Where the Protected Disclosures Commissioner receives a report of wrongdoing under the Protected Disclosures Act, we will not disclose information from which the reporting person’s identity may be deduced, to another person other than the persons we consider reasonably necessary for receipt, transmission, or follow–up on reports. The persons we consider reasonably necessary will include a prescribed person or other suitable person, which could include your employer in certain limited circumstances.
Please call us if you want to discuss your concerns before making a report of wrongdoing. You won’t need to tell us your name or any personal information
Confidentiality also does not apply where:
You give your consent to disclosure;
Where disclosure is a necessary and proportionate obligation imposed by law in the context of investigations and judicial proceedings; or
We can show that:
We took all reasonable steps to avoid disclosure; or
We reasonably believe that disclosure is necessary for the prevention of serious risk to the security of the state, public health, public safety or environment.
Where disclosure is required by law.
We consider it necessary to contact other persons for receipt, transmission or follow-up on reports.
Where we disclose your identity or information from which your identity may be deduced in the context of investigations or judicial proceedings or for the prevention of serious risk, you will be notified in writing unless disclosure would jeopardise:
the effective investigation of the relevant wrongdoing concerned; or
the prevention of serious risk to the security of the State, public health, public safety or the environment; or
the prevention of crime or the prosecution of a criminal offence.
We will also protect the identity of any person concerned for as long as any investigation triggered by a report is ongoing. This does not preclude disclosure where we reasonably consider it necessary for the purposes of the Protected Disclosures Act or where it is otherwise authorised or required by law.
A person concerned means a natural or legal person who is referred to in a report as a person to whom the relevant wrongdoing is attributed or with whom that person is associated.
The Office of the Protected Disclosures Commissioner is subject to the Data Protection Act 2018 and to the General Data Protection Regulation, subject to exceptions outlined in the Protected Disclosures Act.
The Office of the Protected Disclosures Commissioner fully respects your right to privacy. Your personal data will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (“Data Protection Legislation”). For more information, please see the Office’s Privacy Statement available here.
Certain ‘in house’ services or facilities are jointly shared by the Office of the Protected Disclosures Commissioner, the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the Information Commissioner, the Commissioner for Environmental Information, the Standards in Public Office Commission, the Commission for Public Service Appointments, and the Referendum Commission (when established). These services include accommodation, finance, human resources, communications, legal and information technology (ICT). The OPDC is a joint controller in so far as personal data relating to such shared services is concerned.
Section 16B(1) of the Protected Disclosures Act provides for restrictions on certain obligations of the Office of the Protected Disclosures Commissioner and on certain rights of data subjects under Data Protection Legislation to the extent necessary and proportionate for the purposes of:
safeguarding the important objectives of general public interest, and
the protection of the data subject or the rights and freedoms of others, and
to the extent, and as long as, necessary to prevent and address attempts to hinder reporting or to impede, frustrate or slow down follow-up, in particular investigations, or attempts to find out the identity of reporting person.
Without prejudice to the generality of section 16B(1), a restriction of a right or obligation under that subsection shall be considered necessary and proportionate where the exercise of the right or compliance with the obligation may:
necessitate the disclosure of information that might identify the reporting person where such disclosure would be contrary to section 16 of the Protection Disclosures Act, or
prejudice the effective follow-up, including any investigation of the relevant wrongdoing concerned.
We have appointed a Data Protection Officer who may be contacted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Data Protection Officer is designated for the Office of the Ombudsman, which incorporates the Office of the Protected Disclosures Commission, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Office of the Information Commissioner, the Commissioner for Environmental Information, the Standards in Public Office Commission, the Commission for Public Service Appointments, and the Referendum Commission (when established).