26 September 2023

IBAC annual plan to focus on PS risks

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The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) has announced its priorities for the next 12 months, with a focus on high-risk Public Sector Agencies.

Tabling its Annual Plan 2022-23, IBAC said its strategic focus areas included high-risk police units, divisions and regions; major infrastructure projects, improper influence and use of force on people at risk.

It said its focus was also directed at police responses to family violence incidents and predatory behaviour.

“We focus on Agencies that are more likely to be vulnerable to corruption as they hold valuable information that could be misused or because they are responsible for high value investments, planning, outsourcing of public services delivery or allocation of funding,” IBAC said.

The Commission said it would build on its 2021 report Corruption and integrity: Perceptions of Victorian local government employees, by conducting surveys with Parliamentarians and Councillors.

It said 2022-23 would also see IBAC commence an examination of the risks associated with Agency funding arrangements and grants.

IBAC said it would undertake a strategic assessment of corruption vulnerabilities within water authorities, along with a thematic review of Corrections Victoria, related to the use of force and obscuring behaviours.

“We will continue to prevent and expose improper influence on decision-making in the Public Sector, with a focus on the influence of lobbyists, donors, government-aligned stakeholders and third-party facilitators,” the Commission said.

“This includes reporting on investigations that highlight the corruption risks presented by improper influence and proposing reforms to strengthen accountability and transparency,” it said.

“An extensive program of education and engagement with Victoria Police will continue as part of IBAC’s independent police oversight role, holding police accountable for acting fairly and in accordance with the law.”

IBAC’s 19-page Annual Plan can be accessed at this PS News link.

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