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Public Inquiries - Legislative reviews completed
In October 2014, the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, the Hon. Bruce Lander QC announced that, at the request of the Deputy Premier and Attorney-General, the Hon. John Rau MP, he would conduct a review of the legislative schemes governing the making of complaints and reports about public administration and the oversight and management of the conduct of police.
In February 2015 the Commissioner released a discussion paper and invited interested parties to make submissions. After considering those submissions, the Commissioner conducted public hearings, where stakeholders were invited to present.
The final report is now complete and has been provided to the Attorney-General, the Crime and Public Integrity Policy Committee, the Police Commissioner, Acting Police Ombudsman, SA Ombudsman and the Police Association.
The report includes 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.
Other recommendations include removing the existing restriction on reporting to Parliament about particular matters of corruption, misconduct or maladministration, and auditing sanctions imposed on police officers by the Police Commissioner.
The Commissioner said:
I am confident that if all of my recommendations are accepted, the integrity system in South Australia will be made more efficient and effective.
In terms of the police complaints system, the existing system is far too complicated. I have recommended a number of reforms that would reduce that complexity, while ensuring that complaints and reports about police are dealt with effectively, whether that be by way of management resolution, or in the most serious cases, formal investigation and disciplinary action.
Critical to my proposals is the role to be played by a strong and truly independent oversight body. I have proposed that the Office for Public Integrity have the power to audit and review the manner in which all complaints and reports are dealt with by police and that the OPI have the power to issue directions to police in relation to those matters.
I have also proposed that the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption be empowered to investigate alleged misconduct within police, or to intervene and take over an investigation into misconduct within police.
The report has been published on the ICAC website.