Public Interest Disclosures

The Public Interest Disclosures Act 2022 (PID Act) commenced on 1 October 2023, replacing the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994.

A Public Interest Disclosure (PID) report must relate to one or more of the following categories of serious wrongdoing to be considered a PID:

  • corrupt conduct
  • serious maladministration
  • a government information contravention (GIPA Act)
  • a privacy contravention (PPIP Act)
  • a serious and substantial waste of public money
  • a local government pecuniary interest contravention

The PID Act provides a framework for public officials to report serious wrongdoing, and to be protected when they do so. Reports can be made to a disclosure officer within their agency, the head of an agency, a person’s manager and to disclosure officers within other agencies, such as integrity agencies.

Under the PID Act ‘agency’ is defined to include local government authorities, public service agencies, statutory bodies, and Local Aboriginal Land Councils.

Having a strong PID framework is important because those working for, or within, an agency are often best placed to see and report wrongdoing when it occurs.

The PID Act aims to remove barriers such as fear that the person making a report will face detrimental action if they speak up, or a belief that their report will not be taken seriously and that nothing will happen to address the wrongdoing.

The NSW Ombudsman has released its guideline ‘What is a public interest disclosure?’ This provides an overview of the PID Act and  explains the categories of disclosures and how they can be made under the PID Act.

The PID Act 2022 creates several obligations for agencies, including:

  • public interest disclosure policy – all NSW councils must have such policies. 
  • training and awareness – councils must provide appropriate training to disclosure officers for the council which includes the General Manager and managers of public officials associated with the council.
  • reporting – councils are required to provide an annual return to the NSW Ombudsman on the voluntary public interest disclosures they receive. Councils must also notify the Ombudsman when they receive an allegation of detrimental action or when they decide not to investigate or cease investigating a PID.
  • contracts and subcontracts – all contracts and subcontracts under which a person or body is engaged to provide services on behalf of a council must include a series of terms requiring the engaged person or body to, amongst other things:
  • ensure all individuals involved in providing services under the contract are made aware they are ‘public officials’ under the PID Act 2022, how to make a voluntary public interest disclosure, the contracting agency’s public interest disclosure policy, etc
  • notify the contracting agency of any voluntary public interest disclosures they become aware of and any serious wrongdoing committed or alleged to be committed by an individual providing services under the contract.

If you have any questions about the legislation or your responsibilities under the PID Act 2022, please get in touch with the Department Planning, Housing and Infrastructure PID team at