or its complaints management process (if you are a member of the public).

Once you have been informed about the Act and your rights and responsibilities, you must make it clear that you have chosen to make your disclosure under the Act. Generally, the PID officer will have a PID lodgement form for you to sign.

If you choose to make your disclosure under the Act you must ensure you do not discuss the matter with anyone other than the PID officer or the person conducting the investigation. You may lose your immunity under the Act and breach the confidentiality provisions which may incur a penalty if you do.

A disclosure is more than a general complaint about dissatisfaction with a product or service or a decision by government, and it is more than a personal grievance that can be resolved by agreement between parties.  In order to be covered by the Act, the information needs to relate to a matter of public interest.

Who is the Shire's PID Officer?

Position Name of PID Officer  Contact Details
Director Corporate & Community Services Felicity Baxter

08 9071 0693

Further information

For further information about public interest disclosures visit the Public Sector Commission website.

For further information on making a disclosure, contact the agency where the conduct occurred and ask for the PID Officer. Alternatively, call the PID Advice and Referral Line on 1800 355 835.

Public Interest Disclosure Procedure

Lodgement Form

Consent to Disclosure of Identifying Information Form