Public Interest Disclosures Amendment Act 2013 No 17

An Act to amend the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 to make further provision for the public officials covered by that Act, disclosures and other matters.
1   Name of Act
This Act is the Public Interest Disclosures Amendment Act 2013.
2   Commencement
This Act commences on the date of assent to this Act.
[1]   Section 4A
Omit the section. Insert instead:
4A   Public officials
(1)  In this Act, public official means:
(a)  an individual who is an employee of or otherwise in the service of a public authority, and includes (without limitation) each of the following:
(i)  a person employed under the Public Sector Employment and Management Act 2002,
(ii)  a member of Parliament, but not for the purposes of a disclosure made by the member,
(iii)  a person employed by either or both of the President of the Legislative Council or the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly,
(iv)  any other individual having public official functions or acting in a public official capacity whose conduct and activities may be investigated by an investigating authority,
(v)  an individual in the service of the Crown, or
(b)  an individual who is engaged by a public authority under a contract to provide services to or on behalf of the public authority, or
(c)  if a corporation is engaged by a public authority under a contract to provide services to or on behalf of the public authority, an employee or officer of the corporation who provides or is to provide the contracted services or any part of those services.
(2)  Without limiting subsection (1) and to avoid doubt, particular examples of public officials are as follows:
(a)  a volunteer rural fire fighter who is an officer or other member of a rural fire brigade under the Rural Fires Act 1997,
(b)  a volunteer officer or volunteer member of an SES unit (within the meaning of the State Emergency Service Act 1989),
(c)  an officer of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, New South Wales who is an inspector under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979,
(d)  a person who is employed by a management company for a managed correctional centre (within the meaning of the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999) to perform duties at the correctional centre and who is authorised under section 240 of that Act to perform those duties,
(e)  an accredited certifier (within the meaning of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979).
(3)  A person who is a public official referred to in subsection (1) (b) or (c) is taken, for the purposes of this Act, to belong to the public authority with whom the relevant contract is made.
[2]   Section 6A Steering Committee
Insert after section 6A (1) (g1):
(g2)  the Public Service Commissioner,
[3]   Section 6A (4)
Omit “3 members”. Insert instead “4 members”.
[4]   Section 6D Public interest disclosures policies and guidelines
Insert after section 6D (3):
(4)  Subsection (1A) does not apply in relation to a public interest disclosure:
(a)  made by a public official in performing his or her day to day functions as that public official, or
(b)  otherwise made by a public official, under a statutory or other legal obligation.
[5]   Section 9 Disclosures must be made voluntarily
Omit the section.
[6]   Section 20 Protection against reprisals
Omit “2 years” from section 20 (3). Insert instead “3 years”.
[7]   Schedule 2 Savings, transitional and other provisions
Insert at the end of clause 1 (1):
any other Act that amends this Act
[8]   Schedule 2, Part 5
Insert after clause 17:
Part 5 Provisions consequent on enactment of Public Interest Disclosures Amendment Act 2013
18   Definition
In this Part:
19   Substituted definition of “public official”
This Act extends to a disclosure of information made by a public official on or after the substitution of section 4A by the amending Act, even if the disclosure relates to conduct or activities engaged in, or matters arising, before that substitution.
20   Proceedings for offences against reprisals
Section 20 (3) (as amended by the amending Act) extends to offences against section 20 that are alleged to have been committed within 2 years before the commencement of the amendment.