Following the introduction of new whistleblower laws in 2013, the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission reviewed implementation of the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (PD Act). The review looked at the protected disclosure procedures established by 114 state and local government entities. IBAC’s Review of protected disclosure procedure (December 2014) found nearly a quarter of those agencies were not meeting their obligations around protected disclosures almost two years after the PD Act came into effect. This report assesses their progress.
IBAC’s review included checking compliance of those entities’ procedures with the protected disclosure scheme, which includes the PD Act, the Protected Disclosure Regulations 2013, and IBAC’s ‘Guidelines for making and handling disclosures’ and ‘Guidelines for protected disclosure welfare management’ (both published June 2013).
The review was conducted pursuant to section 60 of the PD Act, and was intended to ensure that entities’ procedures were consistent with the PD Act and IBAC guidelines.
The review resulted in IBAC making 57 recommendations to 25 entities. IBAC requested those entities report to IBAC by 15 June 2015 on the steps taken to address the recommendations.
All of IBAC’s recommendations have been accepted and entities report the majority of those recommendations have been implemented. The remaining recommendations have been actioned, but not fully implemented.
IBAC has engaged with a number of entities since the review to promote compliance with the protected disclosure scheme and has identified some further issues in relation to protected disclosure procedures. IBAC will continue to work with the public sector in a variety of ways to provide information and support on these matters.
About the PD Act
The PD Act aims to:
- encourage and assist people report improper conduct and detrimental action taken in reprisal for a protected disclosure
- provide certain protections for people who make a disclosure or those who may suffer detrimental action in reprisal for a protected disclosure
- ensure that certain information about a disclosure is kept confidential – the identity of the person making the disclosure and the content of that disclosure.