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Examination of the Annual Report
The 2010–11 Annual
Report (the Report) is the fifth Annual Report of the Integrity Commissioner
and covers the fourth full year of operation.
The committee's examination of the Report focuses principally on:
- ACLEI's achievements against the performance reporting framework;
- The direction of ACLEI; and
certain issues arising from ACLEI's reported performance in 2010–11.
The performance reporting framework
ACLEI's 2010–11 outcome and output structure remained unchanged from
2009–10. These are listed below in Table 1.
Table 1: the outcome/reporting
2010–11 Budget year
Outcome 1: Independent
assurance to the Australian Government that Commonwealth law enforcement
agencies and their staff act with integrity by detecting, investigating and
Program 1.1: Detect,
investigate and prevent corruption in prescribed law enforcement agencies;
assist law enforcement agencies to maintain and improve the integrity of
The program deliverables for Program 1.1 were as follows:
corruption issues are promptly brought to the attention of the
Integrity Commissioner for independent assessment and decision on how each issue
should be dealt with (either by ACLEI, the agency to which the issue relates,
or another agency);
- where appropriate, ACLEI independently investigates corruption
issues, giving priority to serious or systemic corruption;
- ACLEI analyses and reports on patterns and trends in law
- ACLEI recommends changes to laws and to agency practices and
procedures to improve integrity in law enforcement, and to detect and prevent
corruption more effectively;
- ACLEI contributes to corruption prevention initiatives such as
the assessment of corruption risk and raising awareness about corruption
deterrence, thereby helping to build corruption-resistant work cultures; and
staff members of law enforcement agencies are made aware that
information about corruption can be referred with confidence to the Integrity
As such, the program deliverables remain unchanged from the previous
year, with the exception of the deletion of the following deliverable: 'where
appropriate, the Integrity Commissioner uses statutory coercive and intrusive
information-gathering powers to assist in investigations.' The committee notes
that this deliverable has reappeared in the 2011–12 portfolio budget
In addition to these program deliverables, the 2010–11 portfolio budget
statement also outlined a series of key performance indicators (KPI). These
indicators, together with the measures used to assess each KPI, are reproduced
below, together with a summary of performance as reported by ACLEI.
KPI One: the corruption
notification system is effective
Performance against KPI One is assessed with reference to the following
law enforcement agencies notify ACLEI of corruption issues in a
- other agencies provide information about corruption issues to
- ACLEI is seen as viable for reporting information about
ACLEI reported that 26 notifications were received from the ACC and AFP in
2010–11, down from the 40 received in the previous year. However, 20
notifications were received from Customs and Border Protection, which came
within ACLEI's jurisdiction from 1 January 2011. ACLEI reported that it had no
concerns with the timeliness of these notifications and the Hamburger review
found that the inter-agency relationships were positive.
Ten referrals of corruption issues were received from other government
agencies, exceeding the two received in the previous year.
Two whistleblowers provided information directly to ACLEI, less than in
the two previous years, while the number of members of the public providing
referrals continued to increase, to 29.
KPI Two: ACLEI assesses all
notifications and referrals of corruption issues in a timely way
KPI Two is measured by reference to the following:
- upon receipt, ACLEI assesses information about corruption to
determine how each issue should be dealt with. Credible information about
corruption is prioritised.
ACLEI reported that all notifications and referrals were subject to
initial assessment upon receipt, in order to determine their priority. ACLEI
met its benchmark of 75 per cent of assessments being completed within 90 days,
achieving a result of 76 per cent. This figure was an improvement on previous
years (60 per cent in 2009–10 and 26 per cent in 2008–09).
KPI Three: ACLEI's investigations are conducted professionally and
efficiently, and add value to the integrity system
Measures for KPI Three include:
investigations adhere to the Integrity Commissioner's
- ACLEI investigations are properly managed;
investigation reports provided to the Minister are of high
advice is provided to the Minister in a timely way.
While the Report did not explicitly state that the Integrity
Commissioner's Investigation Guidelines had been adhered to, the Report did
- the executive director reviews the management of investigations
at key milestones;
- specialised training and aide-memoires were introduced on
compliance with guidelines; and
- quarterly audits of exhibits were conducted.
The report sets out a range of governance and review arrangements that
indicate that ACLEI investigations have been well managed.
ACLEI reported on a variety of measures undertaken in 2010–11 aimed at
improving the governance of ACLEI's investigative procedures, including compliance
training for staff relating to the use of law enforcement and LEIC Act powers.
