Sheets of paper pile fastened by paperclips public interest disclosure

Make a public interest disclosure

The Audit Office has the legislative power to investigate public interest disclosures (PIDs) made by a public official about serious and substantial waste of public money by a NSW government agency, university or local councils. A public official is someone who works for the public sector, including contractors.

A serious and substantial waste of public money is any uneconomical, inefficient or ineffective use of resources, authorised or unauthorised, which results in a serious and substantial loss of public funds or resources.

The approach the Audit Office takes to dealing with PIDs is to make enquiries as part of our financial audits. This means the Audit Office does not conduct an investigation as such, but rather uses our financial audit work to make additional enquiries on a matter that has been reported to us.

In the first instance, public officials should direct their report to the NSW government entity, university or local government council concerned.

A public official wishing to report serious and substantial waste of public money to the Audit Office is encouraged to use the Public Official Reporting Form. This form can be submitted by:

This policy also provides more information on making a Public Interest Disclosure including the criteria for a report to be classed as a public interest disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994.

Public officials can also make reports about certain types of misconduct by the Audit Office under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1994. PIDs about serious and substantial waste, corrupt conduct, maladministration or a breach of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 by the Audit Office are covered by the Internal Public Interest Disclosures Policy.

In addition to the disclosure provisions in the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994, reports of wrongdoing can also be made under the Corporations Act 2001. The scope of conduct that can be the subject of a protected disclosure includes misconduct or an improper state of affairs or circumstances.

If a protected disclosure is made, strict confidentiality must be maintained. Both the discloser's identity and information that is likely to lead to the identification of a discloser must be kept confidential. This obligation of confidentiality is imposed on the recipient of the disclosure, the organisation and any other person that directly, or indirectly, obtains the confidential information.

In the first instance the Audit Office will seek the discloser’s consent before making any enquiries as part of our financial audit. If consent is not given or if the disclosure is anonymous, these strict confidentiality obligations may adversely impact our existing process for escalating and investigating a report of wrongdoing.

When you provide us your personal information by email or through this website:

  • we will record your email address and other information submitted
  • we will use the information for the purpose for which you provide it
  • your email address will not be added to a mailing list, unless provided by you specifically for that purpose.

Please refer to our Privacy Management Plan for more information.