26 September 2023

PS urged to speak out against corruption

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The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is reminding South Australian Public Servants of their obligations to speak up about conduct that does not meet integrity standards.

The reminder follows amendments to the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 2012.

Issuing a summary of changes to the ICAC act, the ICAC said although the South Australian public integrity scheme had changed, the expectation that public officers perform their roles to the highest integrity standards had not changed.

“Speaking up and calling out conduct that does not meet integrity standards is also still expected,” the ICAC said.

“All public officers are required to report any conduct they reasonably suspect involves corruption in public administration to the Office for Public Integrity (OPI).”

It said the definition of corruption had changed, and was now limited to specific offences under the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 which relate to public officers, together with offences against the Public Sector (Honesty and Accountability) Act 1995 and the Public Corporations Act 1993.

“Despite these changes, corruption was and continues to be a criminal offence,” the Commission said.

“It is not important for public officers to know whether the alleged offence in question would fit the new definition of corruption,” it said.

“This is something that is best left to the OPI to assess.

“The job of the public officer is to report the conduct.”

The ICAC said the OPI would then determine who the matter should be referred to.

The Commission’s summary of changes can be accessed at this PS News link and further information on the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, Ann Vanstone’s concerns about the amendments is available in this PS News article.

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