ACLEI also expanded the remit of its operations committee to include
advising the Integrity Commissioner on the possible discontinuation of
investigations. ACLEI reported that discontinuation of investigations may be
warranted where, for example, there may be more value in disseminating
available information for its disruption or deterrence value, instead of
continuing to investigate. Seventeen investigations were reconsidered and
discontinued in this manner in 2010–11, compared with one in the previous year.
Three investigation reports were provided to the Minister in 2010–11. ACLEI's
Annual Report indicates that the Integrity Commissioner kept the Minister
informed and that all requests from the Minister for information were satisfied
in a timely way.
KPI Four: ACLEI monitors the
quality of corruption investigations conducted by law enforcement agencies
Measures for KPI Four include:
- all agency corruption investigation reports provided to ACLEI are
assessed for quality and completeness; and
ACLEI liaises regularly with the agencies' professional standards
ACLEI received 18 reports for review during 2010–11, from a total of 72 external
agency investigations. The Integrity Commissioner did not consider that any
comments or recommendations were necessary and accepted the reports'
As a result of regular (fortnightly) liaison with professional standards
units of the agencies concerned, five external agency investigations were
discontinued (four AFP and one Customs and Border protection) as no evidence of
corrupt conduct was apparent.
KPI Five: ACLEI contributes to
policy development and law reform in accountability and corruption prevention
relating to law enforcement
Measures for KPI Five include:
- each investigation addresses corruption risk and, where
warranted, makes recommendations for systemic improvement in corruption
prevention or detection measures; and
- submissions that relate to corruption prevention or enhancing
integrity may be made to government or in other relevant forums.
ACLEI reported that corruption prevention topics covered during the year
included security arrangements for diplomatic bags, drug and property handling
practices, responses to operational security breaches, and improving integrity
reporting compliance relating to personal interests and declarable
ACLEI also initiated a Community of Practice for Corruption Prevention,
which involved officers from the three agencies within ACLEI's jurisdiction.
The forum is intended to develop and share best practice deterrence
arrangements and facilitate corruption prevention research, with possible
applicability to the broader public service.
ACLEI also engaged with Parliamentary inquiries, including this
committee's inquiry into the operation of the Law Enforcement Integrity
Commissioner Act 2006.
KPI Six: Staff members of law
enforcement agencies are made aware of ACLEI's role
Measures for KPI Six include:
- marketing and other awareness-raising activities are in place,
including joint initiatives with other agencies; and
targeted presentations about integrity are made to diverse
Twenty-six awareness-raising presentations were provided to staff
members of law enforcement agencies in 2010–11, including to higher risk AFP
groups and Customs and Border Protection staff around Australia. As part of the
introduction of Customs and Border Protection to ACLEI's jurisdiction, a
webcast promotional video was produced to raise awareness of corruption risk
within that agency.
KPI Seven: ACLEI handles personal
KPI Seven is measured by reference to the following:
- regular privacy audits are undertaken to ensure compliance with
legal obligations and better practice policy for information-handling.
In 2010–11, ACLEI's internal auditors, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd,
finalised an audit of ACLEI's information handling procedures, reporting no
irregularities or issues of concern.
Direction of ACLEI
ACLEI continued to develop its 'two-level' approach to corruption,
whereby corruption investigations and organised crime investigations benefit
from each other. The Integrity Commissioner, Mr Philip Moss described the
approach as follows:
The first is ACLEI as an accountability agency—that is one
level—that is, a accountability agency which is notified and receives referrals
of information that raise a corruption issue and the Integrity Commissioner
decides on how to deal with that. There are, as you know, a range of options
available to the Integrity Commissioner in deciding on how to deal with a
corruption issue. In doing that kind of work, our principal contact in the
agencies—that is to say, the ACC, the AFP and Customs and Border Protection—is
with their professional standards units. But there is another level at which
ACLEI is now working, and this is the second level. It arises from the term we
use of a 'corruption handshake'. A 'corruption handshake', as I said just a few
minutes ago, is where an official within those agencies may be assisting and
facilitating corrupt conduct by criminal groups or organised crime. At this
level, ACLEI and law enforcement agencies share information about organised
crime activities and work together to counter threats that may arise, such as
infiltration and compromise. It also enables ACLEI to align its investigations
of corruption issues with the broader efforts of law enforcement agencies to
counter serious and organised crime.
