IBAC Insights (newsletter)

Nation's integrity chiefs agree to best practice principles for Australian anti-corruption commissions

In recognition of International Anti-Corruption Day, we, the Commissioners of independent, anti-corruption and law enforcement integrity agencies in Australia, are pleased to launch 12 principles that we consider represent best practice for Anti-Corruption Commissions in an Australian jurisdiction.

In considering these principles, we note that Anti-Corruption Commissions have become an important element in the integrity frameworks in place at the State, Territory and Federal level in Australia, to investigate and report on allegations of corruption by public sector employees, holders of public office, individuals and entities contracted to perform public functions and people responsible for spending public money. 

Anti-Corruption Commissions also perform an important corruption prevention role by exposing systemic risks and providing public education.

Supporting the public sector to strengthen its corruption resistance through information, advice and education is a vital role for Anti-Corruption Commissions and the key to building a public sector that acts with integrity for all Australians.

These 12 principles are designed to capture the fundamental functions and powers of Anti-Corruption Commissions, noting this important role.

The 12 best practice principles are:

  1. The ability to consider referrals from any third party
  2. The ability to commence an investigation on own volition (own motion powers)
  3. A requirement for the heads of public sector agencies to report allegations of corruption to the Anti-Corruption Commission
  4. The ability to conduct public and private hearings to obtain evidence
  5. The ability to require the production of information or documents
  6. The ability to refer matters to a prosecuting authority
  7. The ability to make recommendations
  8. The ability to report on investigations and make public statements
  9. A corruption prevention function
  10. A sufficient and predictable budget
  11. Transparency of appointments
  12. Appropriate oversight

We are proud to launch these 12 best practice principles today, on International Anti-Corruption Day, and reinforce our collective commitment to prevent, detect and investigate corruption in the Australian public sector.