Public interest disclosures training
PID Act 1994 still in force
What must agencies do?
While it is important to prepare for the new Bill, it is important for agencies to remember that until it is commenced, they must continue to comply with the requirements of the PID Act.
For example, agencies must continue to:
- receive, assess and handle reports of wrongdoing that meet the definition of a ‘public interest disclosure’ under the PID Act
- submit returns to the Ombudsman every six months
- raise awareness of the internal reporting system in their agency with public officials (this includes staff, contractors and volunteers)
- ensure that nominated disclosure officers are aware of their role in dealing with reports from staff, including those that are assessed as public interest disclosures.
How will our office assist agencies?
The Ombudsman’s office will continue to support agencies to meet these obligations. We have prepared some FAQs on our website to assist agencies to navigate this process.
In particular we will:
- continue to provide access to guidelines and fact sheets that relate to the current PID Act
- upload information that agencies can use to support them with their awareness raising activities under the current legislation)
- continue to provide advice and assistance to agencies on the current PID Act through email@example.com.
PID training sessions
We offer 2-hour public interest disclosures training which provides an overview of an organisation’s obligations under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994. Training is primarily targeted at people with PID Assessment and handling responsibilities, including nominated disclosure officers, disclosure coordinators and managers.
These training sessions are designed to assist staff with a PID-related role to:
- identify, assess and handle PIDs
- promote awareness of the importance of public interest disclosures and a positive reporting environment
- comply with the requirements of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994
- manage public interest disclosures effectively.
Find a date for an upcoming PID Management Training workshop (go to bottom of page for upcoming workshops dates).
A new PID Bill
On 14 October 2021 the Special Minister of State, the Hon. Don Harwin MP, introduced the Public Interest Disclosures Bill 2021 (the PID Bill) into the NSW Legislative Council. On commencement, the new PID Bill will replace the PID Act in its entirety and represents a significant enhancement to whistleblower protections in NSW. The Bill provides for a commencement date up to 18 months after assent. The PID e-News provides further information.
In the coming months, we will communicate with agencies about our development of a package of resources to assist agencies to prepare. This will include new guidelines, fact sheets, e-learning modules and training packages for the new legislation. To ensure you receive direct communication from the PID Team, subscribe to our PID e-Newsletter and read our new PID Act which contain preliminary information.
What do you need to do now?
The most important thing that agencies can do at this stage is to subscribe to our PID e-Newsletter. This will ensure that we can communicate with you about the new requirements and the guidance as it becomes available.
We currently offer the following workshops:
Public interest disclosures management training
This workshop provides an overview of the obligations of NSW public authorities under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994. It covers the why, what, how and who of public interest disclosures as well as the responsibilities of the nominated officers and agency executives. The workshop discusses strategies for managing parties involved in the disclosures and outlines the role of the NSW Ombudsman.