Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012 Review

Following the passage of the Integrity Commission Act 2018 (IC Act), and in line with earlier commitments and a resolution of the Legislative Assembly, the ACT Government have engaged Peg Consulting to conduct an independent review of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012 (PID Act).

The Legislative Assembly has noted that “current PID processes are sometimes complex, lengthy, and often require legal expertise to navigate”.

The Review is to consider, amongst other things:

  1. Any potential conflict of interest (real or perceived) as it concerns decision makers and disclosure officers under the PID Act.
  2. The findings of the Moss Review examining the operation of the Commonwealth Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 as it concerns the strengthening of that legislation to achieve the Act’s integrity and accountability aims.
  3. Matters raised in the submission of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly to the Select Committee on an Independent Integrity Commission 2017.[1]
  4. The application of the PID Act to the IC Act - in particular, its articulation with any protected disclosure provisions that may apply to any informants providing assistance to the Integrity Commissioner or anyone consequently at risk.
  5. The suitability of an ACT Integrity Commission for the purposes of receiving disclosures pursuant to the PID Act.
  6. Relationships between existing integrity bodies in the ACT, including the sharing of information and the referral of complaints; oversight and accountability mechanisms; and identifying gaps in the current framework to determine solutions.

Call for submissions

Submissions to the Review are invited.

Submissions may address any aspect of the PID Act - including how it has worked since it commenced; any anticipated issues once the IC Act commences; and the matters set out at A-F above.

Submissions should be provided in PDF format and emailed to or by hard copy addressed to Public Interest Disclosure Act Review, GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601. Submissions should be received by Friday 19 July 2019.

Please note that the Review is not a “disclosure officer” under the PID Act. If you wish to make a disclosure, please refer to the PID Act and the fact sheet about making disclosures.

Submissions to the Review may be made public in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2016.

Next steps

The Review will consult with the Integrity Commissioner and provide a report to the ACT Government.

The intention of the Government is that legislation reflecting the recommendations of the Review will be presented to the Legislative Assembly by June 2020.

[1]Provisions which make the Clerk responsible for investigating Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) or staff employed under the Legislative Assembly (Members' staff) Act 1989 should be removed; onsideration be given to removing the conduct of MLAs from the definition of disclosable conduct (i.e. disapplying the application of the PID Act to MLAs); consideration be given to removing the provisions which give the Commissioner for Public Sector Standards an oversight role in relation to MLAs and their staff; and consideration be given to the appropriateness of provisions in sections 35 and 37 relating to contempt.