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Section 61TF - Procedure on completion of investigation of public interest complaint

Guidelines

What happens after OVIC completes a public interest complaint investigation?

1.1

After the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) completes an investigation into a public interest complaint, OVIC may make a recommendation under section 61L (except for making a recommendation to refer the public interest complaint to another person or body).1

1.2

Section 61L(1) allows OVIC to make recommendations to an agency, principal officer or Minister.2 This can include suggestions for improvements to the policies, procedures and systems of the agency.3

Identifying a person who made an assessable disclosure in a recommendation

1.3

If OVIC makes a recommendation under section 61L, OVIC cannot include information in the recommendation that is likely to identify a person who made the public interest disclosure, unless an exception applies.7

1.4

For example, this includes where:

  • the person has given written consent to OVIC to disclose information or specific information likely to lead to their identification;8
  • the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission, the Victorian Inspectorate, or the Integrity and Oversight Committee has determined that the disclosure is not a public interest complaint and the Information Commissioner discloses the information after that determination;9 or
  • an investigating entity has already published a report or otherwise made the information public consistently with its confidentiality obligations under the Public Interest Disclosures Act.10
1.5

There are additional confidentiality provisions in Part 7 of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012 (Vic) and exceptions to those confidentiality provisions.11

For more information on confidentiality under the Public Interest Disclosures Act, see IBAC’s Guidelines for handling public interest disclosures and IBAC’s video on Protections, information sharing, and confidentiality.

  1. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 61TF(1) and 61TF(2).
  2. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 61L(1).
  3. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 61L(2).
  4. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 61TF(1) and 61TF(2).
  5. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 61L(1).
  6. Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic), section 61L(2).
  7. Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic), section 53(2).
  8. Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic), section 53(2)(a).
  9. Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic), section 53(2)(c).
  10. Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic), section 53(2)(d).
  11. See Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic), section 54.
  12. Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic), section 53(2).
  13. Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic), section 53(2)(a).
  14. Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic), section 53(2)(c).
  15. Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic), section 53(2)(d).
  16. See Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic), section 54.

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Last updated 27 December 2023

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