Public interest disclosures

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (PID Act) facilitates the disclosure of public interest information, and provides protection for those making such disclosures and those who are the subject of disclosures. The PID Act provides a system for the matters disclosed to be investigated and for appropriate action to be taken.

The PID Act does not confer additional powers on public authorities to investigate or take action in relation to public interest disclosures. Rather, it provides for protection to persons who make disclosures that may result in a proper authority exercising its existing powers to investigate and take action in relation to the subject matter of the disclosure. In some circumstances the PID Act requires a public authority to investigate a matter and to notify the person making the disclosure of the PID Action taken.

The PID Act also requires the principal executive officer of each public authority to prepare and publish internal procedures relating to their authority’s obligations under the PID Act.

The Public Sector Commissioner's functions in relation to public interest disclosures are set out in Part 4 of the PID Act. The Commissioner’s functions are to:
  • establish a code of conduct and integrity (the Code) to be complied with by a person to whom a disclosure can be made under the PID Act
  • prepare guidelines to help proper authorities to apply the PID Act
  • ensure all proper authorities have copies of the Guidelines
  • assist public authorities and public officers to comply with the PID Act and the Code
  • monitor compliance with the PID Act and the Code
  • report to Parliament on compliance or non-compliance with the PID Act and the Code.

Page last updated 19 September 2016