Our investigative powers

Our powers to investigate allegations of public sector corruption and police misconduct allow us to:

  • compel people to produce documents and items
  • enter and search premises
  • seize documents and objects
  • use surveillance devices
  • intercept telecommunications
  • hold private and public examinations
  • require people to give evidence at an examination.

These powers are limited during a preliminary inquiry

Responsible use of powers

The investigative techniques we use will depend on:

  • the nature of the allegation
  • if there are witnesses
  • when the alleged conduct occurred
  • how serious the allegation is. 

Before using some of these powers, we have to apply to the Supreme Court, or other courts and tribunals. A Public Interest Monitor reviews and makes submissions on our applications for warrants to use surveillance devices and intercept telecommunications.

We report regularly to relevant state and Commonwealth bodies on the use of our powers.

We don’t need a complaint to start an investigation

IBAC can decide to initiate an investigation into something within our jurisdiction at any time. These are called ‘own motion’ investigations.