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Public Interest Disclosure scheme

An outline of the scheme where employees, former employees, contractors and their staff can report wrongdoing.

Last updated 24 August 2023


If you are a former or current public official and become aware of a situation where you suspect serious wrongdoing, such as fraud or other misconduct, you can report your concerns under the Public Interest Disclosure Scheme (PID scheme).

The scheme covers most Commonwealth agencies and provides protections for public officials who make disclosure reports.

Wrongdoing that can be reported

Allegations of wrongdoing made through the PID scheme are called public interest disclosures. You can disclose information if you believe, on reasonable grounds, that it tends to show disclosable conduct.

Disclosable conduct is conduct that:

  • contravenes a law
  • perverts the course of justice
  • is corrupt
  • is maladministration with improper motives, unjust, oppressive, or negligent
  • is an abuse of public trust
  • results in a waste of public money
  • unreasonably endangers health and safety
  • endangers the environment
  • involves a public official abusing their position
  • could (if proved) give reasonable grounds for disciplinary action.

Complaints about government or ATO policy are not considered public interest disclosures.

Personal work-related conduct (for example, bullying or harassment) isn't disclosable conduct – unless it is an act of reprisal against a person who has or may make a disclosure, or is otherwise significant.

Who can make a public interest disclosure

You must be a current or former public official to make a public interest disclosure. A public official includes any person who is (or was):

  • a current or former APS employee – ongoing, non-ongoing and casual
  • a service provider under a Commonwealth contract
  • an employee of a contractor
  • a person deemed to be a public official.

How to make a public interest disclosure

To make a disclosure to an ATO authorised officer, you can send your disclosure to

Only officers authorised to receive disclosures have access. Alternatively, call the ATO’s People Helpline on 13 15 50 and ask to be transferred to an authorised officer.

If you wish to make a disclosure via mail, please address all correspondence as 'CONFIDENTIAL - For addressee only'.

You can remain anonymous, but we have the discretion not to investigate if you cannot be contacted.

If you make a public interest disclosure, you'll be advised how the disclosure will be managed if we know your contact details. This includes if the matter is to be investigated and receiving a copy of the final investigation report.

You can find out more by contacting the Commonwealth OmbudsmanExternal Link.

Privacy notice

We are authorised by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (the Act) to collect personal information from you. We use this information to manage disclosures for the purposes of the Act.

If this information is not collected, we may not be able to properly proceed with investigating a disclosure.

We may give information collected from you to other people for the purposes of the Act and in accordance with section 20 of the Act.

This may be other agencies, including:

  • the Commonwealth Ombudsman
  • the Australian Public Service Commission
  • Merit Protection Commission
  • law enforcement agencies.

Our privacy policy is on The policy contains important information about your privacy, including information about how:

  • you can access and seek correction of information we hold about you
  • you may complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles
  • we will deal with any privacy complaint.

The information we collect will not be released overseas unless it is for the purpose of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013.