The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) does not tolerate corrupt or other improper conduct and is committed to the aims and objectives of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (PID Act). The PID Act recognises the value and importance of reporting as a means to identify and address wrongdoing.
The commitment to effectively manage public interest disclosures extends to a proper authority of DLGSC. The persons responsible for receiving disclosures of public interest information designated under s. 23(1)(a) of the PID Act will abide by the PID Code of conduct and integrity in performing their duties
General information about public interest disclosures and how DLGSC will manage a disclosure is available for external clients and members of the community on our website.
While these procedures focus on public interest disclosures, DLGSC is committed to dealing with all reports of suspected wrongdoing. We encourage people to report, if they witness any such behaviour. DLGSC will consider each matter under the appropriate reporting pathway and make every attempt to protect staff members making reports from any reprisals.
The Director General must prepare and publish these internal procedures under s. 23(1)(e) of the PID Act.
These procedures outline how DLGSC will meet its obligations under the PID Act. They cover the roles and responsibilities of the Director General, the person designated as the proper authority in accordance with s. 23(1)(a) and s. 5(3)(h) referred to in this document as the PID Officer, the discloser and the subject of the disclosure.
These procedures apply to all people involved in the public interest disclosure process, including the Director General, PID Officer(s), employees of DLGSC and/or any person making a public interest disclosure and any subject(s) of a disclosure.
These procedures should be read in conjunction with:
The behaviour of all employees involved in the public interest disclosure process must accord with DLGSC Code of Conduct at all times. A breach of the Code of conduct may result in disciplinary action.
Ensuring that the policy, procedures and contact lists are up-to-date.
The following procedures describe how DLGSC will manage the public interest disclosure process.
The PID Act has some overarching requirements for handling disclosures. These requirements separate the public interest disclosure process from other reporting or complaint handling processes. The PID Act does not, however, displace the notification or reporting requirements of the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act 2003, which are paramount. The following section outlines how we will meet these requirements, as well as expectations of you, as a discloser, and any subject(s) of your disclosure.
The PID Act only applies to disclosures of public interest information (defined in s. 3). Public interest information means information that:
Maintaining confidentiality is an important part of managing a disclosure. The confidentiality requirements of the PID Act (s. 16) not only protects the discloser, but also any other people affected by the disclosure.
The confidentiality requirements do not apply to all information in a disclosure, although, we are committed to maintaining confidentiality around:
Throughout the disclosure process and after its completion, the PID Act provides for the discloser’s identity and the identity of any persons, that is, any subject of the disclosure to be kept confidential, except in certain circumstances. Disclosing information which might identify, or tend to identify the disclosers (s. 16(1)) or any person, that is, the subject(s) (s. 16(3)) of your disclosure, except in accordance with the PID Act, is an offence punishable with a penalty of a $24 000 fine or imprisonment for two years.
Maintaining confidentiality is an important part of protecting the discloser, from any detrimental action in reprisal for making or intending to make a disclosure.
If the discloser consents to having their identity revealed to assist us in dealing with the disclosure, our PID Officer will record this using the Consent to disclosure of identifying information form.
Sometimes we may need to identify the discloser, without the discloser’s consent (s. 16(1)(b)-(f)) but only where:
Before we identify the discloser for any of the reasons above, our PID Officer will take all reasonable steps to inform the discloser that this will happen and the reasons why. Our PID Officer will use the Notification of disclosure of identifying information form to do this.
If we need to provide information about the identity of the discloser to another person for the reasons above, our PID Officer will inform the other person that further disclosure to a third person may put them at risk of committing an offence.
Our PID Officer will also consider whether it is necessary to inform any external investigator about the identity of the discloser. Where it is necessary to provide this identifying information, our PID Officer will notify as described above.
If your confidentiality cannot be maintained, we will develop a plan to support and protect you from any potential risks of detrimental action. You will be involved in developing this plan, which will consider strategies that cover:
The subject of a disclosure may consent to having their identity revealed to assist with the disclosure process s. 16(3)(a). Our PID Officer will use the Consent to disclosure of identifying information form to record this.
Additionally, DLGSC may need to reveal identifying information about the subject(s) of a disclosure without their consent, ss. 16(3)(b)-(g) where:
There is no obligation to advise the subject of a disclosure that identifying information will be released.
