All activities of the Commission aim to have a positive impact on the integrity of public administration. To that end, the Commission regularly engages with public authorities about things learned in the course of the Commission exercising its functions.
Corruption investigations, whether they are referred for prosecution or closed with no further action, usually identify weaknesses in agency structures and processes that enabled corrupt conduct or could have enabled corrupt conduct. For this reason, almost every closed investigation results in the Commissioner engaging with the public authority to make recommendations for improvements, aimed at better managing integrity risks.
The impact of this generally unseen work is significant. Examples include a full-scale physical asset audit, a culture review and subsequent training. One agency removed all but one government purchase card (the one remaining card was tightly held by the Chief Executive) to stop inappropriate and an authorised expenditure being charged to the agency. These engagements have caused a number of agencies to implement new policies around recruitment and procurement, in particular strengthening conflict of interest declaration and management requirements. A number of agencies have strengthened their management of access to information by introducing new policies and procedures and implementing audit logs and version controls on their systems.
The Commissioner believes that engaging with agencies on what we learn about them in the course of an investigation improves the integrity of public administration.