26 September 2023

ICAC summarises past in its annual report

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The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has issued its 2021-22 Annual Report, the first since changes to the ICAC Act took effect last October.

According to the Commission, the changes to the legislative scheme have had a substantial effect on the Commission’s operations.

Commissioner Ann Vanstone said the speed with which the legislation took effect meant there was little time to plan for the substantial changes which resulted in significant disruption to much of the Commission’s work and its plans.

“The staff of what is now the Commission has continued to deliver value to public officers in this State and thereby to the South Australian community, as we continue to enhance integrity in public administration,” Commissioner Vanstone said.

“During the reporting period the Commission commenced 50 corruption investigations, a 60 per cent increase on the previous period,” she said.

“It also commenced three evaluations and tabled four reports detailing observations in relation to integrity issues within public administration.”

Commissioner Vanstone said the Annual Report showed the Commission continued to deliver on its prevention function, including the rollout of presentations, educational resources and online education programs.

During the reporting period the Commissioner sent 17 prevention letters to public authorities outlining lessons learned from investigations.

“Prior to the Act being amended, the Commission’s jurisdiction included serious or systemic misconduct and maladministration,” the Commissioner said.

“No investigations into conduct of this type were commenced, or carried over from the previous year.

“However, the Commission still has a role to play in matters relating to police misconduct, and investigated three such matters referred to it by the Office for Public Integrity during the reporting period.”

Commissioner Vanstone said that as a result of the legislative changes, the Commission cannot refer matters directly to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

“Instead the Commission referred three briefs to South Australia Police for further investigation and potential prosecution,” she said.

“During the reporting period, one prosecution arising from a Commission investigation was concluded (and) 11 matters remain before the court.”

ICAC’s 92-page Annual Report 2021-22 can be accessed at this PS News link.

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