New PID Act 2022
Summary of how the new Public Interest Disclosures Act 2022 (PID Act 2022) is different from the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 (PID Act 1994). Understand your obligations and what support is available from the NSW Ombudsman.
Timeline for the new PID Act 2022
The NSW Parliament has passed new public interest disclosures legislation. The Public Interest Disclosures Act received assent on 13 April 2022 and will come into force up to 18 months after assent.
Agencies continue to be subject to the PID Act 1994 until the new PID Act 2022 comes into force.
Current obligations for public authorities
Public authorities must continue to comply with the PID Act 1994 until the new PID Act 2022 commences. For example, they must continue to:
- receive, assess and handle reports of wrongdoing that meet the definition of a public interest disclosure (PID) under the PID Act 1994
- report data to the NSW Ombudsman every 6 months
- make sure public officials – including staff, contractors and volunteers – are aware of their agency's internal reporting system
- make sure that nominated disclosure officers are aware of their role in dealing with reports from staff, including PIDs.
Changes to the current PID Act
The new PID Act 2022 is a complete rewrite of the PID Act 1994.
The object of the PID Act 1994 is to encourage and facilitate the disclosure – in the public interest – of wrongdoing in the public sector.
While the new PID Act 2022 has the same broad objective and includes some of the same concepts – for example, the categories of wrongdoing – it will also implement other significant changes.
The new PID Act 2022:
- is simpler and easier to navigate
- contains fewer hazards for reporters – including expanding the permissible recipients of PIDs to include a person’s manager, and protecting PIDs even if they are made to the wrong agency
- provides more comprehensive protections – including for witnesses and those involved in investigating PIDs
- imposes clear duty on authorities to take appropriate steps to deal with the disclosures they receive
- introduces enhanced measures to encourage a ‘speak up culture’ within agencies – for example, enhanced requirements around policies and training
- facilitates more comprehensive and meaningful reporting of data about PIDs.
The new PID Act 2022 addresses many of the weaknesses in the PID Act 1994. To find out more about these changes, see NSW Ombudsman’s Special Report on the PID Bill.
The NSW Ombudsman is developing an implementation timetable that gives agencies enough time to prepare for the new PID Act 2022. We will:
- develop and issue comprehensive new public and agency guidelines, reporting tools and templates
- roll out new reporting, notification and conciliation functions
- completely revise our training material, including how we deliver training to ensure greatest efficiency and reach.
We will communicate with agencies about when these resources will be available.
Support from the NSW Ombudsman
To support agencies to prepare for the new PID Act 2022, we will:
- provide regular updates on the new legislation through our PID e-news
- provide information as it becomes available on this website
- share our plans for preparing new guidelines, fact sheets, e-learning modules and training packages for the new legislation and make these available to agencies
- provide information about how and when public officials get more information about the new PID Act 2022 and on how to use the new resource packages.
We provide advice to agencies to assess, manage and report public interest disclosures (PIDs). We also provide resources to help agencies comply with their obligations under the PID Act 1994.
To support agencies with their obligations under the PID Act 1994 we will:
- provide PID management training for people with PID responsibilities – see PID training
- continue to provide access to guidelines and fact sheets that relate to the current PID Act
- provide information that agencies can use now to support them with their awareness raising activities under the current legislation, including resources for training
- continue to provide advice and assistance to agencies on the current PID Act.
What you need to do now
The most important thing to do now is subscribe to our PID e-news. We will let you know about the new requirements and give you updates as they become available.
The NSW Ombudsman provides advice and assistance with handling PIDs and understanding the PID Act. Contact our Public Interest Disclosure Unit on 02 9286 1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org