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Corruption and misconduct prevention a key priority for IBAC in 2022/23

The key activities for the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) in 2022/23 are outlined in its annual report, tabled to Parliament today.

A focus for IBAC during this period was supporting the public sector and Victoria Police to increase their capability in preventing corruption and misconduct.  
IBAC Acting Commissioner, Stephen Farrow said IBAC was in a unique position to support its stakeholders by leveraging the diverse range of tools and intelligence it has at its disposal. 

“In 2022/23 we increased our emphasis on delivering prevention initiatives and resources for the public sector, Victoria Police and community, because we all have a role to play in strengthening integrity in Victoria,” Acting Commissioner Farrow said. 

IBAC delivered 157 prevention initiatives, which included stakeholder events, special reports and research reports, education resources, and campaigns – a 26 per cent increase on the 2021/22 financial year. 

The 2022/23 period also marked the 10th anniversary since IBAC began operations. Building on the experience developed during its first decade, IBAC has continued to identify, expose, and investigate corrupt conduct and police misconduct. 

In 2022/23, IBAC began 11 investigations and 18 preliminary inquiries into public sector corruption and police misconduct. It also completed 14 investigations and 12 preliminary inquiries, with 18 investigations and preliminary inquiries still in progress at the end of the 2022/23 financial year. 

IBAC also published 11 special, research and perception reports exposing corruption and police misconduct, and ways they can be prevented. 

IBAC has a critical role to play overseeing Victoria Police. Along with preventing and exposing police misconduct, IBAC works with Victoria Police to assist them to build a strong integrity culture.

“IBAC takes a targeted approach to police oversight, with a particular focus on the needs of Victorians who may be vulnerable to, or who experience marginalisation,” Acting Commissioner Farrow said.

A major part of IBAC’s police oversight role involves reviewing the outcomes of Victoria Police’s internal investigations to ensure they are completed thoroughly and fairly. During this reporting period IBAC conducted 192 reviews of Victoria Police investigations, including oversight of incidents that involved deaths or serious injuries after police contact. 

Witness welfare is another primary consideration for IBAC in all its work. In 2022/23 IBAC made enhancements to its support for witnesses, which included establishing a dedicated witness liaison team. The new team works to ensure that appropriate communication with witnesses is maintained throughout the lifecycle of an IBAC investigation, and witnesses are aware of the supports available to them.

In the reporting period, IBAC received 3558 complaints and notifications of alleged corruption and police misconduct. Each complaint/notification can contain multiple allegations. 

“Much of the work that we do and many of the outcomes we achieve would not be possible without the courage of those who come forward to provide information or to make a complaint about corruption or police misconduct,” Acting Commissioner Stephen Farrow said. “Whether it results in an investigation, or review, or contributes towards our intelligence holdings, your trust in coming forward plays a crucial role in building our integrity system.”

    • 3558 complaints/notifications received 
    • 3501 complaints/notifications assessed 
    • 506 complaints/notifications received as public interest disclosures and public interest disclosure notifications 
    • 29 investigations and preliminary inquiries commenced into alleged serious public sector corruption and police misconduct 
    • 26 investigations and preliminary inquiries completed 
    • 68 formal recommendations made (under the IBAC Act) for public sector agencies, including Victoria Police and Local government, to improve their systems, practices and controls 
    • 230 reviews of police and public sector investigations, including 42 reviews of serious police incidents
    • 157 corruption and police misconduct prevention initiatives delivered
    • 11 special, research and perception reports published exposing corruption and police misconduct, and ways they can be prevented

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