Public interest disclosures

In some circumstances, IBAC may decide your complaint is a public interest disclosure (previously known as protected disclosure or 'whistleblower' complaints). If your complaint is assessed as a public interest disclosure, you receive additional legal protections – see below.

We assess every complaint we receive as a potential public interest disclosure.

Additionally, we receive and assess potential disclosures as notified by other public sector agencies, as well as allegations of harm to an individual for making a public interest disclosure.

Learn more about how public interest disclosures are received, assessed and what happens next:

Launch public interest disclosure process map. Process milestones: Receiving a potential PID. Assessing a potential PID and notifying the appropriate entity for assessment. Assessment of PID to determine if it is a public interest complaint.

What legal protections do disclosers receive?

If your complaint is assessed as a public interest disclosure:

  • we will never publicise your name
  • you and your family, friends and colleagues will be protected from being fired or bullied for making a complaint
  • you will receive protection from defamation and detrimental action in reprisal for making a public interest disclosure
  • you will receive immunity from:
    • civil or criminal liability as well as administrative action (including disciplinary action) for making the disclosure
    • committing an offence under the Constitution Act 1975 (Vic) or any other Act that imposes obligations of confidentiality or otherwise restricts the disclosure of information
    • breaching any other obligation (made by oath or rule of law or practice) requiring the maintenance of confidentiality or otherwise restricting the disclosure of information.

Who you can complain to

Most public sector bodies have a Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator to help support and protect staff in making disclosures.

If your agency doesn’t have a Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator to speak to, you can contact IBAC directly.

Anyone can complain to us about public sector corruption and police misconductFind out how.

Entities that can receive public interest disclosures

State Government departments

  • Department of Premier and Cabinet
  • Department of Education and Training
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Treasury and Finance
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
  • Department of Justice and Community Safety
  • Department of Transport

Administrative offices:

  • Family Safety Victoria
  • Latrobe Valley Authority
  • Local Government Inspectorate
  • Major Transport Infrastructure Authority
  • Office of Projects Victoria
  • Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel
  • Office of the Governor
  • Office of the Victorian Government Architect
  • Public Record Office Victoria
  • Safer Care Victoria
  • Service Victoria
  • Victorian Agency for Health Information
  • Victorian Government Solicitors Office

All local councils

Other entities

  • Victorian Public Sector Commission
  • Victorian Inspectorate (if the public interest disclosure relates to IBAC or the Public Interest Monitor)
  • Victorian Ombudsman
  • Judicial Commission
  • Integrity and Oversight Committee (if the public interest disclosure relates to the Victorian Inspectorate)
  • The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, or the Legislative Council (if the public interest disclosure relates to a member of Parliament)

More information and resources

See Workplace resources for more digital resources including videos, posters and banners.

Are you a Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator?

We provide more information and resources to help you receive potential disclosures, and manage the welfare of disclosers.