A legislative scheme to encourage public officials to report suspected wrongdoing in the Australian public sector was put in place by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (Cth) (PID Act), which came into effect on 15 January 2014.
The PID Act aims to promote the integrity and accountability of the Commonwealth public sector by:
- encouraging and facilitating the disclosure of information by public officials about suspected wrongdoing in the public sector;
- ensuring that public officials who make public interest disclosures are supported and protected from adverse consequences; and
- ensuring that disclosures by public officials are properly investigated and dealt with.
Moorebank Intermodal Company Limited is committed to the highest standards of ethical and accountable conduct, including by creating and maintaining an open working environment in which its employees, directors and contracted service providers (and their employees and directors) are able to raise concerns regarding suspected unethical, unlawful or undesirable conduct or wrongdoing without fear of reprisal. Moorebank Intermodal Company Limited has a procedure for dealing with public interest disclosures under the PID Act (available on request).
What is disclosable conduct?
Disclosable conduct means conduct by an agency, public official or a contracted Commonwealth service provider that:
contravenes a Commonwealth, state or territory law;
- in a foreign country, contravenes a foreign law that applies to the agency, or official or service provider;
- 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;
- involves fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or deception relating to scientific research, or other misconduct in relation to scientific research, analysis or advice;
- results in wastage of public money or public property;
- unreasonably endangers health and safety;
- endangers the environment; or
- comprises other conduct that is covered by the PID Act.
Who can make a disclosure?
A current or former public official can disclose information that they believe on reasonable grounds tends to show disclosable conduct. The term ‘public official’ includes MIC directors, officers and employees as well as staff of MIC’s contracted service providers.
Protections for the person who makes the disclosure
The identity of a person who makes a disclosure will be kept confidential as far as practicable. It is an offence to provide identifying information about a person who makes a disclosure without their consent unless otherwise authorised by the PID Act.
Under the PID Act, each agency must appoint authorised officers to handle public interest disclosures. Disclosures can also be made to a supervisor/manager, who must pass it to an authorised officer. For the purposes of the PID Act the following staff have been appointed as authorised officers:
- Jane Webster, General Counsel
- Anthony Vaccaro, Delivery Director
Officers can be contacted on 02 8265 5600.
Who can a disclosure be made to?
You can make a disclosure to your current supervisor or manager, an authorised officer, or alternatively to Jane Webster firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information regarding the Public Interest Disclosure Act can be found on the Ombudsman’s website.