Fighting corruption in NSW
The Independent Commission Against Corruption will be reconstituted with three Commissioners, at least two of whom will be required to approve the use of the ICAC’s extraordinary power to conduct public inquiries, under changes announced by NSW Premier Mike Baird today.
Mr Baird said the Government had provided in-principle support for all 35 recommendations in the report of the Parliamentary Committee on the ICAC, tabled on 27 October 2016.
“These changes implement the recommendations of a bi-partisan and unanimous Parliamentary Committee report,” Mr Baird said.
“They are entirely consistent with last year’s Independent Panel report into the ICAC, and will deliver a stronger and fairer anti-corruption watchdog.”
Among the key reforms to be introduced into the Parliament today:
- ICAC will be reconstituted as a three-member Commission comprising a Chief Commissioner and two other Commissioners;
- The use of the ICAC’s extraordinary power to conduct public inquiries will be required to be authorised by the Chief Commissioner and at least one other Commissioner;
- A CEO will be appointed to manage the ICAC’s day-to-day operations;
- The three-member Commission will publish guidelines relating to public inquiries that ICAC staff, and Counsel Assisting the ICAC, must follow;
- The ICAC and the ICAC Inspector will be required to give affected persons a reasonable opportunity to respond before including an adverse finding or opinion about the person in a report – and, where the person elects to have it included, include a summary of their response in the report; and
- The ICAC will be able to, where requested, gather evidence that may be admissible in a criminal prosecution after the completion of its investigations.
The current ICAC Commissioner, the Hon. Megan Latham, will be invited to apply for one of the three new Commissioner positions.