A Public Interest Disclosure (PID) is a report about a suspected wrongdoing in the public sector. Council is committed to protecting those who report wrongdoing.
For a report to be considered a PID it must be:
- a disclosure of information specified in the Act
- made in the public interest
- made to the proper authority.
Once considered, a PID it will attract the protections under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2010.
Identifying the proper authority to make a disclosure
To identify whether council is the proper authority to make your report to, you need to consider who and what the report is about. Council would be authorised to receive a PID where:
- the disclosure is about the conduct of council or its employees
- council is responsible for investigating particular issues. For example, the Crime and Misconduct Commission can receive PIDs about official misconduct.
Making a PID
Members of the public can make a PID regarding any of the following:
- a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety, or to a person with a disability
- a breach of environmental law. The breach needs to be substantial and a specific danger to the environment
- a reprisal (see below).
A reprisal occurs if a person causes or attempts to cause damage or harm to you, because they believe you:
- have made, or intend to make a PID
- have taken part in, or intend to take part in procedures under the PID Act.
If on initial assessment it is unclear whether a disclosure is a public interest disclosure under the Act, it will be assumed that the disclosure is a public interest disclosure and therefore the Act will apply.
Submitting your PID
All written public interest disclosures must be addressed as "Private & Confidential" and post to:
Chief Executive Officer
PO Box 141
TEWANTIN Qld 4565
Anonymous disclosures can be made. Council prefers that disclosers identify themselves. This enables the best assessment and investigation of the PID. It also ensures appropriate support is provided to the discloser.
If you choose to remain anonymous please give as much information as possible in your disclosure. This will allow for proper assessment and investigation of the PID. Anonymous disclosures will not be informed of the investigation outcome. As a result, some of the protections in the Act may not apply.
Responsibilities of someone making a PID
When making a PID, you have a responsibility to:
- provide honest and accurate information. Deliberately providing false or misleading information is an offence
- provide all information currently in your possession. You must not seek to investigate the matter yourself
- make the disclosure to someone you reasonably believe is the proper authority to receive it.
For more information please contact the council's customer service centre.
At the Ethics Queensland website you can find:
- fact sheets
- information guidelines regarding PIDs
- details of your rights and obligations under the Act.