Guidance material

Handling Public Interest Disclosures

Information for organisations authorised to receive Public Interest Disclosures (PIDs)

If you’re authorised to receive Public Interest Disclosures, or PIDs for short, or if you’re a PID Coordinator, you’re responsible for handling potential disclosures and reporting them to IBAC. You also have an important role in the PID process and in making sure your co-workers know the systems in place to protect them if they make a disclosure.

  • IBAC is Victoria’s independent anti-corruption and police oversight agency. We’re here to prevent and expose public sector corruption and police misconduct, with the overall goal of strengthening integrity within our state.

    IBAC plays an important role in managing and investigating PIDs in Victoria. This includes assessing PIDs and making decisions about what happens next. IBAC also has an important role in providing guidance and education about the PID legislation.

  • Disclosures can be made verbally or in writing to the head of an agency that is authorised to receive PIDs or a PID Coordinator. They can also be made anonymously.

    Not every agency will be authorised to receive PIDs or have a PID Coordinator — in these circumstances, people wishing to make disclosures are able to report PIDs directly to IBAC, and other specific entities such as the Victorian Ombudsman or the Victorian Inspectorate.

    If you receive a potential disclosure and you are authorised to receive PIDs on behalf of your agency, you should notify IBAC of the matter.

  • Anyone who makes a disclosure under the PID legislation is legally protected and part of our role at IBAC is to ensure that confidentiality is maintained.

    You should inform the person making the disclosure that they cannot be fired, disciplined or bullied for making the complaint, or be subject to legal action.

  • When you notify IBAC of a potential disclosure, IBAC will assess if it meets the criteria for a PID. Depending on the outcome of the assessment, IBAC may:

    • investigate the disclosure
    • refer the disclosure to an investigative agency like the Victorian Ombudsman
    • or, if the disclosure does not meet our assessment criteria, IBAC will take no further action.

    Remember, the person who made the initial disclosure is legally protected throughout the investigation process and it’s important they know this.

  • You can also take steps to make sure your workplace has policies and procedures in place to support the welfare of people who speak up. This might mean referring disclosers to your agency’s employee assistance program or ensuring they understand who they can talk to about their disclosure.