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Expanding ACLEI's jurisdiction: a risk based approach
Committee findings in the interim report
This chapter deals with one of the main questions posed in the course of
this inquiry: whether the list of agencies under ACLEI's jurisdiction should be
expanded. The committee's interim report included significant analysis of this
issue, supporting a recommendation, since accepted by the government, that the
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (Customs) be subject to the
Integrity Commissioner's oversight.
The LEIC Act definition of 'law enforcement function' is very broad,
with a large number of agencies and departments that could be considered to
have a law enforcement function. Indeed, a list of potential agencies provided
by the Attorney-General's Department included 12 departments or agencies that
were members of the Heads of Commonwealth Operational Law Enforcement Agencies
(HOCOLEA), and 30 that had referred briefs to the Commonwealth Department of
Using the 'law enforcement function' criteria could therefore result in a very
large and diverse set of agencies becoming subject to ACLEI's jurisdiction.
In the interim report, tabled in February 2010, the committee instead
supported ACLEI's suggested risk-based approach to determining jurisdiction.
This means that those agencies with the highest inherent corruption risk potential
should be subject to ACLEI's oversight.
Such an approach circumvents the difficult task of establishing which
Commonwealth agencies have a law enforcement function for the purposes of law
enforcement integrity oversight. More importantly, ACLEI's risk management
approach enables the application of measures (and resources) that are
commensurate with the corruption risk. As ACLEI observed, such an approach to
jurisdiction is consistent with the integrity model established by the LEIC Act—that is, 'one that seeks
to match measures to risks, with an emphasis on cooperative partnership'.
In adopting this approach, the committee recommended that, as an
immediate measure, Customs be brought under ACLEI's jurisdiction, due to the
high inherent corruption risk associated with the agency's law enforcement
functions. This recommendation was accepted by the government, and came into
effect in January 2011.
Additionally, the committee considered whether ACLEI should be
restricted to only considering corruption issues relating to the law
enforcement functions of an agency within its jurisdiction. There was concern
by some witnesses that extending ACLEI's attention beyond purely law
enforcement issues may dilute the effectiveness of the Integrity Commissioner.
However, defining limits could also unnecessarily increase the potential for
gaps in oversight provided by ACLEI and other integrity and accountability agencies.
For these reasons, the committee recommended that the Integrity
Commissioner be enabled to investigate any issue relating to alleged, suspected
or anticipated corruption or corruption risk in any agency within its
jurisdiction. However, the committee also recommended that a statutory
requirement be included that ACLEI give priority to matters related to law
The section below follows on from the analysis provided in the interim
report, with further attention given to corruption risk and ACLEI's proposed
three-tiered approach to jurisdiction.
ACLEI describes corruption risks as the 'conditions' or 'precursors' that
'may give rise to a corruption issue'.
The law enforcement environment is particularly vulnerable to corruption
because of the high corruption risk involved in law enforcement-related
activities, for example:
- dealing directly with criminals, such as informers and with
organised crime groups;
- discretion over the investigation, charging and arrest of individuals;
- holding or having access to law enforcement data sources; and
- seizing and handling property, firearms and illicit drugs.
Other corruption risks in the law enforcement environment include:
- misplaced loyalty, due to the strong bonds between law enforcement
- noble cause, where officers break the rules to get the job done
at any cost; and
- investigating the investigators, where corrupt officers are
skilled in countering standard detection and investigation methods.
In annexure 2 of their submission, ACLEI provides a comprehensive list
of examples of criteria for assessing the need for independent integrity
oversight of Commonwealth law enforcement agencies. These criteria address the
following five risk areas:
- influence and authority;
- type of work;
- working environment;
operational risks; and
- organisational environment.
As noted in the interim report, the committee supports an
anti-corruption approach that targets the areas of highest corruption risk, as
determined by the above factors. Such an approach is described in ACLEI's
submission to the inquiry, where it proposes a tiered model of jurisdiction
that matches the level of oversight with the level of corruption risk of a
A tiered model for jurisdiction
ACLEI has proposed the categorisation of agencies into tiers of
corruption risk, as a way of determining jurisdiction. This would provide a
framework for tailoring anti-corruption oversight measures to the level of
The model includes three tiers:
- tier one applies to agencies with 'significant law enforcement
functions' and 'high inherent corruption risks';
- tier two includes agencies with 'important law enforcement
functions and lower inherent corruption vulnerability'; and
tier three includes all other Commonwealth agencies.
ACLEI's level and power of engagement with Commonwealth agencies would
depend on the tier in which each agency resides.
Those in tier one would be in a mandatory relationship with ACLEI,
identical to that already established under the LEIC Act. That is, the heads of
those agencies are compelled by legislation to notify ACLEI of potential
corruption issues. ACLEI, in turn, would be required to provide a corruption
risk assessment, prevention and awareness-raising assistance. Customs, which has
already been brought within ACLEI's jurisdiction, would be classed as a tier
The heads of tier two agencies would have the discretion to refer
potential corruption issues to the Integrity Commissioner, could seek
assistance with corruption risk assessments and would be provided with
corruption prevention advice.
Tier three agencies, which would include all Commonwealth agencies that
do not have a high or intermediate level of risk could request corruption
prevention advice. This would potentially be provided on either a cost-recovery
or fee-for-service basis. These agencies would have no formal or mandatory
relationship with ACLEI, nor the ability to refer a corruption issue to ACLEI.
A table capturing the types of engagement between ACLEI and the three
tiers, as proposed by ACLEI, has been reproduced at Appendix 3.
The committee agrees with the three-tier model in principle, as it
provides a mechanism by which ACLEI's powers and resources may be appropriately
matched to the corruption risk of each agency.
In practice, the first tier (tier one) already exists, in the form of
those agencies already prescribed under the LEIC Act, namely the AFP, ACC,
former NCA and Customs. For reasons outlined in the interim report, the nature
of the work undertaken by these agencies and the role each plays in disrupting
serious and organised crime, naturally makes these agencies targets of value,
and hence high risk agencies. While the committee sees the potential for certain
other agencies to be subject to tier one oversight, it makes no further
recommendation for this to occur at this stage. The committee believes that
ACLEI should continue to focus on the agencies already within its jurisdiction.
However, the committee considers that the establishment of a second tier
(tier two) of jurisdiction including other agencies would be desirable, for two
reasons. Firstly, it would enable limited corruption oversight of medium-risk
agencies, while preserving ACLEI's effectiveness and ability to manage with
current resources. The committee believes that it is essential that ACLEI has
appropriate resources commensurate with the task it is given. There is a danger
present in expanding the number of agencies subject to ACLEI's jurisdiction
under the terms currently provided for by the LEIC Act ('tier one' treatment
under the proposed model). Overburdening ACLEI would reduce the effectiveness
of ACLEI's current activities.
Secondly, the creation of a second tier would provide a means by which
ACLEI can establish a relationship with other agencies with a law enforcement
function. In addition to building resistance to corruption in these agencies
through education, awareness raising and ongoing communication, ACLEI would
develop a greater understanding of the corruption risk profile of tier two
agencies. This would provide a growing knowledge-base that could prompt future
revision of ACLEI's jurisdiction, including the movement of tier two agencies
to tier one oversight.
For these reasons, the committee supports the amendment of the LEIC Act
in order to establish a second tier of agencies subject to limited ACLEI
However, the committee notes that under the tiered model described by
ACLEI in its submission, the Integrity Commissioner would not be able to
commence an investigation or inquiry into a second tier agency on his or her
The committee does not support this limitation, and is of the view that the
'own initiative' investigation or inquiry provision should apply to second tier
agencies. This would ensure that the Integrity Commissioner can act with
independence in the public interest if there is strong suspicion of corrupt conduct
in a second tier agency, while recognising that ACLEI's primary focus will
remain on tier one agencies.
In the following section, the committee considers which agencies should
initially be subject to second tier oversight.
2.27 The committee recommends that the Law Enforcement Integrity
Commissioner Act 2006 be amended so as to establish a 'second tier' to the
Act. Agencies with a law enforcement function included in this second tier
would be subject to limited ACLEI oversight, under which the head of an agency,
or the minister responsible for the agency, may refer a corruption issue, on a
voluntary basis, for consideration by the Integrity Commissioner. The Integrity
Commissioner should also have the power to commence an investigation or inquiry
into a corruption issue in a second tier agency on his or her own initiative.
Agencies that should be subject to tier
Based on the evidence provided during the course of this inquiry, the
committee recommends that, at minimum, the Australian Tax Office, CrimTrac, the
Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, the Australian Quarantine
and Inspection Service and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship be
included in a newly established tier two jurisdiction.
In making this recommendation, the committee does not allege the
existence of widespread or serious corruption in these agencies. Indeed, the
evidence provided to the committee suggests that these agencies already take
their governance and accountability requirements very seriously. However, the
mere potential for corruption in the important law enforcement functions of
these agencies suggest the need for, at the very least, limited oversight by
and regular communication with ACLEI.
