Public Statement

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The University of Adelaide

Published on 7 May 2020

Statement by the Hon. Bruce Lander QC, Independent Commissioner Against Corruption

Ordinarily I would not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation because the legislation under which I operate is predicated upon investigations being conducted in private. Similarly any persons aware of an investigation being undertaken by my office are constrained as to the information they are able to disclose.

However, in light of the intense speculation regarding The University of Adelaide, and the likelihood that that speculation will continue and potentially lead to an unnecessary negative impact on the University’s operations, I have decided to make this public statement.

I have commenced an investigation in respect of allegations of improper conduct by the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Adelaide. I am also investigating the manner in which the University dealt with those allegations. The University has committed to providing full cooperation with my investigation. I do not intend to comment further on the nature of the allegations.

I emphasise two points. First, the fact of my investigation, which has only just commenced, must not be construed as a finding that any person has engaged in impropriety. That will be a matter for findings at the conclusion of the investigation.  Secondly, my investigation is in respect of potential issues of serious or systemic misconduct and maladministration, not corruption.

I am exercising the powers of the Ombudsman Act 1972 to conduct this investigation.  That legislation requires that the investigation be conducted in private and I must comply with that legislative requirement.  Legislation also requires that at the conclusion of the investigation I should consider whether it is in the public interest that any report I prepare in respect of the investigation be published publicly.  Again I will adhere to that requirement.

Given the legislation under which I operate is geared toward investigations of these kind being conducted in private I am not in a position to offer further public comment until such time as my investigation has concluded.

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For media enquiries please contact 0428 389 493 or media@icac.sa.gov.au.
The publication of this information has been authorised by the Commissioner under section 56 of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012.