Public interest disclosure
The Ombudsman is authorised to deal with whistleblower complaints under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012 (PID Act). The PID Act provides that a person may make a Public Interest Disclosure (PID), including to the Ombudsman. Complaints of this nature are usually sensitive and often complex, and their investigation requires a great deal of care.
One area of difficulty is where the person making the disclosure is employed by the agency about which they are complaining. The facts that can bring a matter under the PID Act can be intertwined with other events that have contributed to a disagreement or dispute between the person and the government agency.
It can be difficult to separate the PID issues from other events, particularly if there is a complaint of unlawful recrimination attributable to a PID Act disclosure. It is common for the PID issue to emerge (or to be notified formally) some time after the disagreement or dispute has arisen.
The PID Act is an important element in the framework of democratic, ethical and accountable government in the ACT. The Ombudsman's role under the PID Act is one that is taken seriously.
For an outline of the Ombudsman's powers under the PID Act, see Our legislation page.