Public interest disclosures
A public interest disclosure ("PID") is a report about a suspected wrongdoing in the public sector.
Mackay Regional Council is committed to the promotion of the public interest and encourages and supports genuine public interest disclosures of any wrongdoing within Council.
For a report of wrongdoing to be considered a PID, it must be:
a) A disclosure of information specified in the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2010;
b) Made in the public interest; and
c) To an appropriate public sector entity.
Once considered, a PID will attract the protections under the Public Interest Disclosure Act, 2010.
Mackay Regional Council has adopted a Public Interest Disclosure Policy to ensure the appropriate handling of PIDs.
Making a Public Interest Disclosure
According to the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010, members of the public are encouraged to make a PID regarding:
a) A substantial and specific danger to the health and safety of a person with a disability as defined in the Disability Services Act 1992;
b) A substantial and specific danger to the environment;
c) A reprisal taken against anybody as a result of a Public interest disclosure.
A reprisal is when a person causes, or attempts to conspire to cause detriment to another person because, or in the belief that, another person has made or may make a PID.
The public is encouraged to report all wrongdoing regarding council, and where any disclosures are received which do not meet the PID requirements, will be considered through council's general complaints process or another appropriate avenue.
Is Mackay Regional Council the proper authority for my Public Interest Disclosure?
To identify whether Council is the proper authority to make your report to, you need to consider who and what the report is about. Council is only authorised to receive a PID where:
- The disclosure is about the conduct of Council or its employees;
- Council is responsible for the investigation of particular issues (e.g. matters referred from the Crime & Corruption Commission and/or Queensland Ombudsman).
What if I want to make an anonymous Public Interest Disclosure?
Anonymous disclosures can be made, however, council prefers that Disclosers identify themselves. This enables the best assessment and investigation of the public interest disclosure and ensures appropriate support and feedback is provided to the Discloser.
If a Discloser chooses to remain anonymous, they are asked to provide as much information as possible in their disclosure, to enable proper assessment and investigation of the public interest disclosure.
Please note that an anonymous Discloser will not be able to be advised or informed of the investigation outcome.
What are my Responsibilities as a Discloser?
When making a PID you have a responsibility to:
- Provide honest and accurate information. Deliberately providing false or misleading information is an offence under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010;
- Provide all information currently in your possession. You must not seek to investigate the matter yourself;
- Make the disclosure to someone you reasonably believe is the proper authority to receive it.
How do I make a Public Interest Disclosure?
Council's preferred option for making a public interest disclosure is in writing (whenever possible) and contains as much relevant information as available.
Council's contact details are as follows:
Public Interest Disclosure - Private & Confidential
The Chief Executive Officer
Mackay Regional Council
PO Box 41
Mackay, Qld 4740
A disclosure can also be made verbally to council by contacting the Chief Executive Officer or Manager Governance & Safety on:
Telephone: 1300 622 529
Any person may choose to make a disclosure to an appropriate external entity rather than to council (i.e. Crime and Corruption Commission in relation to "corrupt conduct" or the Queensland Ombudsman).
For further advice regarding public interest disclosures please contact:
A member of the Corporate Governance team in the Governance and Safety Program by phone on 1300 622 529 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crime and Corruption Commission
Queensland Ombudsman Advisory Service
The Queensland Ombudsman has been allocated responsibility for providing advice and guidance to public sector entities and officials to meet their responsibilities created from the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 and the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010.
Enquiries: Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5.00pm
Phone: 1800 068 908
Queensland Public Sector Ethics
Further information can also be located on the Queensland Public Sector Ethics website.
Please refer to council's Privacy Disclaimer for further information.