In some circumstances, IBAC may decide your complaint is a protected disclosure (previously known as 'whistleblower' complaints).
We assess every complaint we receive as a potential protected 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 protected disclosure.
What legal protections do disclosers receive?
If your complaint is assessed as a protected 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 protected 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.
If you become a protected discloser
You cannot tell anyone the details of your complaint. Exceptions include:
- a lawyer
- an interpreter
- (if you are under 18) a parent or guardian.
Your disclosure can only be investigated by Victoria Police Professional Standards Command (if a police matter), the Victorian Ombudsman or IBAC.
Who you can complain to
Most public sector bodies have a Protected Disclosure Coordinator to help support and protect staff in making disclosures.
If your agency doesn’t have a Protected Disclosure Coordinator to speak to, you can contact IBAC directly.
Anyone can complain to us about public sector corruption and police misconduct. Find out how.
Are you a Protected Disclosure Coordinator?
We provide more information and resources to help you receive potential disclosures, and manage the welfare of disclosers.