Integrity culture of NSW public servants aided by new whistleblower protections

By Melissa Coade

April 1, 2022

Mark Speakman
NSW attorney-general Mark Speakman. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

New whistleblower reforms in NSW, developed in response to two parliamentary committees, have been designed to encourage a culture of reporting serious wrongdoing in the state’s public sector. 

On Wednesday, the Public Interest Disclosures Bill 2022 passed through parliament to protect public officials who make reports from reprisals and liability, the government said. 

Government agencies will not receive training about making public interest disclosures (PIDs) before the laws commence in 2023. 

NSW attorney-general Mark Speakman said the reforms showed his government’s ‘going commitment to exposing and stopping misconduct in all areas of public life’. 

The new laws will have the effect of simplifying the disclosure process, strengthening protecting whistleblowers from detrimental action, and making it easier for whistleblowers to recover damages arising from detrimental action (from an employer for the detrimental action of an employee, and from an agency for failing to proactively manage the risk of detrimental action).

Members of the public will also be able to make disclosures to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the ombud and the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.

The government developed the bill in consultation with an expert steering committee, chaired by the NSW ombud and made up of state watchdog heads.

“I wish to extend my thanks to the members of the PID steering committee for contributing their time and expertise in the development of these significant reforms,” Speakman said. 


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