The Integrity Commissioner highlighted a number of developments during 2010–11
in the first chapter of the Report, including the establishment of a Community
of Practice for Corruption Prevention. In addition, the Integrity Commissioner
described a number of developments since the publication of the Report,
tabling of this committee's report into integrity testing, which contained
a number of recommendations including the introduction of targeted testing as
an investigation tool for ACLEI;
- passage of legislation amending the LEIC Act to include Customs
and Border Protection within ACLEI's jurisdiction;
introduction into Parliament of the Crimes Legislation
Amendment (Powers and Offences) Bill 2011 which would strengthen the
Integrity Commissioner's information gathering powers relating to hearings and
the production of documents; and
- the first meeting of the Australian Anti-Corruption Commissions
Forum, comprising integrity agencies from around Australia:
The Australian Anti-Corruption Commissions Forum will be a
means to ensure that the experience gained in each jurisdiction can be applied
to inform a national approach to identifying changes in corruption risk and in
continuing to build resistance to corruption. I expect that it will play a
continuing role in updating the national anti-corruption plan, the first
version of which is presently being developed by the Attorney-General's
Following questions from the committee on the building block approach
and whether ACLEI should have a business plan, the Integrity Commissioner noted
that the direction of the agency continued to be influenced by ongoing learning
and experience, stating:
In terms of whether there is a business plan to get ACLEI to
a particular point, there is not. We are simply learning from our experience,
and as we go along and as our capability increases we are finding out more and
We have, of course, business plans in other senses for
internal purposes, but in terms of broader direction we are thinking about
where ACLEI might go.
The committee appreciates the need for ACLEI to evolve in line with
experience and, will continue to monitor the agency's development.
ACLEI continued to grow and evolve in 2010–11, as it has since its
establishment. ACLEI has doubled the number of staff it employs over the last two
years, ending 2010–11 with 24 ongoing staff, supplemented by a small number of
casual and seconded staff.
In support of its growing workload, ACLEI received additional funding of
$1.6 million over four years, commencing in July 2010. An additional amount
of $2.7 million over four years was transferred to ACLEI to provide resources
for the inclusion of Customs and Border Protection in ACLEI's jurisdiction. As
a result, ACLEI grew in size by 40 per cent during 2010–11. 
Addition of Customs and Border Protection
Perhaps the most significant development in 2010–11 was the inclusion
of Customs and Border Protection within ACLEI's jurisdiction. The committee
recommended that this occur in its interim report for the inquiry into the
operation of the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006, tabled
in February 2010. The government agreed to the recommendation, and added
Customs and Border Protection to ACLEI's jurisdiction by regulation from 1
January 2011. Subsequently, the LEIC Act was amended to define Customs and
Border Protection as an agency subject to ACLEI's jurisdiction.
The committee considers the inclusion of Customs and Border Protection
within the Commonwealth's strongest integrity regime to be highly desirable
given the sensitivity of its operations and role within the law enforcement
As at the end of 2010–11, ACLEI had received notifications or referrals
of 23 corruption issues relating to Customs and Border Protection. Six issues
became the subject of joint investigation by ACLEI and Customs and Border
Protection, and nine were referred back to Customs and Border Protection for
investigation. The remainder were concluded at the assessment phase or remain
The Integrity Commissioner informed the committee that Customs and
Border Protection had been a major focus for ACLEI in 2010–11, stating:
The devotion of resources at the moment is clearly towards
corruption issues that have been notified or referred to ACLEI in relation to
the Customs and Border Protection Service. There are some major operations
underway to investigate some of those corruption issues. Not only is it
involving considerable dedication of ACLEI staff and resourcing but also that
resourcing is being supplemented by the agencies themselves, not only Customs
and Border Protection but also on a broader basis, where the AFP is also
providing ACLEI assistance with those matters that we are now investigating.
As noted previously, ACLEI received funding for an additional five staff
in order to manage the extra work flowing from the expanded jurisdiction. The
Integrity Commissioner was of the view that more time was needed to accurately
assess the full impact of this expansion, advising:
There was always a question of deciding at some point what the
level of resourcing needed to deal with the additional work that Customs might
bring really was. Not knowing and not being able to anticipate in any clear
way, we made the starting point five, but it was an understanding that was part
of that conclusion that there would be a review at some time yet to be
determined. But certainly it is on the record that at some future time there
will be a review of the workload that Customs has brought to ACLEI and what
resourcing ACLEI might need to meet that workload. At this stage I would say we
are still in the first stages of understanding what that additional workload
is, so I think it would be at this stage premature to run that review. At this
point, I am thinking that perhaps towards the end of this financial year might
be a time to have that review commenced.
