Definition of terms


 "Public Interest Information"

Is information about a public authority, a public officer, or a public sector contractor. It tends to show that, in relation to their performance of a public function (either before or after the commencement of this Act), they have been, or propose to be, involved in–

  • improper conduct;
  • an act or omission that constitutes an offence under a written law;
  • a substantial unauthorised or irregular use of, or substantial mismanagement of, public resources;
  • an action or omission that involves a substantial and specific risk of –
  • injury to public health;
  • prejudice to public safety; or
  • harm to the environment; or
  • a matter of administration that can be investigated under section 14 of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1971.

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"Public Authority"

A department of the Public Service established under section 35 of the Public Sector Management Act 1994;

  • an organisation specified in column 2 of Schedule 2 to the Public Sector Management Act 1994;
  • a non-SES organisation within the meaning of the term in section 3(1) of the Public Sector Management Act 1994;
  • a local government or a regional local government;
  • a body that is established or continued for a public purpose under a written law;
  • a body that is established by the Governor or a Minister;
  • any other body or the holder of an office referred to in subsection (2) that is declared by the regulations to be a public authority.

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"Public officer"

  • A Minister of the Crown;
  • A Parliamentary Secretary appointed under section 44A of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899;
  • A member of either House of Parliament;
  • A judicial officer;
  • A police officer;
  • A person authorised under a written law to execute or serve any process of a court or tribunal for remuneration;
  • A public service officer within the meaning of the Public Sector Management Act 1994;
  • A member, officer, or employee of a public authority;
  • The holder of–
  • An office that is established for a public purpose under a written law; or
  • An office that is established by the Governor or a Minister;
  • An officer of the Commonwealth who exercises or discharges on behalf of this State a function under a written law; or
  • Any other person holding office under the State of Western Australia.

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"Public sector contractor"

  • A person who, other than as an employee, contracts with a public authority or the State of Western Australia to supply goods or services to or on behalf of the authority or the State or as directed in accordance with the contract;
  • A person who, other than as an employee, contracts with a public authority or the State of Western Australia to perform a public function; or
  • A subcontractor or employee of a person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) and each person who contracts with another person for the execution of the whole or part of the requirements of a contract referred to in those paragraphs.

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"Proper authority"

A public interest disclosure has to be made to a proper authority. A proper authority is the PID officer within a public authority where the wrongdoing has occurred. A proper authority may also be a particular authority specifically named in s.5(3) the PID Act to receive disclosures about particular types of information.

For more information see Who are the proper authorities? within 'Where can I make a disclosure?'.

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Page last updated 27 September 2012