A NSW Government website

Public Interest Disclosures

The LECC takes reports of serious wrongdoing seriously. We are committed to building a ‘speak up’ culture where public officials are encouraged to report any conduct that they reasonably believe involves serious wrongdoing.

The integrity of the NSW public sector relies upon public sector staff, volunteers, contractors and subcontractors speaking up when they become aware of wrongdoing.

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2022 (NSW) provides the framework for making public interest disclosures (PIDs) and the protections for those making disclosures. 

What is a PID

There are three types of PIDs in the PID Act. These are:

  1. Voluntary PID: Where a report has been made by the public official because they decided, of their own accord, to come forward and disclose what they know.
  2. Mandatory PID: Where the public official has made a report about serious wrongdoing because they have a legal obligation to make that report, or because making that report is an ordinary aspect of their role or function in an agency.
  3. Witness PID: Where a person discloses information during an investigation of serious wrongdoing following a request or requirement of the investigator or agency.

Each type of PID has different criteria to be met and offers different protections. The attached policy mostly deals with voluntary PIDs.

Voluntary PIDs are the kind of PIDs most people have in mind when they think about public interest reporting and ‘whistleblowing’. They involve a public official making a report because they have information that they believe shows (or tends to show) serious wrongdoing, where they are not under a legal obligation to make that report and where it is not an ordinary part of their role to report such wrongdoing.

A report is a voluntary PID if it has the following five features:

  • You are a public official
  • It is made to a person that can receive PIDs
  • The information you provide shows serious wrongdoing
  • The report is made orally or in writing
  • The report is voluntary (Not made as a result of a legal obligation)

The CEO of the Commission can deem a disclosure to be a PID despite it not fitting the above criteria.

If the Commission determines a disclosure to be a PID, it will notify the person making the disclosure and notify them of that fact.

Who is a public official?
  • a person employed in or by a NSW agency or otherwise in the service of an agency
  • a person having public official functions or acting in a public official capacity whose conduct or activities an integrity agency is authorised by another Act or law to investigate
  • an individual in the service of the NSW Crown
  • a statutory officer
  • a person providing services or exercising functions on behalf of an agency, including a contractor, subcontractor or volunteer
  • an employee, partner or officer of an entity that provides services, under contract, subcontract or other arrangement, on behalf of an agency or exercises functions of an agency, and are involved in providing those services or exercising those functions
  • a judicial officer
  • a person employed under the Members of Parliament Staff Act 2013

Who is not a public official?
  • a person who has received services from an agency and want to make a complaint about those services
  • people, such as contractors, who provide services to an agency. For example, employees of a company that sold computer software to an agency.

What is serious wrongdoing?
  • corrupt conduct — this has the same meaning as in the ICAC Act and includes acts of violence, illegal drug dealing, dishonest conduct and the misuse of information
  • serious maladministration — such as an agency systemically failing to comply with proper recruitment processes when hiring staff
  • a government information contravention — such as destroying, concealing or altering records to prevent them from being released under a Government Information Public Access application
  • a local government pecuniary interest contravention — such as a senior council staff member recommending a family member for a council contract and not declaring the relationship
  • a privacy contravention — such as unlawfully accessing a person’s personal information on an agency’s database
  • a serious and substantial waste of public money — such as an agency not following a competitive tendering process when contracting with entities to undertake government work.
How can I make a PID?

You can make a public interest disclosure to LECC by the following means:

Online: www.lecc.nsw.gov.au/complaints/make-a-complaint

Email: contactus@lecc.nsw.gov.au

Phone: (02) 9321 6700

Mail: GPO Box 3880, Sydney NSW 2001

The LECC’s PID policy

This LECC’s PID policy sets out:

  • how the LECC will support and protect you if you come forward with a report of serious wrongdoing
  • how we will deal with the report and our other responsibilities under the PID Act
  • who to contact if you want to make a report
  • how to make a report
  • the protections which are available to you under the PID Act.

While the LECC can receive disclosures about any serious wrongdoing in the public sector, our focus is on serious wrongdoing by members of the NSW Police Force, the NSW Crime Commission or in the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.