In November 2022, the Commissioner published Integrity State, a report highlighting 15 corruption prevention initiatives arising from investigations over the past year.

The majority of investigations involved potential issues of conflicts of interest. The existence of a conflict of interest is not necessarily unethical. However, if conflicts of interests are not properly managed, the community might perceive that a decision made by a public officer was compromised. Such perceptions erode confidence in public administration.

The Commission investigated allegations of improper procurement and asset management, recruitment and secondary employment, as well as questionable access to information, and inappropriate use of purchase cards. Investigations revealed vulnerabilities in the declaration and approval of secondary employment.

Poor practices, policies and procedures can make allegations of wrongdoing difficult to prove. Commissioner Vanstone observed, ‘many public authorities do not well understand corruption risks and so are ill equipped to address them.’

The Commissioner recommended strengthening conflicts of interest policy and training, and encouraged agencies to regularly remind public officers of their obligations set out in the Code of Ethics for the South Australian Public Sector.

Many agencies have adopted the Commissioner’s recommendations to promote integrity and prevent corruption.

Read the report here.