In establishing the list of agencies that should initially be prescribed
under a second, limited tier, the committee has used the risk criteria
developed by ACLEI and outlined in its submission to the committee, noted above
(see paragraph 2.11).
Of particular importance to the committee, is the potential for the
following agencies to be of value to serious or organised criminal networks.
This includes the potential for what ACLEI describes as 'displacement'.
Displacement refers to a situation where agencies under a high integrity
standard, such as the ACC or AFP, already subject to full ACLEI scrutiny, work
with agencies of a lower integrity standard. This was described by Mr Nicholas
Sellars, ACLEI, who stated:
We would also be looking at agencies that have a close
interaction or cooperation with the ACC or AFP, to close off gaps in the
integrity system that may arise from displacement—that is, if the Australian
Federal Police and the Crime Commission have high standards of integrity and
are very resistant to corruption and infiltration, then serious and organised
crime may look for softer targets, so there is an interest there as well.
CrimTrac is the national broker of policing information and has
significant data holdings from Commonwealth, state and territory police
agencies. Given the central role of CrimTrac in supporting law enforcement
initiatives across Australia, the committee deems it to be appropriate to
include the agency in a limited oversight relationship with ACLEI.
CrimTrac informed the committee that the main corruption risk they had
indentified was the possibility that serious or organised criminal networks
could infiltrate or approach staff members in order to obtain sensitive law
Though this risk is potentially significant, the committee notes the existence
of the CrimTrac Audit Log Integration Facility, which continually monitors
staff access to CrimTrac data holdings.
In addition to this monitoring system, the committee was also informed
that CrimTrac has robust governance arrangements in place, including
accountability, responsibility and reporting mechanisms under section 65 of the
Public Service Act 1999, an active risk and audit committee and a board
of management comprising all of Australia's police commissioners and the Deputy
Secretary of the Attorney-General's Department.
In addition, the Integrity Commissioner noted that CrimTrac, as a
centralised agency with a high degree of internal control of staff, is in a
lesser category of corruption risk, relative to larger agencies working across
multiple workplaces such as Customs.
CrimTrac has informed the committee that it would support moves to place
it within ACLEI's jurisdiction, stating:
CrimTrac believes in conducting its functions and
responsibilities in an open and transparent manner and that oversight by ACLEI
will provide assurance and certainty to CrimTrac’s stakeholders. CrimTrac is
also aware of its obligations and responsibilities toward ACLEI should the [LEIC]
Act be extended to include it.
Given the value of the information held by CrimTrac to serious and
organised criminal networks and the fact that it works closely with
Commonwealth, state and territory police agencies, the committee considers that
CrimTrac should be subject to a certain level of ACLEI oversight, and hence
should initially be included in a second tier arrangement.
Australian Taxation Office
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO), while not a law enforcement
agency, does have a significant law enforcement function and works closely with
law enforcement agencies such as the ACC and AFP. Additionally, the ATO's key
role in ensuring the payment of taxes naturally entails the transfer of
significant amounts of money. For these reasons, the committee considers that
the ATO should be subject to at least tier two oversight by ACLEI.
As Mr Paul Malone, Assistant Commissioner, ATO, explained, the main
corruption risk faced by the ATO was the potential infiltration of the office,
or influence on people within the office by organised criminal activity.
Due to the value of the information held, the ATO is likely to be a target for
infiltration, with similar risks identified in tax offices overseas.
In addition to the intrinsic value of the information held by the ATO
and its role in collecting revenue for the government, the ATO has a
significant law enforcement function, investigating tax fraud and ensuring
compliance with taxation legislation. In doing so, it works closely with law
enforcement agencies, notably the ACC.
Only a small proportion of ATO staff members are directly involved in
the agency's law enforcement function. Of approximately 23 500 staff, 96 are
directly engaged in investigating potential tax fraud.
A number of other tax officers undertake tax audits, and provide support to
investigations in joint task forces with law enforcement agencies, such as Project
Wickenby, an investigation into serious tax fraud.
The ATO informed the committee that it has a robust internal fraud
control capability and a strong integrity assurance framework. Additionally, the
ATO is scrutinised by the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the ANAO, and employs an
independent examiner in the form of the Inspector-General of Taxation.
The committee heard that the ATO's current integrity measures compare
favourably with counterpart agencies overseas, specifically the United Kingdom
and the United States of America.
