ACT Legislative Assembly


Media Release

Independent Integrity Committee tables final report

The ACT Committee for an Independent Integrity Commission has today tabled its final report. Among its 79 recommendations, the Committee recommends that a standing Anti-Corruption and Integrity Commission (ACIC) be established in the ACT.

The report’s recommendations relate to the ACT’s integrity framework, the jurisdiction, scope and powers of an ACT ACIC, accountability and independence, staffing and resourcing, legislative application and other issues.  The report can be accessed at: https://www.parliament.act.gov.au/in-committees/select_committees/an-Independent-Integrity-Commission/Inquiry-into-an-Independent-Integrity-Commission#tab-1002307-6

Key recommendations from the Committee include:

  • that the Government establish a standing ACT Anti-Corruption and Integrity Commission (ACIC) to investigate, expose and prevent corruption and foster public confidence in the integrity of the ACT Government; and
  • that the Government finalise the establishment of an ACT ACIC by the end of 2018.Further to this, key recommendations from the Committee are that an ACT ACIC should:
  • have the following functions: (a) investigation, referral and reporting; (b) corruption prevention; and (c) public education (Recommendation 5);
  • cover all public officials, and parties delivering contracted work or services on behalf of government (Recommendation 10);
  • have oversight over policing officers funded to deliver services by and to the ACT taxpayer and community (Recommendation 12);
  • have oversight over Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), MLA staff, and Judicial Officers (Recommendation 14);
  • have a definition of ‘corrupt conduct’ based on Part 3 of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 (Recommendation 17);
  • be visible, accessible and a contact point for: citizens and public servants to make complaints/and report corruption concerns; referrals from within government (ACT Public Service); referrals from other integrity stakeholders/bodies; and referrals from other designated stakeholders (Recommendation 23);
  • have the power to make findings of fact that corruption has occurred and that such a finding is not to be taken as a finding of guilt (Recommendation 38);
  • be empowered to refer suspected instances of criminality to appropriate authorities (Recommendation 45);
  • not be limited as to the timeframes around which former actions can be assessed, but have an operational focus that is  largely prospective and focused on current matters (Recommendation 52);
  • have the power to hold public examinations. The decision on whether to hold public or private examinations should be informed by a public interest test (Recommendation 54); and
  • be an Officer of the Assembly (Recommendation 58).

At the 2016 ACT General Election all three parties represented in the Assembly committed to act on integrity in government, including through the establishment of an independent integrity commission for the ACT.

On 15 December 2016, the Legislative Assembly established the Committee to inquire into the most effective and efficient model of an independent integrity commission for the ACT and make recommendations on the appropriateness of adapting models operating in other jurisdictions.

As part of its considerations, the Committee invited and received a range of submissions from interested organisations and individuals, as well as briefings from governance and integrity experts. The Committee visited anti-corruption bodies in other Australian jurisdictions and heard from witnesses through public hearings in July and September 2017.

The Committee acknowledges that the ACT is a human rights jurisdiction and that there needs to be appropriate safeguards in the enabling legislation of an ACT ACIC to ensure procedural fairness and to guard against abuse of its investigative and coercive powers.  The Committee is of the view that it has addressed the application of human rights considerations by recommending that reasonable limits are placed on the circumstances in which such powers can be exercised, and by ensuring that procedural fairness and natural justice considerations are an inbuilt part of the work of an ACT ACIC.

STATEMENT ENDS—Tuesday 31 October 2017

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

contacts:

Mr Shane Rattenbury MLA

(for comment on the inquiry)

Committee Chair

(02) 620 50005

Dr Andréa Cullen

(for further information)

Committee Secretary

(02) 620 50142

Calendar

 Sitting day
 Committee hearing
 Other events

Other formats: HTML PDF iCal

Subscribe to the calendar RSS feed RSS Icon

Social media

Site Map | Copyright and Disclaimer Notice | Privacy Policy
Page last updated on 31 October 2017
2015 Legislative Assembly for the ACT