What is a public interest disclosure

IBAC may decide your complaint is a public interest disclosure (previously known as protected disclosure or 'whistleblower' complaints).

We receive disclosures from the public and assess whether they are a public interest complaint. If your disclosure is assessed as a public interest complaint, you will receive additional legal protections.

Additionally, we receive and assess potential disclosures as notified by other public sector agencies, as well as allegations of harm to an individual for making a public interest disclosure.

  • If your complaint is assessed as a public interest disclosure:

    • we will never publicise your name as a discloser
    • you will be protected from being fired or bullied for making a complaint
    • you will receive protection from defamation and detrimental action in reprisal for making a public interest disclosure
    • you will receive immunity from:
      • civil or criminal liability as well as administrative action (including disciplinary action) for making the disclosure
      • committing an offence under the Constitution Act 1975 (Vic) or any other Act that imposes obligations of confidentiality or otherwise restricts the disclosure of information
      • breaching any other obligation (made by oath or rule of law or practice) requiring the maintenance of confidentiality or otherwise restricting the disclosure of information.
  • Most public sector bodies have a Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator to help support and protect staff in making disclosures.

    If your agency doesn’t have a Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator to speak to, you can contact IBAC directly.

    Anyone can complain to us about public sector corruption and police misconduct. 

  • 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

    • Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission
    • Victorian Public Sector Commission
    • Victorian Ombudsman
    • Judicial Commission
    • Victorian Inspectorate (if the public interest disclosure relates to IBAC or the Public Interest Monitor)
    • 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 process