Protected Disclosures


Protected Disclosures

The best source of information concerning inappropriate conduct within a public body is often people who work for or have dealings with the body.

Disclosures perform an important role in maintaining an effective and honest Victorian government service. Disclosers are uniquely placed to expose serious problems within the management and operations of public bodies and other persons.

Protected Disclosure Act 2012

The Protected Disclosure Act came into operation on 10 February 2013. The purposes of the Act are:

encourage and facilitate disclosures of :
  (i)   improper conduct by public officers, public bodies and other persons, and 
  (ii)  detrimental action taken in reprisal for a person making a disclosure under the Protected Disclosure Act. 

provide protection for :
  (i)   persons who make those disclosures and 
  (ii)  persons who may suffer detrimental action in reprisal for those disclosures.

provide for the confidentiality of the content of those disclosures and the identity of persons who make those disclosures.

The Protected Disclosure Act, subject to some specific exceptions, only applies to Victorian public bodies and public officers.

Public bodies and officers can include:

  • government departments and agencies
  • statutory authorities
  • councillors
  • officers of municipal councils
  • government-appointed boards and committees
  • government-owned companies
  • universities
  • TAFE colleges
  • public hospitals
  • state-funded residential care services
  • health services contractors
  • correctional services contractors.

The Act makes it a criminal offence punishable by a fine and/or up to two years imprisonment to take detrimental action against a person for making a protected disclosure.