Will I be protected?

There are five levels of protection by the PID Act.

Immunity for appropriate disclosure of public interest information

If you make an appropriate disclosure under the PID Act, the Act provides immunity from civil or criminal liability, disciplinary action, dismissal and termination of employment. It also exempts you from any breach of a duty of secrecy or confidentiality that may apply to you, as a result of making the disclosure.

Protection of your identity

Generally, a person must not reveal information that might identify or tend to identify anyone as a person who has made an appropriate disclosure of public interest information under the PID Act.

There will be some circumstances where it will be necessary to reveal your identity. The PID Act allows this to occur when:

  • you have given your consent;
  • it is necessary to do so, having regard to the rules of natural justice;
  • it is necessary to do so to enable the matter to be investigated effectively;
  • it is made in accordance with section 152 or 153 of the Corruption and Crime Commission Act.

Information that would identify or tend to identify you can be revealed where it is necessary to do so in order to follow the rules of natural justice.

Before revealing your identity in these circumstances, the person making the identifying disclosure must take all reasonable steps before making the disclosure to advise you that the disclosure is to be made. They must also let you know the reasons for the disclosure being made.

A breach of the confidentiality requirements is an offence punishable with a penalty of $24,000 or two years imprisonment. Your PID officer will be able to provide you with advice about these confidentiality requirements. Alternatively you can call the PSC Advisory Line on 6552 8888.

Creating an offence of reprisal

It is an offence to take or threaten to take detrimental action against someone because they have made or intend to make a disclosure of public interest information. This offence is punishable by a penalty of $24,000 or two years imprisonment.

Legal remedies for acts of victimisation

If you are subjected to or threatened with detrimental action substantially because you have made or intend to make a disclosure of public interest information under the PID Act, you can take action. You can make a complaint under the Equal Opportunity Act alleging that an act of victimisation has occurred. Alternatively, you can take civil action as a tort against the perpetrator or the perpetrator's employer.

Protection at the workplace

If you are an employee at a public authority and you have made an appropriate disclosure of public interest information, your employer must provide you with protection from detrimental action or the threat of detrimental action.

Detrimental action includes any action:

  • that causes you injury, damage or loss;
  • that involves intimidation or harassment against you;
  • that discriminates against or disadvantages you in your employment; or
  • that involves a reprisal.

Page last updated 21 September 2012