News - 2015


9 December 2015

International Anti-Corruption Day

Take a stand against corruption

Today is International Anti-Corruption Day and it is therefore timely to reflect on the effects of corruption on public administration in this State.

Experience shows that corruption is often a consequence of maladministration by public authorities where public authorities have failed to put in place proper processes and procedures that prevent a public officer engaging in corruption.

For that reason the Office for Public Integrity needs to know whether any public authority in South Australia is engaging in maladministration so that that conduct may be addressed before it erupts into full scale corruption.

Corruption may be opportunistic or systemic but whatever it is it should not be allowed to occur in public administration in this State.

If the public sector is seen to be corrupt the public sector will lose the confidence of the community and its reputation will suffer.

The public sector has limited resources and those resources should not be further depleted by permitting those in the public sector to act corruptly.

Left unchecked corruption means that the public sector will be less effective and as a consequence all of us will suffer.

We all owe it to each other and to the State to set an example for integrity. We also owe it to the State to report corruption to the Office for Public Integrity. Staying silent has the effect of encouraging corruption.

You not only have a legal obligation to report conduct that you reasonably suspect raises a potential issue of corruption to the Office for Public Integrity, you have a moral and ethical obligation.

A definition of corruption in public administration is available on our website.


01 December 2015

Festive Season Closure

The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption and the Office for Public Integrity will close for the festive season at 4.00pm on Thursday 24 December 2015.

The Office for Public Integrity will be open to receive complaints and reports from 9.00am Monday 4 January 2016.

The Commissioner and his team would like to wish you a happy and safe festive season.


18 November 2015

The ICAC to visit Ceduna

The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption will be in Ceduna on Wednesday 25 November to speak to public officers about the role and functions of his office.

Read the media release

Register for the education session


12 November 2015

Issue 3 of ICAC News published

The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption’s third edition of ICAC News has been released.

The newsletter includes information about volunteers and what the ICAC Act may mean for them. You will find a case study to consider, as well as an article about the use of cab charges.

View the newsletter


14 October 2015

Report — Sale of State owned land at Gillman

The Commissioner has finalised and published his report into the sale of State owned land at Gillman.

View the report

Read the Commissioner’s public statement


13 October 2015

2014-2015 Annual Report published

The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption’s second annual report was tabled in Parliament today.

View the 2014-2015 annual report


6 August 2015

Public statement: Executive arrested after ICAC investigation

The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption has released a public statement regarding the arrest of a 57-year-old man from the eastern suburbs.

The man, a Chief Executive of a state government statutory corporation, has been charged with two counts of abuse of public office.

Read the public statement


30 June 2015

Review of Legislative Schemes Report Published

The Commissioner has completed his report in to the legislative schemes governing the making of complaints and reports about public administration and the oversight and management of the conduct of police.

He has made 29 recommendations, including the repeal and complete re-write of the existing police complaints legislation, the abolition of the Police Ombudsman and the bringing of police oversight within the Office for Public Integrity.

Read the media release

Read the report


22 June 2015

Public statement: pending prosecution

The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption has referred another matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for prosecution.

A 36-year-old man from Semaphore Park has been charged with six counts of abuse of public office and four counts of dishonestly dealing with documents.

Read the public statement.


11 May 2015

Public statement: pending prosecution

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has charged a 56-year-old man with abuse of public office, following an investigation by the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption.

The Commissioner has released a public statement on the matter. For more information read the public statement.


07 May 2015

Public inquiry: submissions and transcripts published

Transcripts from the public hearings relating to the legislative scheme governing the oversight and management of complaints about police and South Australian public administration, in addition to the operation of the office of the Police Ombudsman, have been published. Submissions to the public inquiries have also been published.

For more information visit the information and updates page.


04 May 2015

Public Statement: investigation outcome

The Commissioner has issued a public statement with regard to the outcome of a recent investigation by his office.

For more information read the Public Statement.


29 April 2015

Issue two of ICAC News published

The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption has published his second newsletter.

April’s edition provides information about ICAC’s confidentiality provisions and what you can say if you have made a report to the Office for Public Integrity.

The newsletter also contains updates on pending prosecutions, public inquiries and the Commissioner’s education program.

Read issue 2 of the ICAC newsletter.


17 April 2015

Schedule for public hearings released

The Commissioner will hold his first public hearings starting on Thursday 23 April and continuing on Friday 24 April and Tuesday 28 April 2015.

The Commissioner will be hearing evidence relating to the legislative scheme governing the oversight and management of complaints about police and South Australian public administration, in addition to the operation of the office of the Police Ombudsman.

The schedule for the hearing has been released. It includes representatives from the South Australian Ombudsman, the Police, the Police Association, the Police Ombudsman and two members of the public.

The media and the public are welcome to attend to the capacity of the room.


16 April 2015

Public Statement: prosecutions pending

The Commissioner has published a Public Statement with regard to prosecutions pending.

