Wrongdoing in the public sector can be reported in a number of ways, which may be dependent on the subject matter and often at the choice of the person reporting the wrongdoing.
As a public sector officer, if you have a concern, your first contact point is your line manager or director. Within your agency, you can also contact your grievance officer or public interest disclosure officer.
For more information, see the Raising concerns - taking action on integrity issues page.
Public interest disclosures
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (PID Act) was introduced to encourage people to report wrongdoing within the state government, local government and public universities and protect them when they do.
Reports made by people about improper or unlawful conduct are known as ‘disclosures’ under the PID Act. A disclosure must relate to a matter of public interest information. It must show that a public authority, public officer or public sector contractor is, has been or may in the future be involved in wrongdoing in performing a public function.
A disclosure is more than a general complaint about dissatisfaction with a product or service or a decision by government, and more than a personal grievance that can be resolved by agreement between parties.
If you have seen, heard or know of something which you believe is unlawful or improper, this could be public interest information under the PID Act. Reporting wrongdoing or 'whistleblowing' is a serious matter and in many cases it takes courage for people to come forward. In exchange for that courage, the PID Act provides them with protection against reprisals.
Before making a disclosure, speak to your agency's public interest disclosure officer or contact the Public Sector Commission on (08) 6552 8888.
A grievance is an employee's concerns or complaint related to an unfair application of policies or practices, or inequitable treatment in the workplace irrespective of source. This includes actions or decisions by managers or other employees in applying human resource policies and practices as well as discrimination, harassment, or bullying.
If you have a grievance you should speak to either your line manager, a grievance officer in your agency or the human resources manager at your agency.
You can also seek advice from:
- the Public Sector Commission if you are concerned about a suspected breach of the Code of Ethics or your agency's code of conduct, or want to know about sector-wide policies
- the Corruption and Crime Commission if you are concerned about a suspected act of misconduct and/or corruption
- the Ombudsman if you are concerned about maladministration
- WorkSafe if you are concerned about occupational safety and health issues (including bullying)
- the Equal Opportunity Commission if you are concerned about equal opportunity issues.
- your union or the WA Industrial Relations Commission if you are concerned about industrial issues.