What is a public interest disclosure?

Public Interest Disclosure laws protect whistleblowers.

Reports and complaints about wrongdoing in the public sector are sometimes known as Public Interest Disclosures. 

They can be made about a public body or public officer, as well as about people who seek to improperly influence public bodies and public officers. If IBAC decides your report is a Public Interest Disclosure, you’ll have extra legal protections.

  • If we assess your complaint as a Public Interest Disclosure we’ll never reveal your name as the person who made a disclosure, and we’ll make every effort to ensure you are not disadvantaged because you made a complaint. This means: 

    • you're protected from being fired or bullied.
    • you're protected from defamation and retaliation. 
    • you have immunity from:
      • civil or criminal liability and administrative action (including disciplinary action) 
      • being charged with an offence under Victorian laws that impose obligations of impartiality, confidentiality or which otherwise restrict 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.
  • Reports about wrongdoing can be made directly to IBAC. 

    Alternatively, some Victorian public sector agencies are authorised to receive public interest disclosures and may have a Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator who you can make a disclosure to, and they will report it to IBAC.

  • State Government departments

    • Department of Premier and Cabinet
    • Department of Education
    • Department of Health
    • Department of Families, Fairness and Housing
    • Department of Treasury and Finance
    • Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action
    • Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions
    • Department of Justice and Community Safety
    • Department of Transport and Planning
    • Department of Government Services

    Administrative offices

    • COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria
    • Invest 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: the Office for Safety and Quality Improvement
    • Service Victoria
    • Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office
    • Victorian Skills Authority

    All local councils


    Other entities

    • Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC)
    • Victorian Public Sector Commission
    • Victorian Inspectorate (if the Public Interest Disclosure relates to IBAC or an IBAC officer, a Public Interest Monitor or, until 2 August 2024, the Office of the Special Investigator or a former OSI officer)
    • Victorian Ombudsman
    • Victoria Police
    • The Office of the Special Investigator (if the Public Interest Disclosure relates to conduct of Victoria Police personnel arising from the use of Nicola Maree Gobbo as a human Source)
    • Judicial Commission of Victoria
    • Integrity and Oversight Committee (if the Public Interest Disclosure relates to the Victorian Inspectorate)
    • Speaker of the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council (if the Public Interest Disclosure relates to a member of parliament)