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International Anti-Corruption Day

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Media Release

The Australian Government is proud to mark the first International Anti-Corruption Day since the creation of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

The commencement of the NACC on 1 July 2023 demonstrated the Albanese Government’s commitment to combatting corruption and restoring integrity, honesty and accountability to government. 

Corruption undermines trust between governments and communities. Corruption undermines transparency and accountability of governments and subverts the fair and efficient delivery of services and the opportunity for people to participate equally in social, economic and political life. 

This commencement of the NACC was just one of a number of important steps taken by the Albanese Government to restore integrity and combat corruption.

Earlier this year the Parliament passed critical amendments to the public sector whistleblowing framework to ensure immediate improvements were in place in time for the commencement of the Commission. Consultations have also commenced on a second stage of reforms to further improve the framework. 

The Government is also committed to combatting bribery of foreign public officials. This year I introduced proposed laws to Parliament, under which companies will face increased liability if they fail to prevent foreign bribery by their employees, external contractors, agents or subsidiaries. 

My department has also commenced consultations on major reforms to Australia’s anti‑money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime, which would harden Australia’s businesses and sectors against criminal exploitation including by corrupt actors. 

This year also marks an important milestone internationally. Twenty years ago, Australia joined with other countries in adopting the UN Convention against Corruption. Next week, Australian officials including the National Anti-Corruption Commissioner, the Hon Paul Brereton AM RFD SC, will participate in the 10th Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption. 

Australia recognises that we cannot combat corruption alone. Our partners in civil society, the private sector and academia have been – and remain – critical to the success of Australia’s anti-corruption agenda. 

This includes the work of Australia’s Open Government Forum, a civil society and government forum that is supporting open government principles of transparency, accountability and public participation through the development of Australia’s Third Open Government Partnership National Action Plan.

We are also working in partnership with the business community through the Bribery Prevention Network to assist businesses to recognise and respond to bribery risk. 

The Australian Government also recognises that a strong and independent media is vital to holding governments to account. That is why the Australian Government will be taking action to reduce the number of secrecy offences in Commonwealth laws and improve protections for press freedom.

Our international partnerships also remain essential to accelerate anti-corruption efforts at global and regional levels. I am proud of Australia’s productive cooperation with regional partners, including with Pacific Island Forum members, to improve transparency and accountability in our region. 

Australia is also a founding member of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) Fair Economy Agreement. Negotiated and substantially concluded in record time, the Agreement will enhance anti-corruption enforcement and strengthen trade and investment opportunities for businesses in our region.

I look forward to continuing to deliver the Australian Government’s ambitious anti-corruption and integrity agenda in 2024.