Public interest disclosures

The Public Interest Disclosures Act 2002 (the Act) applies to all State Service officers and employees, including those working at TasTAFE.

The main objective of the Act is to encourage and facilitate the making of disclosures of improper conduct or detrimental action by public officers and public bodies. The Act provides protection from reprisals for persons making those disclosures and establishes a system for the matters disclosed to be properly investigated and for rectifying action to be taken.

A disclosure may be made about improper conduct by a public body or public official, however a disclosure may not be made about conduct that has occurred more than three years before the commencement of the Act. Improper conduct means conduct that is corrupt, a substantial mismanagement of public resources, or conduct involving substantial risk to public health or safety or to the environment. The conduct must be serious enough to constitute, if proved, a criminal offence or reasonable grounds for dismissal.

The Act also makes it an offence for a person to take any detrimental action against a person in reprisal for a protected disclosure.

The Ombudsman has a central role in handling disclosures of improper conduct made under the Act, including the preparation and publication of guidelines to assist public bodies in interpreting and complying with the Act.

While the office of the Ombudsman will be most involved with this Act, TasTAFE’s Office of the CEO will:

  • be a contact point for general advice about the operation of the Act for any person wishing to make a disclosure about improper conduct or detrimental action
  • make arrangements for a disclosure to be made privately and discreetly and, if necessary, away from the workplace
  • receive any disclosure made verbally or in writing (from internal and external disclosures)
  • commit to writing any disclosures made verbally.

The Office of the CEO will:

  • receive all disclosures
  • impartially assess each disclosure to determine whether it is a public interest disclosure
  • be responsible for carrying out, or appointing an investigator to carry out, an investigation of the public interest disclosure.


For further information or assistance, or to request a copy of TasTAFE’s Public Interest Disclosure procedures, please contact the Office of the CEO on 6165 6596 or email

The Office of the Ombudsman can also be contacted by phoning 6233 6217 (or 1800 001 170 outside the Hobart area) or by emailing