What is corruption?
The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 (the ICAC Act) did not create any new offence of corruption. Corruption is a generic term, which the ICAC Act uses to describe a suite of offences, which are criminal in nature. A full definition of corruption can be found in section 5 of the ICAC Act.
Corruption in public administration as defined in the ICAC Act includes:
- bribery or corruption of public officers
- threats or reprisals against public officers and
- certain offences committed by public officers including:
- abuse of public office
- demanding or requiring a benefit on the basis of public office
- offences relating to the appointment of public office
- an offence or an attempt to commit an offence against the Public Sector (Honesty and Accountability) Act 1995 or the Public Corporations Act 1993 and
- an offence or an attempt to commit an office against the Lobbyists Act 2015
- any other offence committed by a public officer whilst acting in his or her capacity as a public officer
This very broad definition of corruption captures offences against the Road Traffic Act 1961. The Commissioner is of the view that the ICAC Act did not intend for him to commit public resources to investigating offences of this type, therefore he has excluded road traffic offences from the reporting obligations of public officers outlined in the Directions and Guidelines. There is no need to report these offences as they will not be investigated.