The PID Act provides a range of protections for disclosers (Part 3). It also requires that the Director General provides protection for any employees who make disclosures (s. 23(1(b)).
Don’t be afraid to speak up (PDF 816 KB) contains general information about the protections provided by the PID Act. Our PID Officer will be able to expand on this information specific to DLGSC.
DLGSC is committed to ensuring that no detrimental action, including workplace reprisals by managers or other employees, occurs as a result of a person making a disclosure. If any of the above does occur, the discloser can request that we take action to protect them. Tell the PID Officer who is handling the disclosure immediately.
The PID Act also provides that the discloser may lose the protections provided in s.13 in some circumstances, including where they on-disclose information or fail, without reasonable excuse, to assist any person investigating the matters of the disclosure.
A PID Officer must ensure that DLGSC completes all reporting in accordance with the legislative and administrative requirements of the PID Act.
Provided it is not an anonymous disclosure, the PID Officer will provide the following reports:
The PID Officer may also provide a progress report during any investigation, either on their initiative or upon your request (ss. 10(2) and (3)).
Our PID Officer has some limits on what they can include in their reports. Section 11 prevents provision of information that would be likely to adversely affect:
The PID Officer is also prevented from giving any information they must not disclose under ss. 151, 152 or 153 of the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Act 2003.
During an investigation our PID Officer may make comprehensive and contemporaneous records of any discussions and interviews. These records along with any other documentation or files relating to the disclosure, whether paper or electronic, will be stored securely and only accessed by authorised persons.
To assist with annual reporting to the Public Sector Commissioner, DLGSC will maintain a public interest disclosure register. This register will assign a unique register number to each disclosure and record key information about your disclosure, any investigation and the outcome in the public interest disclosure register. This register (paper and/or electronic) is kept strictly confidential and maintained in a secure location.
We strongly encourage anyone thinking about making a public interest disclosure to seek advice from our PID Officer (‘proper authority’) before they do. A disclosure must be made to a proper authority for it to be covered by the PID Act.
A number of other requirements apply to the discloser, so it is important to understand the rights and responsibilities in the process. This information is outlined generally in Don’t be afraid to speak up, available from the Public Sector Commission website at and DLGSC’s intranet (DLGSC staff only) the department's website.
At DLGSC the occupant(s) of the following designated position(s) are specified with the authority as the person(s) responsible for receiving disclosures of public interest information in accordance with s. 23(1)(a). For the purposes of this procedure a PID Officer(s) is the proper authority designated under s. 5(3)(h) for dealing with information that falls within the sphere of responsibility for DLGSC.
Their names and contact details are:
Robin HoPrincipal PID Officer — Deputy Director General, Capability and Performance Telephone 61 8 9492 9742Lance SgroDirector Local Government Investigations and AssessmentsTelephone 61 8 6551 4830Graham SharpeQuality Operations Manager61 8 9492 9780Tim SwartDirector Recreation and Camps61 8 9492 9777Steve HumfreyProject Director, Aboriginal Cultural Centre 61 8 9492 9819
Initial discussions between the discloser and the PID Officer should be general in nature and should not discuss the specific details of the disclosure until the discloser understands their rights and responsibilities under the PID Act. Our PID Officer will also let the discloser know that they need to make the disclosure voluntarily and consciously – we will never force a person to make a disclosure. This is because they cannot withdraw the disclosure once it is made. Once we receive your disclosure, our PID Officer is obliged to take action and we may continue to look into the matters within your disclosure irrespective of your continued approval.
These initial discussions with our PID Officer may help in deciding whether to make a public interest disclosure and also enable the PID Officer to ascertain if the information would be covered by the PID Act. If the information appears not to be the type covered by the PID Act, our PID Officer will discuss other mechanisms through which issues may be made, for example, our general complaints or grievance resolution process.
Our PID Officer will be able to provide more detailed information about DLGSC disclosure process and what people can expect from it.
You can also contact the Public Sector Commission Advisory Line on 61 8 6552 8888 (or 1800 676 607 for country callers) for general information about the disclosure process.
Under s. 5(3)(h) the PID Officer for an authority can receive information relating to a matter which falls within the ‘sphere of responsibility’ for their public authority. ‘Sphere of responsibility’ is not defined in the PID Act but may include:
The proper authority to which you need to make the disclosure depends on the type of disclosure information. Where the information is outside of our PID Officer’s sphere of responsibility, it may need to be made to another proper authority for it to be considered as a public interest disclosure and for the discloser to receive the protections of the PID Act. A list of proper authorities and the information they can receive is covered in Don’t be afraid to speak up.
