Report (disclose) wrongdoing: employees of government or public sector bodies
Report (disclose) wrongdoing by employees of government or public sector bodies if you’re a current or former employee of government or a public sector body. Wrongdoing includes behaviour that goes against the law, public interest, or government values or principles based on the Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act.
Use the Disclosure of Wrongdoing Form to report (disclose) wrongdoing by an employee of government or a public sector body.
Your identity and the identity of others involved in the reporting (disclosure) process will be protected as much as possible. Any information collected will also be kept confidential to the fullest extent possible. However, investigations of a report (disclosure) of wrongdoing need to follow the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice. This means, for example, that in the case of an alleged wrongdoer, they have the right to know the information of the case against them and be given an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
Assessment includes determining if the report (disclosure) has been made to the correct department, agency or organization. If not, the designated officer needs to forward the report (disclosure) to the department, agency or organization. The designated officer informs the submitter before forwarding.
The assessment also determines if there’s a conflict of interest for the designated officer. If the officer has a conflict of interest, they forward the report (disclosure) of wrongdoing to the Office of the Ombudsman. The designated officer informs the submitter before forwarding.
Reporting to the Office of the Ombudsman
Employees of government and public sector bodies may also choose to report (disclose) wrongdoing directly to the Office of the Ombudsman. The Office of the Ombudsman has established a Disclosure of Wrongdoing Unit and enquiry line to provide a confidential way for people to get information regarding the disclosure process.
Citizens who want to report (disclose) a wrongdoing
If you’re concerned about wrongdoing of an employee of government or a public sector body, you need to contact the Office of the Ombudsman.
Who can use this form
Employees and former employees of government and public sector bodies need to use this form to report (disclose) wrongdoing. You need to report (disclose) the wrongdoing within 1 year of becoming aware of the potential wrongdoing.
What you need to do
- Complete the form.
- Check the form for details on all required supporting documents.
- Send your completed form and supporting documents to your supervisor, designated officer for your government or public sector body, or the Ombudsman.
- The designated officer has 4 weeks to assess the report (disclosure) of wrongdoing and take appropriate action.
- If it’s appropriate for the designated officer to deal with the report (disclosure), then the officer makes sure the report (disclosure) meets the definition of wrongdoing as defined in the act and that it has been made in good faith.
- The designated officer then investigates the matter or hires an outside investigator. The investigation needs to be completed no later than 60 working days after the investigation began, unless both the employee who reported (disclosed) the wrongdoing and the designated officer agree to extend the deadline.
- No more than 1 month after the investigation is completed, the designated officer or investigator prepares a report, which may contain recommendations, and sends it to the Deputy Head. The officer informs the employee who reported (disclosed) the wrongdoing about the outcome of the investigation.
How long it takes
It should take 4 weeks for the designated officer to review your report (disclosure) of wrongdoing. It can take longer if more information is needed or if your application hasn’t been filled in correctly. The timeline to get a response to a complaint depends on how long the investigation is. The designated officer sends you a copy of their final report no later than 1 month after the investigation is completed.
There is no cost to submit the form.
Before you start
Make sure you only provide information that is necessary to report (disclose) on the wrongdoing. You can’t report (disclose) information that’s related to Cabinet or Cabinet committee work or information that’s protected by solicitor-client privilege.