Commencement of the National Anti-Corruption Commission
The Albanese Government is restoring integrity, honesty and accountability to government with the commencement of the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
The former Liberal Government promised to establish an anti-corruption commission and delivered nothing.
During the 2022 Federal election Australians were clear: they wanted a national anti-corruption commission watchdog.
Labor said if elected we would legislate a powerful, transparent and independent National Anti-Corruption Commission by the end of 2022.
Within months of being elected, the Albanese Labor Government passed legislation to establish the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
From tomorrow, the National Anti-Corruption Commission begins its work, acting as a powerful watchdog, delivering accountability and transparency that is rightly expected by the Australian public.
This will strengthen our democracy and public institutions.
The Commission has strong powers to detect, investigate and prevent corruption across the entire Commonwealth sector.
Anyone can refer a matter they believe constitutes corruption to the Commission.
And then it’s up to the Commission to determine what it investigates.
On behalf of the Australian Government, I thank the Hon Paul Brereton AM RFD SC who has agreed to serve as the inaugural Commissioner, as well as the Deputy Commissioners Nicole Rose PSM and Dr Ben Gauntlett, and acting Deputy Commissioner, Jaala Hinchcliffe.
Friday, 30 June 2023
Key facts about the National Anti-Corruption Commission
The National Anti-Corruption Commission will:
- Investigate serious or systemic corrupt conduct across the Commonwealth public sector by ministers, parliamentarians and their staff, statutory officer holders, employees of all government entities and government contractors;
- Operate independent of government, with discretion to commence inquiries on its own initiative or in response to referrals from anyone.
- Be overseen by a statutory Parliamentary Joint Committee, empowered to require the Commission to provide information about its work; and an independent Inspector who will investigate corruption issues and complaints about the NACC, and look at how the NACC uses its powers
- Have the power to investigate allegations of serious or systemic corruption that occurred before or after its establishment;
- Have the power to hold public hearings in exceptional circumstances and where it is in the public interest to do so;
- Be empowered to make findings of fact, including findings of corrupt conduct, and refer findings that could constitute criminal conduct to the Australian Federal Police or the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions; and
- Operate with procedural fairness and its findings will be subject to judicial review.
The legislation establishing the National Anti-Corruption Commission also provides strong protections for whistleblowers and exemptions for journalists to protect the identity of sources.
The Government committed $33.2 million in 2022-23 to establish the Commission, with a further $295.6 million over four years from 2023-24 for its ongoing operations and for oversight of the Commission by the Inspector. This funding will ensure the Commission has the resources to properly consider referrals and allegations, conduct timely investigations and undertake corruption prevention and education activities.
On 1 July ACLEI, its staff and any ongoing investigations will transfer to the NACC, which will formally commence with around 180 staff on board. Staff levels will build to approximately 260 people over the next 2 years.
- Commissioner: The Hon Paul Brereton AM RFD SC (5 Years)
- Deputy Commissioner: Ms Nicole Rose PSM (5 Years)
- Deputy Commissioner: Dr Ben Gauntlett (5 Years)
- Chief Executive Officer: Mr Philip Reed (5 Years)
- Inspector: Ms Gail Furness SC (7 years part time)
Ms Jaala Hinchcliffe will be Acting Deputy Commissioner for up to 12 months or until a third substantive Deputy Commissioner is appointed.