A discloser needs to clearly identify that they are making a public interest disclosure. For the purposes of accountability and certainty, persons wishing to make a disclosure of public interest information under the PID Act are encouraged to do so in writing. As we expect that most disclosures will be made in writing, DLGSC has developed a form which can be used for the purpose of making such a disclosure. There is no requirement to use the form. The form will help to define the details of the disclosure. A discloser may fill out the form or the PID Officer may complete the form if they are speaking with the discloser and then have them sign the form to acknowledge they are making a disclosure voluntarily and consciously.
We must accept anonymous disclosures, but if a discloser decides to make an anonymous disclosure they should understand that it may be more difficult for our PID Officer to investigate or take action about the disclosure. This is because they cannot come back to seek any further information. We are also not required to provide any reports about the progress or final outcome of the disclosure, if the discloser chooses to remain anonymous.
An anonymous disclosure may not prevent the discloser from being identified during an investigation. Additionally, if our PID Officer does not know who made the disclosure, it will be difficult for them to ensure the discloser is protected and to prevent any reprisal or detrimental action.
Once our PID Officer has received the disclosure they will assess whether it meets the requirements under the PID Act. It may be that our PID Officer undertakes initial inquiries and decides not to take the matter any further, as it does not constitute an appropriate public interest disclosure.
If the disclosure is not one to which the PID Act applies, our PID Officer will let the discloser know the reasons for their decision (unless you made an anonymous disclosure) and make proper and adequate records about it. Some matters raised within the disclosure may not be matters to which the PID Act applies and the PID Officer may discuss with the discloser other pathways to report these matters.
If the disclosure is one to which the PID Act applies, our PID Officer will ensure proper and adequate records are made and will communicate with the discloser further, unless it is an anonymous disclosure.
Our PID Officer will notify the discloser within three months about what we plan to do in dealing with the disclosure, unless it is an anonymous disclosure.
After assessing the disclosure as one to which the PID Act applies, our PID Officer will consider whether it will be investigated, guided by the requirements in s. 8. The reasons a PID Officer may not investigate the disclosure include:
The PID Officer will make proper and adequate records of their decision and reasons about whether to investigate or not.
Where our PID Officer assesses the disclosure as one to which the PID Act applies, but they do not have the functions or power to investigate one or more matters within the disclosure, they will refer the information to the appropriate authority for investigation as provided for under the PID Act. Alternatively, a discloser may also be able to make a disclosure directly to this new authority, if they wish to receive reports from them about the disclosure. For example, our PID Officer may need to refer an allegation of an offence supported by evidence to the Western Australia Police for investigation.
Our PID Officer will investigate, or cause to be investigated, any matters in the disclosure within the sphere of responsibility. Our PID Officer may cause the disclosure to be investigated by engaging a suitably skilled staff member within DLGSC or an externally contracted investigator.
If causing the disclosure to be investigated, our PID Officer will ensure that the person undertaking the investigation understands the requirements of the PID Act, in particular the confidentiality requirements and protections for disclosers.
Our PID Officer will only provide the name of the discloser and that of the subject of the disclosure to the investigator in accordance with s. 16 of the PID Act.
When investigating the disclosure, our PID Officer or investigator is limited by the functions and powers derived from our operating legislation. The PID Act does not provide for any additional investigative powers.
If you are an employee, you are expected to cooperate with any investigation into the disclosure to maintain the protections under the PID Act. A discloser is also expected to act in accordance with our Code of conduct at all times.
Employees who are the subject of the disclosure can clarify the process and what to expect with our PID Officer.
Our PID Officer may also decide to discontinue an investigation, in accordance with s. 8(2). If this happens, they will give the discloser reasons for their decision in accordance with s. 8(3), unless they made an anonymous disclosure. The PID Officer may also notify any subject(s) of the disclosure, if they discontinue the investigation.
To ensure the disclosure is adequately and properly investigated our PID Officer, or other investigator.
Internal investigation responsibilities and procedures are currently being considered. They will form part of this guideline once developed.
A subject of a disclosure is a person of interest about whom an allegation of a public interest disclosure has been made.
