Posted on November 4, 2011 by Frances Tse

Commencement of expanded protection to whistleblowers

In a previous post on this site (which can be accessed here) , we discussed the proposed changes to the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 (PID Act) which will expand protection to whistleblowers in relation to local government matters. Most of those changes commenced on 1 November 2011.

However, the requirement for councils to report to the Ombudsman each half-year on the council’s compliance with its obligations under the PID Act, will not commence until 1 January 2012.

The commencement of the remainder of the changes, means that:

  • the general manager of a council must ensure that the council has a public interest disclosures policy, that staff are aware of and comply with that policy and that the council complies with the policy,
  • the general manager of a council must ensure that the policy designates at least one officer to be responsible for receiving public interest disclosures on behalf of the council, and
  • any person who makes a public interest disclosure must be provided with the policy, and an acknowledgement of receipt of his or her disclosure, within 45 days of the disclosure.