Guidance material

Glossary for corruption and police misconduct allegations

IBAC's system of categorising allegations of public sector corruption and police misconduct allows us to quickly identify what each one is about, and any trends and issues across organisations and sectors.

We categorise allegations by:

  • the type of alleged behaviour 
  • the public sector or police activity that’s allegedly corrupted or affected.

This helps IBAC be intelligence-led in our work to investigate and prevent corruption and police misconduct.

Our 'Corruption and misconduct behaviours' and 'Organisation function or activity' categories are outlined below. We apply further subcategories (not listed below) for highly targeted insights into those sectors or organisations receiving more complaints and notifications.

    • Breach of professional boundaries includes rudeness, bullying and harassment, discrimination, exceeding delegated powers, improper searches or inappropriate relationships with a vulnerable person. 
    • Bribery and inducements includes receiving or soliciting financial payments, gifts and hospitality, and trading in favours.
    • Collusion is an agreement between people to act together secretly or illegally to deceive someone or a public body. This can include influencing a third party or manipulating a process.
    • Criminal behaviour, drugs and activities includes breaching court orders, maintaining criminal associations, committing sexual harassment or sexual offences, stalking, trafficking/smuggling or the inappropriate use of alcohol or drugs.
    • Extortion is generally when people obtain something through force or threats, for example, blackmail or using undue advantage.
    • Favouritism includes poorly managed conflicts of interest and preferential treatment.
    • Force includes intimidation, coercion, threats or physical violence.
    • Fraud is illegal or dishonest deception and can include false accounting, false auditing, false invoicing, identity fraud, money laundering, the use of phantom (non-existent) people/organisations or product substitution.
    • Inaction includes failure to properly investigate, follow policies, take sufficient or appropriate action or a failure to provide adequate care or supervision.
    • Misuse of resources includes damaging or destroying resources, fabrication, forgery and alteration of documents or information, misuse of labour, or unauthorised use, access, disclosure or disposal of information, systems or property.
    • Obstruction of justice includes preventing justice, for example, detrimental action against people for making a complaint, interference with evidence or witnesses, perjury and perverting the course of justice.
    • Theft includes theft of money, information or property.
    • Asset management includes activities related to the allocation, disposal, or operation and maintenance of assets.
    • Grants includes activities related to grant administration, application and selection, and program design and evaluation. 
    • Financial management includes activities related to accounts, cash handling, delegations of financial powers, financial statements and reporting and salaries, leave and allowances.
    • Information management includes activities related to accessing, using, disposing, releasing, classifying and handling information.
    • Official capacity includes activities related to public sector employees’ official roles such as interacting with other employees, the public and the media, and to a public sector employees’ fitness for duty.
    • Official powers include activities related to the power that comes with the role of a public sector employee. This can include authorisations, licensing and zoning, care, custody and arrest, enforcement or legal proceedings, inspections or investigations, police pursuits, and searches or seizures.
    • People management includes activities related to managing employees, such as complaints management, recruitment and promotion.
    • Personal or off duty activities include the activities of public sector employees (particularly police) in their personal time that may be reportable to IBAC as misconduct or corruption. For example, criminal acts or associations, making public comments, secondary employment or social media activity. 
    • Procurement and purchasing includes activities related to contracts management, planning and approval for procurement or the selection process for tenders.
    • Risk and governance includes activities related to audit and compliance, committees and boards of management, elections, organisational planning and reporting or security and risk management.