Who can I make a report to?

You can make a report of wrongdoing to:

Your employer

Most people first contact their employer to report wrongdoing. Your employer may have a policy and a dedicated reporting channel for dealing with reports of wrongdoing, which you can use to make your report.

A ‘prescribed person’

If you do not want to make a report to your employer, you can consider contacting a prescribed person. Prescribed persons are generally regulators in the areas that are subject of allegations. Here’s a link to a full list of “prescribed persons”

The Office of the Protected Disclosures Commissioner

If, having considered the options available to you, you are not sure who to contact, you can make a report to us, the Protected Disclosures Commissioner.

Other external persons subject to conditions

If you are or were employed by a public body you may be able to make a report to Government Minister who has a responsibility for the public body. If you make a report to a Minister, you must satisfy additional conditions to qualify for the protections under the Protected Disclosures Act. When a Minister receives a report they must, without having considered the report, send it to the Protected Disclosures Commissioner who will identify the appropriate prescribed person or other suitable person.

In the course of obtaining legal advice from a barrister, solicitor, trade union official or official of any exception excepted body within the meaning of section 6 of the Trade Union Act 1941. 

To other external persons who are not specified above, for example you can make a report to a journalist. If you make a report to an other person, you must satisfy additional conditions to qualify for the protections under the Protected Disclosures Act. We strongly recommend that you seek advice before making this type of report to assess whether you satisfy those conditions.

You can read more at How do I report wrongdoing

Contacting the Commissioner

If, having considered the options available to you, you are not sure who to contact, you can make a report to us. If you are unclear, or do not know who to make your report of wrongdoing, you can contact us.

Our primary role is to ensure your report gets safely to the right ‘prescribed person’. If this is unclear, we will decide who the most appropriate prescribed organisation or other suitable person is. This may include your employer in certain, very limited circumstances.

To make a protected disclosure to the Commissioner you must also reasonably believe that the information you disclose and any allegation you make is substantially true. We will check if there is an appropriate prescribed person to deal with your report and, where there is, we will send your report to them. We will not investigate what you say in your report or check whether or not it qualifies for protection before we send it to another person. 

What happens when we receive your report?

  • We will issue an acknowledgement within 7 days.
  • We will usually forward it to an appropriate organisation, except in certain limited circumstances, within 14 days.
  • We will tell you who we are sending your report to.
  • We will send your entire report.
  • We will not alter your report in any way.
  • We will include your name and details.
  • We will not check if your report qualifies for protection before we forward it.
  • Our role is complete after we forward your report of wrongdoing to the most appropriate organisation. We will have no further involvement with your report after we have forwarded it to the appropriate organisation. That organisation will take the appropriate steps to deal with your disclosure. That organisation is legally obliged to follow up on your report.
  • These steps will involve making an initial assessment of the report and potentially seeking further information from you.
  • That organisation will update you within 3 months and upon a written request by you, every 3 months thereafter.

If the Protected Disclosures Commissioner decides there is no appropriate prescribed person to send it to, we may deal with your report as the prescribed person of last resort.

For more information on how we handle reports, please see our procedure here.

If you have any doubt about what is meant by making a protected disclosure or reporting wrongdoing, you may wish to seek advice from Transparency International Ireland