Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Public Interest Disclosure Bill 2013

2010-2011-2012-2013

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Interest Disclosure Bill 2013

 

No.      , 2013

 

(Public Service and Integrity)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to facilitate disclosure and investigation of wrongdoing and maladministration in the Commonwealth public sector, and for other purposes

   

   

   



Contents

Part 1—Introduction                                                                                                             1

Division 1—Preliminary matters                                                                            1

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 2

3............ Crown to be bound............................................................................. 2

4............ Extension to external Territories.......................................................... 2

5............ Extension to things outside Australia.................................................. 3

Division 2—Objects                                                                                                        4

6............ Objects................................................................................................ 4

Division 3—Overview                                                                                                   5

7............ Overview............................................................................................ 5

Division 4—Definitions                                                                                                 6

8............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 6

Part 2—Protection of disclosers                                                                                   11

Division 1—Protections                                                                                              11

9............ Simplified outline.............................................................................. 11

Subdivision A—Immunity from liability                                                            11

10.......... Protection of disclosers..................................................................... 11

11.......... Liability for false or misleading statements etc. unaffected................ 12

12.......... Discloser’s liability for own conduct not affected............................. 12

Subdivision B—Protection from reprisals                                                         12

13.......... What constitutes taking a reprisal...................................................... 12

14.......... Compensation................................................................................... 13

15.......... Injunctions, apologies and other orders............................................. 14

16.......... Reinstatement.................................................................................... 15

17.......... Multiple orders.................................................................................. 15

18.......... Interaction with remedies under the Fair Work Act 2009 .................. 15

19.......... Offences............................................................................................ 16

Subdivision C—Protecting the identity of disclosers                                       17

20.......... Use or disclosure of identifying information..................................... 17

21.......... Identifying information not to be disclosed etc. to courts or tribunals 18

Subdivision D—Miscellaneous                                                                               18

22.......... Interaction with protections under Part 3-1 of the Fair Work Act 2009 18

23.......... Claims for protection......................................................................... 19

24.......... Protections have effect despite other Commonwealth laws............... 20

Division 2—Public interest disclosures                                                               21

25.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 21

Subdivision A—Public interest disclosures                                                         21

26.......... Meaning of public interest disclosure ............................................... 21

27.......... Associated allegations....................................................................... 25

28.......... How a public interest disclosure may be made.................................. 25

Subdivision B—Disclosable conduct                                                                    26

29.......... Meaning of disclosable conduct ........................................................ 26

30.......... Officers or employees of a contracted service provider..................... 28

31.......... Disagreements with government policies etc..................................... 29

32.......... Conduct connected with courts or tribunals...................................... 29

33.......... Conduct connected with intelligence agencies................................... 30

Subdivision C—Internal disclosures: authorised internal recipients           31

34.......... Meaning of authorised internal recipient .......................................... 31

35.......... When conduct relates to an agency.................................................... 32

36.......... Meaning of authorised officer ........................................................... 33

Subdivision D—External disclosures: inadequate investigations and responses to investigations             33

37.......... When investigations under Part 3 are inadequate.............................. 33

38.......... When responses to investigations under Part 3 are inadequate.......... 34

39.......... When responses to other disclosure investigations are inadequate.... 34

Subdivision E—Miscellaneous                                                                               35

40.......... Meaning of designated publication restriction .................................. 35

41.......... Meaning of intelligence information ................................................. 35

Part 3—Investigations                                                                                                        38

Division 1—Allocating the handling of disclosures                                      38

42.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 38

43.......... Authorised officer to allocate the handling of the disclosure............. 38

44.......... Giving notice of the allocation decision............................................. 39

45.......... Subsequent allocations...................................................................... 40

Division 2—The obligation to investigate disclosures                                41

46.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 41

47.......... Principal officer must investigate disclosures.................................... 41

48.......... Discretion not to investigate.............................................................. 42

49.......... Investigative agency using separate investigative powers................. 43

50.......... Notification to discloser.................................................................... 44

51.......... Report of investigation...................................................................... 44

52.......... Time limit for investigations under this Division.............................. 45

53.......... Conduct of investigations under this Division.................................. 46

54.......... Adoption of findings of another investigation................................... 47

55.......... Estimate of duration of investigation................................................. 48

Division 3—Miscellaneous                                                                                        49

56.......... Disclosure to a member of an Australian police force....................... 49

57.......... Protection of witnesses etc................................................................ 49

Part 4—Administrative matters                                                                                   51

Division 1—Additional obligations and functions                                         51

58.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 51

59.......... Additional obligations of principal officers....................................... 51

60.......... Additional obligations of authorised officers.................................... 52

61.......... Additional obligations of public officials.......................................... 52

62.......... Additional functions of the Ombudsman.......................................... 53

63.......... Additional functions of the IGIS....................................................... 53

Division 2—Treatment of information                                                              55

64.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 55

65.......... Secrecy—general.............................................................................. 55

66.......... Source agencies for intelligence information..................................... 56

67.......... Secrecy—legal practitioners.............................................................. 57

Division 3—Officials and agencies                                                                       59

68.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 59

Subdivision A—Public officials                                                                             59

69.......... Public officials.................................................................................. 59

70.......... Individuals taken to be public officials.............................................. 63

Subdivision B—Agencies and prescribed authorities                                      64

71.......... Meaning of agency ............................................................................ 64

72.......... Meaning of prescribed authority ...................................................... 64

Subdivision C—Principal officers                                                                        66

73.......... Meaning of principal officer ............................................................. 66

Part 5—Miscellaneous                                                                                                        68

74.......... Ombudsman may determine standards.............................................. 68

75.......... Restriction on the application of secrecy provisions.......................... 68

76.......... Annual report.................................................................................... 69

77.......... Delegations....................................................................................... 70

78.......... Liability for acts and omissions......................................................... 71

79.......... Concurrent operation of State and Territory laws.............................. 72

80.......... Law relating to legal professional privilege not affected.................... 72

81.......... Law relating to parliamentary privilege not affected.......................... 72

82.......... Other investigative powers etc. not affected...................................... 72

83.......... The PID rules.................................................................................... 72

 



A Bill for an Act to facilitate disclosure and investigation of wrongdoing and maladministration in the Commonwealth public sector, and for other purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts: