Section 6 – Disclosures to which this Act applies

The Act

(1)     An employee of an organisation may disclose information in accordance with this Act if –

(a)  the information is about serious wrongdoing in or by that organisation; and

(b)  the employee believes on reasonable grounds that the information is true or likely to be true; and

(c)  the employee wishes to disclose the information so that the serious wrongdoing be investigated; and

(d) the employee wishes the disclosure to be protected.

(2)      Any disclosure made in accordance with subsection (1) is a protected disclosure of Information for the purposes of this Act.

(3)      If an employee of an organisation believes on reasonable grounds that the information he or she discloses is about serious wrongdoing in or by that organisation but the belief is mistaken, the information must be treated as complying with subsection 1 (a) for the purposes of the protections conferred by this Act and by  section 66 (1) (a) of the Human Rights Act 1993 .

Commentary

This sets out in detail the circumstances under which an employee of an organisation may disclose information.  The wrongdoing must be serious and the employee has a belief based on reasonable grounds that the information being disclosed is either true or likely to be true.  The employee is disclosing the information so that it can be acted upon and in doing so the employee and disclosure will be kept confidential.

This section also makes it clear that such a disclosure becomes a protected disclosure in terms of the meaning of this Act.  This section also provides a legal protection for the employee if the belief held turns out to be a mistaken belief.