The NSW Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 (the PID Act) sets in place a system to encourage insiders to report serious wrongdoing in the NSW public sector by providing certain legal protections. It is overseen by the NSW Ombudsman.
The NSW Ombudsman’s Office has released its 2018-2019 report on its oversight of the PID Act.
Key points from the report are:
* 1,538 reports of wrong-doing by NSW public officials or organisations were made
* 422 of these ‘public interest disclosures’ were made to public authorities – a 30% increase from the previous year
* Corrupt conduct was the most serious allegation in 83% of the 422 reports made to public authorities
* Just over 1,000 public interest disclosures were made to the ICAC
* 112 public interest disclosures were made to other external investigating authorities
* Whistleblowers who report wrongdoing are better protected and less likely to suffer adverse consequences when their employer undertakes an upfront assessment of any risks (such as reprisal, workplace conflict, stress or other adverse impacts).
The report is available at the NSW Ombudsman’s website.