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Information on being a 'whistleblower' and making a public interest disclosure

A ‘whistleblower’ is a person who exposes or brings to public attention an irregularity or a crime, especially from within an organisation.

Information for whistleblowers

Through your dealings, or as a result of your employment with an APRA-regulated institution, you may become aware of information that leads you to believe there has been misconduct which gives you concern about the way that institution is meeting its prudential requirements. Such misconduct may include:

  • failure to comply with a legal duty;
  • gross mismanagement or waste;
  • dishonest or unethical behaviour by an individual; or
  • fraud or other type of criminal behaviour.

APRA will accept information anonymously from whistleblowers. However if you are providing information to APRA, it is preferable that you provide your contact details to assist in any investigation into the matter.

Due to the legal provisions that restrict the type of information APRA may disclose to the public, any specific outcome arising from a complaint is unlikely to be publicly released. Find out more about providing information on the institutions APRA regulates.

All information provided in good faith by a member of the public is appreciated in that it assists APRA to carry out its regulatory function in a more effective and efficient manner.

Information for current and past APRA employees - public interest disclosures

Legislation for a public interest disclosure scheme commenced on 15 January 2014. The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act) promotes integrity and accountability in the Australian public sector by:

  • encouraging and facilitating the disclosure of information by public officials about suspected wrongdoing in the public sector;
  • ensuring that public officials who make public interest disclosures are supported and protected from adverse consequences; and
  • ensuring that disclosures by public officials are properly investigated and dealt with.

Through your current or past employment, contractual arrangement, secondment or similar with APRA, you may wish to disclose information which, in your honest, reasonable belief, suggests that wrongdoing has been committed, or is in the process of being committed, at APRA. Such wrongdoing could be actions that:

  • contravene a Commonwealth, state or territory law;
  • in a foreign country, contravene a foreign law that applies to the agency, official or service provider;
  • pervert the course of justice;
  • are corrupt;
  • constitute maladministration, including conduct that is based on improper motives or is unreasonable, unjust, oppressive or negligent;
  • are an abuse of public trust;
  • involve fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or deception relating to scientific research, or other misconduct in relation to scientific research, analysis or advice;
  • result in wastage of public money or public property;
  • unreasonably endanger health and safety; or
  • endanger the environment.

APRA has established a policy and procedure for dealing with public interest disclosures of this kind, in compliance with the PID Act, which includes the appointment of authorised officers for handling public interest disclosures made to us.

Making a public interest disclosure

Public interest disclosures may be made either directly to APRA or to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

If you would like to make a public interest disclosure directly to APRA, you should contact an authorised officer by email: pid [at] apra.gov.au or post your disclosure marked ‘Confidential’ to:

Chief Risk Officer
APRA
GPO Box 9836
Sydney NSW 2001

While APRA will accept public interest disclosures anonymously, it is preferable that you provide your contact details to assist in any investigation into the matter. You may assume that only those APRA staff investigating it will know your identity. We will not reveal your identity outside this group except:

  • where we are under a legal obligation to do so;
  • where that information is already in the public domain;
  • on a strictly confidential basis to a professionally qualified lawyer or other advisor for the purposes of obtaining advice;
  • where you consent to your identity being revealed; or
  • to the police or as otherwise required by legislation.

If there are any other circumstances in which we are required to reveal your identity, we will discuss this with you first. Under no circumstances will you find that your identity has been revealed outside this list without your knowledge.

More information

The Commonwealth Ombudsman has responsibility for administering the public interest disclosures scheme across all Commonwealth agencies. Information about the scheme and how to lodge a public interest disclosure to the Ombudsman is published on the Ombudsman’s website.