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Public Interest Disclosure Bill 2013

2010-2011-2012-2013

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

As read a third time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Interest Disclosure Bill 2013

 

No.      , 2013

 

 

 

 

 

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                                                                                   12

Division 1—Protections                                                                                              12

9............ Simplified outline.............................................................................. 12

Subdivision A—Immunity from liability                                                            12

10.......... Protection of disclosers..................................................................... 12

11.......... Liability for false or misleading statements etc. unaffected................ 13

11A....... Designated publication restrictions.................................................... 13

12.......... Discloser’s liability for own conduct not affected............................. 13

Subdivision B—Protection from reprisals                                                         14

13.......... What constitutes taking a reprisal...................................................... 14

14.......... Compensation................................................................................... 14

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

16.......... Reinstatement.................................................................................... 16

17.......... Multiple orders.................................................................................. 16

18.......... Costs only if proceedings instituted vexatiously etc.......................... 17

19.......... Offences............................................................................................ 17

19A....... Interaction between civil remedies and offences................................ 18

Subdivision C—Protecting the identity of disclosers                                       18

20.......... Use or disclosure of identifying information..................................... 18

21.......... Identifying information not to be disclosed etc. to courts or tribunals 19

Subdivision D—Interaction with the Fair Work Act 2009                              20

22.......... Interaction with protections under Part 3-1 of the Fair Work Act 2009 20

22A....... Interaction with remedies under the Fair Work Act 2009 .................. 20

Subdivision E—Miscellaneous                                                                               21

23.......... Claims for protection......................................................................... 21

24.......... Protections have effect despite other Commonwealth laws............... 22

Division 2—Public interest disclosures                                                               23

25.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 23

Subdivision A—Public interest disclosures                                                         23

26.......... Meaning of public interest disclosure ............................................... 23

27.......... Associated allegations....................................................................... 28

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

Subdivision B—Disclosable conduct                                                                    28

29.......... Meaning of disclosable conduct ........................................................ 28

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

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

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

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

Subdivision C—Internal disclosures: authorised internal recipients           33

34.......... Meaning of authorised internal recipient .......................................... 33

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

36.......... Meaning of authorised officer ........................................................... 35

Subdivision D—Intelligence information                                                           36

41.......... Meaning of intelligence information ................................................. 36

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                                42

46.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 42

47.......... Principal officer must investigate disclosures.................................... 42

48.......... Discretion not to investigate.............................................................. 43

49.......... Investigative agency using separate investigative powers................. 44

50.......... Notification to discloser.................................................................... 45

50A....... Notification to Ombudsman or IGIS of decision not to investigate... 46

51.......... Report of investigation...................................................................... 46

52.......... Time limit for investigations under this Division.............................. 47

53.......... Conduct of investigations under this Division.................................. 48

54.......... Adoption of findings of another investigation................................... 49

Division 3—Miscellaneous                                                                                        51

56.......... Disclosure to a member of an Australian police force....................... 51

57.......... Protection of witnesses etc................................................................ 51

Part 4—Administrative matters                                                                                   53

Division 1—Additional obligations and functions                                         53

58.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 53

59.......... Additional obligations of principal officers....................................... 53

60.......... Additional obligations of authorised officers.................................... 54

60A....... Additional obligations of supervisors............................................... 54

61.......... Additional obligations of public officials.......................................... 55

62.......... Additional functions of the Ombudsman.......................................... 55

63.......... Additional functions of the IGIS....................................................... 56

Division 2—Treatment of information                                                              57

64.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 57

65.......... Secrecy—general.............................................................................. 57

66.......... Source agencies for intelligence information..................................... 58

67.......... Secrecy—legal practitioners.............................................................. 59

Division 3—Officials and agencies                                                                       60

68.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 60

Subdivision A—Public officials                                                                             60

69.......... Public officials.................................................................................. 60

70.......... Individuals taken to be public officials.............................................. 64

Subdivision B—Agencies and prescribed authorities                                      65

71.......... Meaning of agency ............................................................................ 65

72.......... Meaning of prescribed authority ...................................................... 65

Subdivision C—Principal officers                                                                        67

73.......... Meaning of principal officer ............................................................. 67

Part 5—Miscellaneous                                                                                                        69

74.......... Ombudsman may determine standards.............................................. 69

75.......... Restriction on the application of secrecy provisions.......................... 69

76.......... Annual report.................................................................................... 70

77.......... Delegations....................................................................................... 71

78.......... Liability for acts and omissions......................................................... 72

79.......... Concurrent operation of State and Territory laws.............................. 73

80.......... Law relating to legal professional privilege not affected.................... 73

82.......... Other investigative powers etc. not affected...................................... 73

82A....... Review of operation of Act............................................................... 73

83.......... The PID rules.................................................................................... 74

 



This Bill originated in the House of Representatives; and, having this day passed, is now ready for presentation to the Senate for its concurrence.

B.C. WRIGHT

Clerk of the House of Representatives

House of Representatives

19 June 2013

 

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: