What to make a complaint or report about

The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 (the ICAC Act) is concerned with the conduct and practices of public officers and public authorities in South Australian public administration.

A public officer is defined in schedule 1 of the ICAC Act and includes public sector employees, local government employees, local government elected members, parliamentarians, judges, police officers, public educators, public health workers and contractors.

Flow chart for reporting process

A contractor is anyone performing contract work for a public authority or the Crown. This is an important inclusion in the definition of a public officer as most public authorities employ contractors in this way. If a contractor is captured by this definition of public officer, then ICAC would be properly interested in their conduct should it raise a potential issue of corruption. In addition, a contractor deemed to be a public officer is also bound by the reporting obligations set out in the Directions and Guidelines.

Public authorities are also defined in schedule 1 of the Act and include the Governor, Councils, Government Agencies, and Chief Executives of Administrative Units and Statutory Authorities or employing authorities.

Corruption, misconduct and maladministration

There are three broad types of conduct with which the Commissioner is interested; corruption, misconduct and maladministration.

For the conduct to fall within the jurisdiction of ICAC, a potential matter of corruption, misconduct or maladministration must have been committed by a public officer or public authority, and occurred whilst he or she were discharging their duties in public administration.

In its simplest form, public administration refers to the administration and delivery of public services. If the conduct in question does not relate to public administration, then it is not captured by the ICAC Act and will not be investigated by the Commissioner.

It will not always be obvious to a person making a complaint or report, whether or not the conduct or practice in question should be defined as corruption, misconduct or maladministration. This is not important as each matter will be assessed on its merits by the Office for Public Integrity (OPI). What is important is that you employ your judgement to determine whether or not you have grounds for a reasonable suspicion that the matter raises a potential issue of corruption, or serious or systemic misconduct or maladministration.

If the matter is assessed as being out of the jurisdiction of the ICAC Act, you may feel it is worth pursing via other avenues of reporting and redress.

It is an offence to prevent someone from making a complaint or report.

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