We will treat the person fairly and impartially throughout the process and inform them of their rights and obligations. We will generally keep the parties involved informed during any investigation, although we cannot release any information to the person that may prejudice our investigation. As an employee it is expected that they will act in accordance with our Code of conduct at all times.
The PID Act provides the person with some rights and obligations as a person subject to a disclosure. Firstly, the subject has a right to have their identity kept confidential under s. 16(3), unless one of the following conditions apply:
We will also provide appropriate natural justice. This means that, before we take any disciplinary or other action against the person under s. 9, we will give you the opportunity to:
If you are the subject of a disclosure, you must not identify or tend to identify the identity of the discloser or a person who they think might be the discloser, as they also have rights to confidentiality under the PID Act. It is an offence under s. 16 to identify or tend to identify any person who has made a disclosure under the PID Act.
Also, you must not engage in reprisal action, threaten anyone with reprisal action or have someone else conduct this action on your behalf because someone has made, or intends to make, a disclosure. It is still an offence to conduct this action against any person you believe has made the disclosure even if they were not the individual who actually made the disclosure. This is an offence under s. 14(1) of the PID Act.
The PID Officer will take action where they form the opinion that a person may be, may have been or may in the future be involved in conduct which may be the subject of a public interest disclosure. Usually, our PID Officer will form this opinion at the conclusion of an investigation, although there may be instances where they need to take immediate action and the PID Act enables them to do this.
Action the PID Officer may take under s. 9 includes, but is not limited to:
The options above are not mutually exclusive. The PID Officer may take more than one action depending on the circumstances. For example, the PID Officer may seek to terminate the employment of an employee caught stealing and refer the matter to the Western Australia Police.
In taking action the PID Officer and/or DLGSC is limited by the powers and functions derived from our operating legislation. The PID Act does not provide for any additional powers to take action. We are also guided by what is necessary and reasonable in the circumstances.
Before taking any action we will give the person against whom the action is to be taken (the subject of the disclosure) an opportunity to respond, either verbally or in writing, to ensure procedural fairness.
We will maintain confidentiality in accordance with the PID Act when taking action.
Our PID Officer will keep appropriate records about any action taken, as well as recording a summary of this action in the public interest disclosure register.
The PID Act places no further obligations on DLGSC or the PID Officer after the disclosure process is complete. The confidentiality requirements of the PID Act, however, continue to apply to you and all other people involved with the disclosure.
The PID Act does not provide for you to appeal the outcome of the disclosure process. A discloser may be able to make another disclosure to another proper authority, if the information relates to their functions or sphere of responsibility (s. 5). See Don’t be afraid to speak up for the correct proper authority for your disclosure.
However, this ‘new’ proper authority may be able to decline to investigate the disclosure under s. 8, if they consider the matter(s) has already been properly or adequately investigated (as a public interest disclosure).
The PID Act provides for certain circumstances where a discloser may be able to make a protected disclosure to a journalist (s. 7A(d)). These circumstances apply where the discloser has first made a disclosure to the PID Officer or another proper authority named in the PID Act (outlined in s. 5 or Don’t be afraid to speak up).
Importantly, the PID Act states that to attract the privileges and protections of the PID Act when disclosing to a journalist, the discloser must disclose information that is substantially the same as what was disclosed in the original disclosure and the PID Officer that received the original disclosure:
DLGSC is committed to ensuring that it provides the notifications required under the PID Act and that the discloser understands the reasons for our decisions and actions. If a discloser is considering making a disclosure to a journalist because they believe their circumstances meet one or more of the requirements outlined above, we would encourage the discloser to discuss this with the PID Officer prior to disclosure to a journalist.
It is also recommended that the discloser seek their own legal advice before taking any action in relation to matters that have been disclosed under the PID Act.
If a discloser makes an anonymous disclosure they may not be able to demonstrate they meet the above requirements and we are not obliged to provide the discloser with any notifications about what happens to the disclosure.
The names and contact details of DLGSC PID Officers are:
Further information regarding public interest disclosures is available on the Public Sector Commission’s website,
including the following publications:
For further information about the PID Act or information about the disclosure process generally, or to speak with a PSC consultant, the Public Sector Commission Advisory Line can be contacted on 61 8 6552 8888 (or 1800 676 607 for country callers).
All references to sections (that is, ‘s’ and ‘ss.’) in these procedures relate to the PID Act, unless stated otherwise.
Do not submit enquiries with this form.