Integrity news from across Australia

aerial view of city streets

Integrity agencies from other states and territories produce resources and publications that have potential value for South Australian public administration and public officers.

You are encouraged to consider their offerings for material that can help you foster integrity in South Australian public administration.

Victoria - Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC)

In mid of 2019 IBAC published their major overview report, State government integrity frameworks review. The review examined the way 38 Victorian state government agencies develop, implement and maintain effective integrity frameworks and improve their capacity to identify and prevent corrupt conduct.

The report is a rich source of ideas and information for agencies about corruption risk management, creating ethical cultures and leadership, the importance of detection, and encouraging the reporting of corruption.

IBAC also published an important report outlining opportunities to strengthen conflict of interest identification, disclosure and management. Managing corruption risks associated with conflicts of interest in the Victorian public sector is a valuable resource for those interested in how some functions and activities in public administration are at heightened risk of conflicts of interest, and how conflicts of interest can facilitate corrupt conduct if they are not properly identified, managed and declared.

Accompanying this report is a short information sheet Conflicts of Interest: Myths, Misconceptions and Management.

Commonwealth - Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI)

ACLEI are the federal body that supports the integrity of federal law enforcement agencies and their staff. Their primary role is to investigate law-enforcement related serious and systemic corruption issues.  ACLEI have recently issued a series of short videos to promote awareness of corruption vulnerabilities which they frequently observe in the course of their investigations. While these relate to federal law-enforcement bodies, the lessons offered may well be applicable to many situations in public administration.

Queensland - Crime and Corruption Commission (Qld CCC)

To mark International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December 2019) the Queensland CCC conducted an interview with former Ipswich City Council CEO Carl Wulff, who was sentenced to five years imprisonment, suspended after 20 months, for corruption offences. The video is available from their website and highlights the devastating real world impacts of corruption. The interview is a powerful corruption prevention tool, especially for anyone who thinks corruption is something remote and unrelated to their lives and careers.

The Queensland CCC has also released an advisory for local councils entitled, Council Records: A guideline for mayors, councillors, CEOs and council employees. This resource is necessarily informed by the various legislative obligations that only apply to Queensland councils. Nevertheless, the resource includes important general principles and suggestions about the importance of proper record keeping that should be absorbed by local councils here in South Australia.

The Queensland CCC has also released their 2nd Prevention in Focus paper on Improper access to public sector databases. This publication and its predecessor includes interesting case studies of people who have been prosecuted for improperly accessing government databases containing sensitive confidential information. They serve as a salutary warning to anyone who might consider improperly accessing information with the intention of passing it on to others, to profit from the information, to intimidate others, to frustrate official purposes, or merely out of curiosity. The publication is also useful to remind agencies of the value of their informational holdings, and their obligation to safeguard and protect against their improper use.

New South Wales - Independent Commission Against Corruption

In April of 2019 the NSW ICAC released its new prevention publication entitled Managing Conflicts of Interest in the NSW Public Sector. The South Australian ICAC has observed that public officers regularly fail to identify or disclose conflicts of interest, and that even when disclosed they can be poorly managed and monitored. The NSW resource is an excellent basic introduction to the topic, and it is recommended that public officers familiarise themselves with this frequently misunderstood corruption risk. The South Australian ICAC has an online conflict of interest course to help public officers learn about their obligations in this area.

More recently NSW ICAC has updated their website with two Frequently Asked Questions pages related to conflicts of interest; one for managers and another for public officers: