Public Interest Disclosure Coordinators

The information and resources on this page reflect changes to the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012, which came into effect on 1 January 2020.

Public Interest Disclosure Coordinators play a vital role in supporting and protecting potential whistleblowers to speak out about wrongdoing in the public service.

Employed by public sector agencies, Public Interest Disclosure Coordinators are nominated to receive and notify IBAC of potential public interest disclosures.

They may also:

  • assist IBAC investigators
  • ensure the welfare of disclosers 
  • work to make staff aware of the public interest disclosure legislation.

All public sector bodies have obligations under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012.

Not all public sector agencies can receive disclosures. If you are unable to receive disclosures you should direct potential disclosures to the appropriate place to make a disclosure. This will ordinarily be IBAC.

If you are unsure if you or your agency can receive disclosures, refer to the next section.

Entities that can receive public interest disclosures

State Government departments

  • Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • Department of Education and Training
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Treasury and Finance
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
  • Department of Justice and Community Safety
  • Department of Transport

Administrative offices:

  • Family Safety Victoria
  • Latrobe Valley Authority
  • Local Government Inspectorate
  • Major Transport Infrastructure Authority
  • Office of Projects Victoria
  • Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel
  • Office of the Governor
  • Office of the Victorian Government Architect
  • Public Record Office Victoria
  • Safer Care Victoria
  • Service Victoria
  • Victorian Agency for Health Information
  • Victorian Government Solicitors Office

All local councils

Other entities

  • Victorian Public Sector Commission
  • Victorian Inspectorate (if the public interest disclosure relates to IBAC or the Public Interest Monitor)
  • Victorian Ombudsman
  • Judicial Commission
  • Integrity and Oversight Committee (if the public interest disclosure relates to the Victorian Inspectorate)
  • The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, or the Legislative Council (if the public interest disclosure relates to a member of Parliament)

Public interest disclosure obligations

Receiving disclosures

Victorian departments, administrative offices and councils, and the Victorian Public Sector Commission can receive disclosures about the conduct of their own agency or staff. These agencies should have a Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator for staff or members of the community to report their concerns to.

Not all public sector agencies can receive disclosures. If you are unable to receive disclosures, you should direct potential disclosers to the appropriate place to make a disclosure. This will ordinarily be IBAC.

Handling disclosures

If you can receive public interest disclosures, you must have effective procedures to facilitate the making of disclosures, and to receive and manage disclosures (including notifications to IBAC).

These procedures must be available to staff and the community.

Guidelines for handling public interest disclosures

Protecting the welfare of disclosers

All public bodies must have procedures to protect people against detrimental action taken in reprisal for a public interest disclosure. These procedures must be available to staff and the community.

Guidelines for public interest disclosure welfare management

Confidentiality

Information that relates to a public interest disclosure must be kept confidential. This includes information someone has given you, before realising it may be a public interest disclosure, as well as the identity of the person who has made a disclosure.

Public Interest Disclosure Community of Practice

In 2018, IBAC launched a Public Interest Disclosure Community of Practice. This initiative provides new opportunities for Public Interest Coordinators and other interested public sector employees to network, share knowledge and update their skills and expertise. The Public Interest Disclosure Community of Practice events provide valuable opportunities for Public Interest Disclosure Coordinators, and other interested public sector employees, to be informed, discuss best practice, and gain access to the people and resources to answer any questions about the public interest disclosure regime.

The Public Interest Disclosure Community of Practice is overseen by an Organising Committee. IBAC chairs the Committee which comprises representatives from the Victorian Ombudsman, Victoria Police and five Protected Disclosure Coordinators drawn from state government departments and local councils. 

If you would like to join the Public Interest Disclosure Community of Practice or would like further information, please contact engage@ibac.vic.gov.au.

What you must notify IBAC about

If you believe the conduct contained in the complaint could be a public interest disclosure, you must notify IBAC.

How to notify IBAC

Notifications are generally made in writing. However, if you think the matter is serious and requires urgent attention, please phone us on 1300 735 135. 

Post
GPO Box 24234, Melbourne VIC 3001

Email 
info@ibac.vic.gov.au

Include:

  • the information contained in the complaint
  • the section of the Act you're notifying us under.