The committee is satisfied that ACLEI is taking appropriate steps to
introduce Customs and Border Protection to ACLEI's integrity regime and
processes, and the committee will continue to observe developments in this
The number of corruption issues being raised with ACLEI through
notifications by agency heads or referrals from other agencies or individuals
has increased consistently in each year since ACLEI's establishment. This year,
ACLEI received 90 new notifications or referrals of corruption issues, compared
to 80 in the previous year. Of these, 23 related to Customs and Border
Protection, while 67 related to the AFP and ACC, indicating that the previous
consistent growth has abated.
In previous years, the committee has expressed concern about the growing
number of issues being carried over each year, and ACLEI's ability to
successfully manage the volume of work with existing resources. In 2010–11, 80 issues
were carried forward to 2011–12, a similar level to the 90 carried forward in
the previous year. While this may indicate that ACLEI has been able to halt the
growth, some of the reduction may be attributed to the increase in the number
of ACLEI or external agency investigations being discontinued from one to 17.
ACLEI reported several initiatives that, together with the overall
increase in budget and staffing, contributed to this result. In July 2010, the
Integrity Commissioner established a position to manage ACLEI's assessment and
review function. As noted in the Report:
This measure led to improved management of external
investigations, ensuring that this body of work is completed in a timely way,
and according to the priority assigned to each issue. ACLEI notes that the AFP
matched this resource with its own effort to consult routinely with ACLEI, and
finalise investigation reports.
A change in the remit of ACLEI's Operations Committee, to advise on the
possible discontinuation of investigations, also resulted in 12 ACLEI investigations
being discontinued in 2010–11. ACLEI reported that this assisted it to remain
focused on serious and systemic corruption issues.
Improved efficiency in the decision making process concerning
assessments also led to a swifter resolution of the assessment phase, with 76
per cent of assessments being completed within 90 days compared to 60 per cent
in the previous year. As the Integrity Commissioner observed, the increase in
staff numbers had allowed greater efficiency within the organisation, stating:
In the early days there were but nine staff, including me. In
that sense, all matters came to me. As our numbers have increased and the
workload has increased significantly, there are now arrangements whereby
matters of a certain type are dealt with at a lower level in the agency and not
all matters come to me. That is one of the efficiencies.
We also now have a better idea of what we are doing in making
assessments. It is simply facility and being more accustomed to the topics we
are dealing with. I would put it down to increased agency capability and some
rearrangements we have made internally whereby not everything now needs to come
to the Integrity Commissioner.
The Integrity Commissioner further noted that the conclusion of
longstanding issues had been a priority for the agency, stating:
We had a real focus on matters that we were carrying over of
that type about 12 months ago and put a clear effort, as an agency, into
resolving the longer-standing matters, and we brought that category of issue
down to a much smaller number.
The committee remains concerned about and will continue to monitor the
significant number of ongoing investigations that are now several years old:
- one from 2006–07;
- 14 from 2007–08; and
20 from 2008–09.
The committee sought information on the level of case load that ACLEI
investigators have and ACLEI indicated that the level was comparable to some
state and territory law enforcement integrity bodies.
ACLEI delivered three investigation reports to the Minister during the
This rate of delivery of investigation reports is similar to previous years: three
in 2009-10, one in 2008-09, and two in 2007-08.
The committee is satisfied that the number of issues being carried
forward has not grown this year. The committee looks forward to a greater
number of completed investigation reports and a reduction in the number of
long-standing issues being carried forward in subsequent years, as a result of
ACLEI's increased staffing. The committee will continue to monitor these issues
in the future.
Issues carried forward by other
In its examination of the 2009–10 annual report, the committee noted
that the rate at which external agencies conclude inquiries appears to significantly
contribute to the large number of unresolved issues at the end of each
financial year, with only 12.5 per cent (six out of 48 issues) being concluded
While 27 per cent (18 out of 67 issues) of investigations by external
agencies were completed in 2010–11,
the proportion of the external agency investigations within the total number of
issues carried forward increased:
in 2009–10, 47 per cent (42 out of 90) of issues carried forward
were issues being investigated by external agencies; 
in 2010–11, 61 per cent (49 out of 80) of issues carried forward
were issues being investigated by external agencies. 
While some of the increase can be attributed to the addition of Customs
and Border Protection, the committee remains concerned about this issue. For
example, the AFP, while concluding 16 investigations in 2010–11 (compared to 4
in the previous year), carried over 40 incomplete investigations into 2011–12,
representing a substantial proportion of the total number of issues carried
forward in ACLEI's statistics. The committee intends to examine this issue
further in 2012 and will seek to gain a better understanding of the
investigation process undertaken by agency professional standards units.
