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Public Interest Disclosures Bill 2007 [2008]
2004

 

 

2004-2005-2006-2007

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Interest Disclosures Bill 2007

 

No.      , 2007

 

(Senator Murray)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to encourage and facilitate the disclosure of information in the public interest, by protecting public officials and others who make disclosures, and for related purposes

   

   

   



Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                              1

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

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 1

3............ Purpose............................................................................................... 2

4............ Act binds the Crown........................................................................... 2

5............ Interpretation....................................................................................... 2

6............ Parliamentary immunity not affected................................................... 6

Part 2—Public interest disclosures                                                                               7

Division 1—When a public interest disclosure is made                               7

7............ Public interest disclosures................................................................... 7

8............ Disclosures to proper authorities......................................................... 7

9............ Disclosure to persons other than proper authorities............................ 8

10.......... Disclosures remain disclosures in certain circumstances................... 10

Division 2—Obligations of a proper authority to whom a disclosure is made   12

11.......... Obligation to carry out investigation................................................. 12

12.......... Risk assessment by proper authority................................................. 14

13.......... Proper authority to notify official of action taken.............................. 14

14.......... Limitation on information provided by proper authority................... 15

15.......... Confidentiality................................................................................... 15

16.......... Relationship with other Acts............................................................. 17

Part 3—Protection                                                                                                                19

17.......... Immunity for public interest disclosures........................................... 19

18.......... Reprisal an offence............................................................................ 19

19.......... Criminal Code to apply..................................................................... 20

20.......... Remedies for detrimental action—employment appeals.................... 20

21.......... Remedies for detrimental action—civil liability................................. 21

22.......... Remedies for detrimental action—forum and quantum..................... 22

23.......... Injunctions........................................................................................ 23

24.......... Liability of person disclosing unaffected........................................... 23

25.......... Loss of protection............................................................................. 24

Part 4—Obligations of Agency Heads, Ombudsman and Public Service Commissioner               25

26.......... Internal disclosure procedures........................................................... 25

27.......... Protection of employees.................................................................... 26

28.......... Responsibilities of the Ombudsman—disclosures............................ 27

29.......... Responsibilities of the Ombudsman—reports................................... 29

30.......... Detrimental action............................................................................. 30

Part 5—Miscellaneous                                                                                                        32

31.......... False and misleading information...................................................... 32

32.......... Other laws......................................................................................... 32

33.......... Regulations....................................................................................... 32

34.......... Review.............................................................................................. 32

35.......... Schedule(s)....................................................................................... 33

Schedule 1—Amendment of Freedom of Information Act 1982             34

Schedule 2—Amendment of Ombudsman Act 1976                                       35

 



A Bill for an Act to encourage and facilitate the disclosure of information in the public interest, by protecting public officials and others who make disclosures, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts: