The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018
The new Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018 (the PID Act) commenced on 1 July 2019 and replaces the repealed Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993. The new laws strengthen transparency and accountability in government, protect the identity of informants and allows them to pass on information to the relevant authorities without fear of reprisal.
The PID Act now provides two types of protection:
- protections for any person wishing to report public interest information on environmental and health matters
- protections purely for public servants wanting to disclose allegations of public sector maladministration, corruption or misconduct.
What is the PID Act?
The PID Act establishes a scheme that encourages and facilitates the disclosure of public interest information to certain persons or authorities. It provides protections for those who make appropriate disclosures of public interest information and sets out processes for dealing with those disclosures.
The legislation requires that the Office for Public Integrity be notified of every appropriate disclosure of public interest information and the action that has been taken in respect of those disclosures.
How can I be protected?
To gain the protections under the PID Act you must make an appropriate disclosure of public interest information. Whether something is an appropriate disclosure of public interest information depends upon:
- the nature of the information to be disclosed
- your state of mind, and
- the entity to which you make the disclosure.
Refer to the Public Interest Disclosure Procedure for more information about what constitutes appropriate disclosure.
The protections under the new PID Act only apply to cases where the disclosure has been made to a relevant authority or an appointed responsible officer for an agency. DEM Responsible Officers have been appointed by the Chief Executive and are trained to receive information and take appropriate action on that information.
Making an appropriate disclosure
You can make an appropriate disclosure of public interest information by:
Public Interest Disclosure
Mark the envelope private and confidential
The steps involved in making an appropriate disclosure are outlined in Department for Energy and Mining Making an appropriate disclosure of public interest information
DEM Responsible Officers
You can contact DEM Responsible Officers via email on DEM.PID@sa.gov.au
After a disclosure has been made
When a disclosure has been made, and the informant has not been notified of proposed actions and the outcomes within the required timeframes, then the informant can in some circumstances disclose the information to a journalist or a Member of Parliament with the same level of protections as provided under the PID Act.
More information about public interest disclosure
- Department for Energy and Mining Public Interest Disclosure Procedure (PDF 498 KB)
- Department for Energy and Mining Making an appropriate disclosure of public interest information (PDF 181 KB)
- Independent Commissioner Against Corruption / Office for Public Integrity
- Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment
- New protections for whistleblowers: Factsheet for the South Australian community (PDF 729 KB)
- New protections for whistleblowers: Factsheet for South Australian public sector employees (PDF 79 KB)
- Frequently asked questions: Protections for whistleblowers
- ICAC Public interest disclosure guidelines