As a public sector agency the University has obligations under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (Qld) (the PID Act). This legislation is designed to encourage and provide protection to those who speak out about wrongdoing in the public sector.  The Queensland Ombudsman is the oversight agency for the PID Act and the University falls within the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction.

It is the responsibility of the Integrity and Investigations Unit to ensure that the University’s legislative obligations under the PID Act are met. This involves maintaining the University’s Public Interest Disclosure Policy and the related procedure for the management of such matters.

You can view the precise legal definition for what constitutes a PID (PDF, 147KB), but it is important to understand that only certain types of public interest information can be considered as a PID. How, where and what is disclosed determines whether it is legally protected under the PID Act. For example, whether the discloser receives immunity for making the disclosure or whether confidentiality requirements apply.

It is an offence under the PID Act for any person to take reprisal (e.g. bullying and harassment) against a person who they believe has made, or intends to make, a PID. Where possible the University will take action to protect a discloser from reprisal such as maintaining their anonymity (unless it is necessary to reveal their identity in the interest of natural justice).

Disclosures by employees of the University

An employee of the University (as a public sector officer) has a responsibility to make a disclosure about:

  • Corrupt conduct by another person (click here to learn more about corrupt conduct).
  • Maladministration that adversely affects someone’s interests in a substantial and specific way.
  • A substantial misuse of public resources.
  • A substantial and specific danger to public health and safety.
  • A substantial misuse of public resources.
  • A substantial and specific danger to the environment.

Employees of the University are encouraged to raise appropriate matters at any time with their supervisor and or manger. Matters that may amount to a public interest disclosure are required to be made in writing to the Chief Operating Officer, or to the Vice-Chancellor if the disclosure relates to the conduct of the Chief Operating Officer. If a supervisor or other University employee receives a PID verbally they should encourage the discloser to put the information in writing and then refer the complaint or the Chief Operating Officer or, if applicable, the Vice-Chancellor.

Disclosures by any person

Any person (including an employee of the University) can make a disclosure about:

  • A substantial and specific danger to the health or safety of a person with a disability.
  • The commission of an offence against a provision listed in Schedule 2 of the PID Act that would be a substantial and specific danger to the environment.
  • A contravention of a condition imposed under a provision listed in Schedule 2 of the PID Act, if the contravention is or would be a substantial and specific danger to the environment.
  • The conduct of another person that could, if proved, be a reprisal.

Advice

It is important to understand that while a disclosure might not actually be a PID it could still be important information to share. The IIU can help you determine if a matter amounts to a PID, and support you with the management of it if it is.