For more information read the Public Statement.


14 April 2015

Public inquiries for legislative reviews

In February 2015 the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption released the Review of Legislative Schemes discussion paper. The discussion paper outlined the relevant issues for the review and called for written submissions.

Submissions have closed and public hearings have been scheduled for Thursday 23, Friday 24 and Tuesday 28 April, 2015.

For more information visit the information and updates page.


13 February 2015

Commissioner releases discussion paper on reviews

On 31 October 2014, The Hon. Bruce Lander QC announced that he would undertake a review of the legislative schemes governing the oversight and management of complaints about police and complaints and reports about public administration in South Australia. He also announced that he would conduct an evaluation of the practices, policies and procedures of the Police Ombudsman.

The legislative reviews and the evaluation will be conducted in public to allow all interested parties to make a contribution.

Today the Commissioner has released a discussion paper that outlines the relevant issues and makes a call for submissions.

Read the media release or view the Review of Legislative Schemes discussion paper.

Stay informed about the public inquiries by completing the registration of interest.


03 February 2015

The cone of silence

It is fair to say that the Office of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) is somewhat of a closed shop in terms of sharing information about operational matters.

However, it is not correct to say that the closed or ‘secretive’ nature of the Commissioner’s office is the result of arbitrary decisions taken by the Commissioner.

It is the job of the Commissioner to discharge the functions of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 (ICAC Act). These functions include the identification and investigation of corruption in public administration and the prevention or minimisation of corruption, misconduct and maladministration in public administration.

Corruption is defined in the ICAC Act to include conduct that must be criminal in nature.

Any conduct that does not involve the commission of a criminal offence cannot be corruption. The conduct might be misconduct or maladministration but it is not corruption.

If a matter raising a potential issue of corruption is investigated by the Commissioner, he can exercise any of the powers given to him under the ICAC Act including the power to hold a hearing.

Although the ICAC Act does contain some discretionary powers, this discretion does not extend to the ability to hold public hearings for the purpose of an investigation. Under Schedule 2 of the ICAC Act hearings must without exception, be conducted in private.

If a matter is assessed as raising a potential issue of misconduct or maladministration, the scheme of the Act is that usually this conduct will be dealt with either by an inquiry agency or by a public authority.

The ICAC Act does however allow the Commissioner to deal with matters that raise a potential issue of misconduct and maladministration if the Commissioner so elects. In such circumstances the Commissioner does not exercise powers given to him under the ICAC Act but will exercise the powers of the appropriate inquiry agency.

If for example he exercises the Ombudsman’s powers then he has the power to conduct a hearing under the Royal Commissions Act 1917.

Under section 18(2) of the Ombudsman Act 1972 that hearing must be in private.

Whether the Commissioner is investigating a matter which has been assessed as corruption, or a matter that has been assessed as misconduct or maladministration, he must conduct his hearings in private. He has no discretion to do otherwise.

If he were to attempt to conduct a public hearing, the person who is being examined would have the right to apply to the Supreme Court to obtain an injunction to stop that public hearing.

The confusion surrounding whether or not the Commissioner has the discretion to conduct public hearings may stem from the ICAC Act itself. Section 7(5)(a) of the Act states that the Commissioner “may conduct a public inquiry”. However, the public inquiry that it speaks of refers to evaluations, education programs and legislative reviews. It explicitly excludes anything of an investigatory nature.

The Commissioner acknowledges that as a result of the way the ICAC Act is drawn, there is limited information about operational matters coming out of his office and that this may cause some frustration. However, he will continue to discharge the functions of the ICAC Act as the Act and other key legislation dictates.

 

* The Commissioner has stated publicly that he supports private examinations. You can read his speech on our website.

 


29 January 2015

ICAC News — Issue one

The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption has released his first newsletter.

The publication provides information relating to the ICAC and the Office for Public Integrity, including an update on the ICAC ‘turning one’.

Read the ICAC newsletter.


22 January 2015

Commissioner speaks on Gillman land sale

On 22 January 2015 the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, Bruce Lander, issued his first public statement under section 25 of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012.

It is rare for the Commissioner to speak on matters of an operational nature. However after much consideration the Commissioner felt that such a statement was warranted, in the public interest.

View the public statement.


15 January 2015

Commissioner to visit Kangaroo Island

On Friday 6 February 2015 the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption will visit Kangaroo Island as part of his regional outreach program.

The Commissioner will meet with and present to elected members of council in addition to conducting an ICAC awareness session open to all public officers on the island.

Public officers can register for the session by visiting our education events page.


05 January 2015

General awareness session — 29 January 2015

ICAC schedules regular awareness sessions that are open to all public officers. The sessions provide the opportunity to gain an understanding of ICAC’s role and functions, as well as the rights and obligations that are imposed on all public officers and public authorities under the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012.

For more information or to register visit the education events page.