Public interest disclosures

On this page, find information about public interest disclosures, including what disclosable conduct includes and how to make a disclosure.


The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act) promotes integrity and accountability by providing a legislative scheme for the investigation of allegations of serious wrongdoing in the Commonwealth public sector. The PID Act facilitates making disclosures, ensures that disclosures are properly investigated, and ensures that public officials who make disclosures in accordance with the PID Act are supported and protected from adverse actions as a result of making a disclosure or assisting with an investigation or review.

You can read more about our Procedures for Handling Public Interest Disclosures .

A public interest disclosure can be made anonymously or openly or orally or in writing. A disclosure can be made directly to or in writing to:

Public Interest Disclosures
Fair Work Ombudsman
GPO Box 9887
In your capital city

When making a disclosure, the discloser doesn’t have to reference the PID Act.

What is disclosable conduct

Disclosable conduct includes, for example, conduct by an agency, a public official or a contracted service provider that contravenes a law, is corrupt or constitutes maladministration, results in wastage of public money or property, or is an abuse of public trust.

What isn’t disclosable conduct

Some things are not disclosable conduct. For example, disclosable conduct doesn’t include:

  • most personal work-related conduct such as individual grievances or disciplinary action, suspensions or termination of another person’s employment
  • disagreements with government policies or expenditure relating to a policy
  • conduct of a judicial officer or court or tribunal of the Commonwealth
  • conduct that is wholly private and has no bearing on a public official’s position.

Who can make a disclosure

Current or former public officials who suspect wrongdoing are encouraged to report information about disclosable conduct. Public officials include Australian Government public servants and service providers under a Commonwealth contract, among others.

What information should be provided

If you make a public interest disclosure, please:

  • include your name and contact details (if you’re not making an anonymous disclosure)
  • detail the nature of the allegation
  • detail relevant events related to the issue including who, what, when and where
  • keep it clear and factual
  • include supporting evidence available
  • include any other information that may assist us decide how to proceed.

What happens next

An authorised officer will make a decision about whether or not to accept your disclosure. If your disclosure is accepted, a decision will be made about whether or not your disclosure will be investigated, and how. If a disclosure is made an authorised officer will contact you with more details about next steps.

Protections of public officials who disclose

We will take active steps to support and to protect individuals who make disclosures under the PID Act. If a disclosure is made in accordance with the PID Act, the discloser’s identity is protected and they are also protected from civil, criminal and administrative liability and reprisals or threats of reprisal including dismissal or discrimination. Those who assist with PID investigations and reviews receive the same protections.

What if I’m unhappy with the outcome of an investigation

If you aren’t satisfied with the outcome of the assessment or investigation, you can make a complaint to the Commonwealth Ombudsman under the Ombudsman Act 1976.

National Anti-Corruption Commission and public interest disclosures

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) began operating on 1 July 2023. The NACC is an independent Commonwealth agency that detects, investigates and reports on serious or systemic corrupt conduct in the Commonwealth public sector. The NACC also educates the public service and the public about corruption risks and prevention. More information about the NACC is available at National Anti-Corruption Commission.

The Australian Government has passed the Public Interest Disclosure Amendment (Review) Act 2023, which amends the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act). The changes to the PID Act took effect on 1 July 2023. More information about the Public Interest Disclosure Scheme is available at the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s website.

More information

More information on the Public Interest Disclosure Scheme is available on the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s website.

You can also read our Procedures for Handling Public Interest Disclosures .

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