Our confidentiality and reporting obligations for contributions
Our confidentiality obligations
The Audit Office maintains the confidentiality of all information gathered through the course of a performance audit.
Exceptions include the Auditor-General’s Report to Parliament – a public document – and where the Audit Office is permitted to disclose information under section 38 of the Government Sector Audit Act 1983 and section 425 of the Local Government Act 1993 or required to disclose information under other legislation – see below.
All information that the Audit Office receives, and working papers that the Audit Office creates during an audit, are classed as excluded information in Schedule 2 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act). An access application under the GIPA Act cannot be made for excluded information.
Our reporting obligations
Wrongdoing by officers of the NSW Police Force and the Crime Commission
The Auditor-General has an obligation to report to the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission any matter she reasonably suspects concerns or may concern officer misconduct or serious maladministration. This duty applies despite provisions in privacy and health records legislation which require the Audit Office to keep personal and health information confidential.
Wrongdoing in the wider public sector
The Auditor-General also has an obligation to report to the Independent Commission Against Corruption any matter she reasonably suspects concerns or may concern corrupt conduct. This duty applies despite any duty of secrecy or other restriction on disclosure.
Privacy and health legislation
Under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002, the Audit Office is required to keep personal and health information confidential. However, both acts contain limited exceptions which provide that the Audit Office is permitted to disclose personal or health information if we reasonably believe the disclosure is necessary to lessen or prevent a ‘serious and imminent threat to the life, health or safety of the individual or another person’.
Public interest disclosures
If you are currently employed in the NSW public service and you want to make a report about wrongdoing by a public official, you may be protected by the provisions in the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994. Please refer to the NSW Ombudsman’s website for further information.