What is the Whistleblowers Protection Act?
The Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 (“the Act”) supports the Government’s commitment to the principles of open, honest and accountable governance. It is designed to protect the public interest by: • exposing serious public sector wrongdoing; • ensuring public organisations are responsible and accountable; and • protecting whistleblowers from detrimental action and protecting their privacy.
How do I become a whistleblower?
A whistleblower is any person who makes an allegation about improper conduct by staff of the Department of Human Services or the Department of Health (“the departments”) or funded agency. Making a disclosure under the Act can be done either orally or in writing and may be done anonymously. If you have a whistleblower complaint that involves an agency funded by the department, you can contact either the Corporate Integrity and Information unit (CIIRu) or the Ombudsman directly for advice.
final determination as to whether it is a ‘public interest disclosure.’ If the PDC determines that the disclosure is not a ‘public interest disclosure’, the whistleblower will be advised that they may request that the ‘protected disclosure’ is referred to the Ombudsman for reconsideration. Allegations or complaints that are not considered to be ‘public interest disclosures’ may still need to be investigated and responded to by the department under standard complaint handling processes.
How does it work?
The Act provides protections to individuals who make an allegation that is formally assessed as a ‘protected disclosure.’ In order to be a protected disclosure under Part 2 of the Act: • the allegation must be about improper conduct or detrimental action; • the conduct must be in regard to a public officer’s official role; and • the whistleblower must believe on reasonable grounds that the conduct occurred. ‘Improper conduct’ is defined in the Act as any of the following: • corrupt...