|Title:||The Use of Official Information and Public Comment|
|Document ID:||Operational Directive OD 0309/10|
|Date of issue:||Monday, 29 November 2010|
|Status:||NO LONGER APPLICABLE|
|Description:||Operational Directive advising all WA Health staff of their requirements in relation to releasing WA Health information / making comment to the media, members of the public or other organisations.|
|Applicable to:||All WA Health Staff|
|Category:||Accountability & Audit|
|Period of effect:||from 19 November 2010 to 19 November 2016|
|Review date:||19 November 2015|
|Authorised by:||Kim Snowball, Director General, Department of Health WA, 13-Nov-2010|
|Print version:||View print version|
The Use of Official Information and Public Comment
Part 2 Division 1 Section 9(b) of the Western Australian Public Sector Management Act 1994 (as amended) (the PSM Act) states that all employees of public sector bodies:
“Are to act with integrity in the performance of official duties and are to be scrupulous in the use of official information, equipment and facilities”.
Accordingly, WA Health employees are not to:
Further, the PSM Act, Administrative Instruction 278 – Media & Public Communications states:
“Selected public servants may be called on, as part of their official duties, to explain or provide information to the media or the general public on their agencies’ policies and activities. Chief Executive Officers will determine which officers shall be authorised to make public comment.
Accordingly, WA Health employees are to:
Contact with the Media:
Generally, public comment to the media is made through the relevant Department of Health or Area Health Service Public Relations / Public Affairs areas. The following should be noted:
Other Legislative Obligations:
Public Interest Disclosure
The use of official information when the subject of a public interest disclosure is a separate issue and is covered by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003 (the PID Act). Within the PID Act, WA Health has designated the Assistant Director, Ethical Standards, Corporate Governance Directorate, as the Principal PID Officer. The Principal PID Officer or any other WA Health PID Officer can be contacted for advice regarding these matters.
Advice as to the current WA Health PID Officers is located on the Office of the Public Sector Standards Commissioner website at:
Freedom of Information
Information can also be released where it is required when the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (1992) (the FOI Act) apply.
Information relating to the FOI Act can be accessed on the Information Commissioner’s website at:
Additional information relating to FOI can also be accessed on the Corporate Governance Directorate intranet site at:
Any staff member who breaches the provisions of this Operational Direction may be committing an act of misconduct and may be subject to the procedures outlined in the WA Health Misconduct and Discipline Policy, the Public Sector Management Act 1994 or to other action or provisions relevant to the management of conduct.
This circular last updated: Monday, 29 November 2010 at 9:15am