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Centrelink staff warned over leaks amid debt recovery row

18 January 2017
Pat McGrath
ABC News

Centrelink management has warned staff they may be committing a criminal offence by leaking internal information, as the welfare agency struggles to manage a backlash from staff angered by the Federal Government's debt claw-back project.

7.30 has obtained an internal email from Centrelink's general manager of people services, Adrian Hudson, sent to all staff last night advising them to make disclosures "through the proper channel".

The email, headed "Public interest disclosures and 'leaking' are not the same", warns staff that "there are very limited circumstances where you can make a disclosure externally".

"You'll be protected if you make a disclosure through the proper channel — in the first instance to the department," it said.

"Outside of the [Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013], an employee who makes a disclosure externally will not be protected and may in fact be committing a criminal offence and be in breach of the APS Code of Conduct."