Independent Commission Against Corruption (New South Wales)
|Independent Commission Against Corruption|
|Logo of the Independent Commission Against Corruption.|
|Annual budget||A$20 million (2011)|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||State of New South Wales, Australia|
|Legal jurisdiction||As per operations jurisdiction.|
|Governing body||Government of New South Wales|
|Constituting instrument||Independent Commission Against Corruption Act, 1988 (NSW)|
|Specialist jurisdiction||Anti corruption.|
|Headquarters||Level 21, 133 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Elected officer responsible||Hon. Barry O'Farrell MP,
Premier of New South Wales
|Agency executive||David Ipp, AO QC,
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), an independent agency of the Government of New South Wales, is responsible for minimising corrupt activities and enhancing the integrity of the public administration in the state of New South Wales, Australia.
The Commission was established in 1988 pursuant to the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act, 1988 (NSW).
It is led by a sole Commissioner appointed for a fixed five-year term, presently David Ipp, AO QC. The Commissioner submits a report on the activities of the Commission to the Parliament of New South Wales and whilst independent of the politics of government, reports informally to the Premier of New South Wales, presently the Hon. Barry O'Farrell MP.
Structure and operation
The ICAC has jurisdiction over state and local government in New South Wales. This extends to parliamentarians, local councillors, the Governor of New South Wales, public servants, police and staff of universities and state-owned corporations.
Anyone can refer matters to the commission.
The commission has the coercive powers of a Royal Commission and can compel witnesses to testify. Where the ICAC rules that an official has acted corruptly, the charges are referred to the criminal justice system for trial.
The ICAC is led by a single commissioner, who, though the agency belongs within the New South Wales Premier's Department, reports directly to the presiding officers of the Parliament of New South Wales. The commissioner serves a single five-year term and cannot be dismissed except by the Governor.
The 1980s saw a number of corruption scandals break around Australia, involving the Labor administrations in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, the Liberal Party government in Tasmania and the National Party administration in Queensland.
In 1988, Nick Greiner, a Liberal, ran against Labor in New South Wales on an anti-corruption platform and won. Introducing legislation to establish the ICAC, Greiner told Parliament that
In recent years, in New South Wales we have seen: a Minister of the Crown gaoled for bribery; an inquiry into a second, and indeed a third, former Minister for alleged corruption; the former Chief Stipendiary Magistrate gaoled for perverting the course of justice; a former Commissioner of Police in the courts on a criminal charge; the former Deputy Commissioner of Police charged with bribery; a series of investigations and court cases involving judicial figures including a High Court Judge; and a disturbing number of dismissals, retirements and convictions of senior police officers for offences involving corrupt conduct.... No government can maintain its claim to legitimacy while there remains the cloud of suspicion and doubt that has hung over government in New South Wales.
In 1992, the ICAC ruled that Greiner offer of a government job to former minister Terry Metherell was an act of corruption. Although the charges were later dismissed by the courts, the four independent MPs on whom the premier relied for a majority in the Legislative Assembly indicated that they would not support his leadership. Greiner resigned and was replaced by John Fahey.
The ICAC is led by a single commissioner, who serves for a non-renewable term of five years. Five people have held the post since the commission's establishment:
- Ian Temby QC, 13 March 1989 to 12 March 1994
- The Honourable Barry O'Keefe AM, QC, from 14 November 1994 to 13 November 1999
- Irene Moss AO from 14 November 1999 to 13 November 2004
- The Honourable Jerrold Cripps QC from 14 November 2004 to 13 November 2009
- The Honorable David Ipp AO from 16 November 2009
- Nick Greiner and Terry Metherell
- Nola Fraser
- Orange Grove affair
- Karyn Paluzzano and Angela D'Amore
- Eddie Obeid and Ian McDonald