Access to investigation resources
In 2010–11, the Attorney-General's Department engaged Mr Peter Hamburger
PSM to review ACLEI's capabilities, operating arrangements and resources.
Though the report, completed in February 2011, was not released publicly, the then
Minister for Home Affairs agreed to the committee's request to receive a copy
of the report.
Mr Hamburger made three recommendations directed at:
establishing reporting arrangements on the timeliness of ACLEI's
assessment process and its coordination with law enforcement agencies in the
management of staff and risks during ACLEI investigations;
- developing a Memorandum of Understanding between ACLEI and the
three law enforcement agencies within its jurisdiction under which ACLEI would
be assured of an acceptable amount of physical surveillance capacity each year
from the relevant capabilities maintained by the law enforcement agencies; and
- securing an agreement by which the law enforcement agencies would
each transfer a small amount of funds to ACLEI to strengthen its capabilities
in areas other than investigation, especially in relation to prevention
The committee supports these three recommendations and will monitor
In the committee's view, the most serious finding of the review was that
ACLEI required greater access to high-end investigative capabilities,
especially physical and technical surveillance, for which it had statutory
authority but insufficient capability.
The committee is therefore please to note the announcement on 13
December 2011, by the then Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, the Hon
Brendan O'Connor, that the government will provide further funding to
strengthen detection and investigative capability within ACLEI. The government
described this 'Surveillance Project' as enabling ACLEI and its partners to use
various covert investigation methods in a broader range of operations, and
evaluate their effectiveness in an anti-corruption setting.
The committee looks forward to further detail in upcoming budget papers and
Out of Jurisdiction reports
The committee notes ACLEI's decision to discontinue reporting statistics
on out of jurisdiction information that does not relate to the ACC, Customs and
Border Protection, the AFP or the former NCA. The committee considers that
while such out of jurisdiction information may not need to be reported in
detail along with other statistics, it would however, be very useful for ACLEI
to report the total number of out of jurisdiction issues, the split between
Commonwealth and other bodies and the extent to which assessing those matters
consumed ACLEI resources.
Declarations of Interests
The committee examined how declarations of interests by staff are made
and managed within ACLEI. Section 184 of the LEIC Act specifies that the
Integrity Commissioner must give written notice to the Minister of all the
Integrity Commissioner's interests that could conflict with the proper
performance of the Integrity Commissioner's functions.
The Integrity Commissioner clarified:
That is a standing notification that is adjusted as developments
occur. There is no requirement in the legislation to provide it on an annual
basis. It is simply given at one point and then updated as necessary ... My
time frame would be within weeks.
The committee was informed that the Integrity Commissioner receives and
retains reports from senior executives in ACLEI. The expectation is that the
Integrity Commissioner would be advised of any changes and may require an
explanation of or take independent action himself to investigate or clarify any
matters of concern, satisfying himself that he would be in a position to answer
clearly if the committee asked about changes to interests of a staff member.
In answer to a question on notice, ACLEI set out the nature of the
integrity policy and management framework applying to ACLEI staff (see Appendix
7) and provided a copy of its conflict of interest declaration policy (see
Appendix 8). ACLEI also indicated that risk strategy and culture play a key
role in addition to the documentary requirements:
All our staff are subject to the Protective Security Policy
Framework to hold their security clearances. A part of our risk strategy would
be that that process would pick up those ... significant financial changes. Any
other change in lifestyle has to be reported as well as a part of that process
to our agency security advisor. That is part of maintaining that security
clearance, so it is picked up in the Protective Security Policy Framework. I
think it is also about active leadership in an organisation. It is about our
directors knowing their people in their areas and assessing against those known
indicators of changes and, by way of leadership and management, engaging with
their staff, which is the expected practice within our organisation.
The committee is satisfied with ACLEI's approach to the implementation
of the declaration of interests and will continue to monitor this key issue for
The committee congratulates ACLEI on another successful year of operation,
and notes that significant challenges remain. These include the ongoing
integration of Customs and Border Protection within ACLEI's body of work,
improving the timeliness of assessments and investigations in the face of
limited resources, and further development of corruption prevention and
The committee appreciates the engagement of ACLEI with recent and
current inquiries, including the review of the LEIC Act, an evaluation of the
possible merits of integrity testing and the recently commenced inquiry into
the integrity of overseas law enforcement operations.
Ms Melissa Parke MP
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