Public interest disclosure
This webpage provides potential disclosers with information about how to make a public interest disclosure.
The GRDC operates a Public Interest Disclosure scheme in accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act). The GRDC Public Interest Disclosure Scheme is made up of GRDC’s:
- Public Interest Disclosure Procedures;
- Public Interest Disclosure Handbook.
The focus of the Scheme is on reporting serious wrongdoing within GRDC. If a potential disclosure wishes to make a disclosure about another agency or department, the disclosure should be made to the relevant agency or department. Further guidance on the PID Act can be obtained from the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s website: www.ombudsman.gov.au.
The PID Act aims to promote the integrity and accountability of the Commonwealth public sector by:
- encouraging and facilitating the making of disclosures of wrongdoing by public officials;
- ensuring that public ofﬁcials who make public interest disclosures are supported and protected from adverse consequences; and
- ensuring that disclosures are properly investigated and dealt with.
Who can make a public interest disclosure?
Any current or former public official can make a public interest disclosure. The types of wrongdoing which can be reported in a public interest disclosure include conduct which:
- contravenes a law;
- perverts the course of justice;
- is corrupt;
- constitutes maladministration, including conduct that is based on improper motives or is unreasonable, unjust, oppressive or negligent;
- is an abuse of public trust;
- is fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or deception in relation to proposing, carrying out or reporting scientific research, or is other misconduct relating to scientiﬁc analysis, scientific evaluation or the giving of scientific advice;
- results in wastage of public money or property;
- unreasonably endangers health or safety;
- endangers the environment;
- is prescribed by any PID rules (made under section 83 of the PID Act); or
- involves abuse of a public official’s position, or could, if proved, give reasonable grounds for disciplinary action against the public official.
Making a disclosure
Public interest disclosures can be made orally or in writing:
- by a GRDC employee to their supervisor/manager;
- to an authorised officer (listed below);
- in limited circumstances, a person outside of Commonwealth government other than a foreign official;
- the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
When making a disclosure, you should provide as much information as possible, including:
- your name and contact details (however you can remain anonymous);
- the nature of the wrongdoing;
- who committed the wrongdoing;
- where and when the wrongdoing occurred;
- relevant background information and events;
- if anything has been done in response to the wrongdoing;
- name and contact details for any witnesses or anyone \aware of the wrongdoing; and
- any concerns you may have about possible reprisal as a result of making the disclosure.
You can report anonymously, however, if you do:
- it may be more difficult for GRDC to protect the disclosure from reprisals;
- it may make investigation under the PID Act more difficult; and
- it may mean that GRDC is not able to provide the disclosure with updates on the handling of the disclosure and the progress of any investigation.
GRDC’s Authorised Officers
GRDC’s authorised officers for the purposes of receiving and handling disclosures pursuant to the PID Act are as follows:
General Manager, Systems and Agronomy North
General Manager, Systems and Agronomy West
All authorised officers will be appropriately trained in handling public interest disclosures and will have responsibility to manage such disclosures.
Authorised officers can be contacted through any of the means set out below:
Email address: email@example.com
Postal address: GRDC PID Authorised Officer
Level 4, East Building, 4 National Circuit
Barton ACT 2600
Telephone: (02) 6166 4500
When posting a PID, the disclosure should use two envelopes to minimise the risk of support staff inadvertently reading the disclosure. The envelopes should be marked ‘PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL’.
Commonwealth Ombudsman website http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/about/making-a-disclosure.
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