The committee considers that it would be beneficial to include the ATO
in a tier two oversight arrangement, particularly in light of the ATO's
involvement in investigations targeting serious and organised crime. However,
this raises the question of whether ACLEI's oversight should extend to the
whole agency, or simply to its law enforcement functions.
As indicated above, the law enforcement activity of the ATO is small
compared to the total functions of the agency.
The ATO informed the committee that if the agency was subject to ACLEI's
oversight, they would prefer that this be limited to the high-risk law
enforcement function of the agency.
However, the committee has previously considered that a whole-of agency
approach is preferable, as it minimises the possibility that definitional
issues may result in gaps or unintended barriers to investigation.
In the committee's interim report, it recommended that ACLEI be able to
investigate any corruption issue or corruption risk in an agency within its
jurisdiction, but that this provision include a statutory requirement to give
priority to the investigation of matters relating to law enforcement functions.
The committee considers that ACLEI should also take a whole-of-agency
approach to tier two agencies, including the ATO, while prioritising
investigation of corruption risk and issues pertaining to law enforcement
functions. Given that referral of corruption issues by the agency head would be
voluntary under the tier two arrangement, and that other notifications of
corruption issues are restricted to the Minister and staff whistleblowers, the
committee believes that a whole of agency approach will be manageable.
Furthermore, the committee would not want to restrict ACLEI from investigating
a case of serious corruption within the ATO in the event that assistance is
sought by the head of the agency or Minister.
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) is
Australia's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulator and
specialist financial intelligence unit. As such, AUSTRAC contributes to
investigative and law enforcement work to combat financial crime and facilitate
AUSTRAC informed the committee that it does not consider itself to be,
nor is it recognised within the Commonwealth as being, a law enforcement agency.
It did acknowledge, however, that it could be described as having important law
The agency is subject to a number of integrity mechanisms, including the
establishment of strong workplace culture, a Fraud and Corruption Control Plan
and high level personnel vetting and physical security processes. The financial
intelligence system itself is subject to a sophisticated audit trail mechanism.
An Internal Auditor provides independent assurance that these controls are
operating effectively. An independent Audit Committee is also responsible for
reviewing AUSTRAC's risk management, internal control framework, external accountability
and legislative compliance.
While cognisant of these existing integrity measures, the committee is
of the view that AUSTRAC should be subject to limited ACLEI oversight for two
The first is the attractiveness of the agency as a target for organised
criminal networks as a result of the agency's role in monitoring and deterring
money laundering and other potentially criminal financial activity. In response
to a question on notice, AUSTRAC noted that the misuse of its information
(including financial data) represents the greatest potential source of risk for
corrupt conduct within the organisation.
Secondly, AUSTRAC regularly provides information to Commonwealth and state
law enforcement agencies. AUSTRAC has Memoranda of Understanding with the AFP,
ACC and Customs facilitating the provision of financial intelligence.
Additionally, AUSTRAC Senior Liaison Officers are out-posted to the AFP, ACC
and Customs to provide training and analytical support to those agencies'
As a result, the committee considers that there is a possible risk of
'displacement' where AUSTRAC may be targeted for infiltration in lieu of other
law enforcement agencies already subject to ACLEI oversight.
Department of Immigration and
Together with the ATO and Customs, the Department of Immigration and
Citizenship (DIAC) is one of three agencies identified as being of high
corruption risk by ACLEI.
Ms Alison Larkins, First Assistant Secretary, DIAC, explained that the
department's law enforcement functions fall into two broad categories, stating:
There are two groups of law enforcement functions; those that
operate at the border and those that operate within Australia. I run the law
enforcement functions that relate to onshore compliance. Officers in our
network have the power to detain citizens and we also have investigative
However, Ms Larkins noted that the main corruption risk within DIAC is
likely to be in the granting of visas rather than law enforcement functions.
Looking at our work and using ACLEI...criteria for where risk
lies, the work that is done in the compliance area and the decision to detain
is now extremely well controlled both internally and externally. It is also a
group activity so there is very little decision making that is not done with a
lot of exposure. Also there are not a lot of benefits in that space. On release
from detention you are usually released on a temporary visa for a short period.
It is in the visa space and the citizenship space where there are significant
benefits that you might get from within our department.
DIAC reported that there have been two substantiated cases of an
official granting or expediting a visa in return for sexual favours or money in
the last two or three years.
DIAC officials noted that the ability to request specialised assistance from
ACLEI would be welcome and useful in some circumstances.
The committee notes that a similar issue emerges as was discussed in the
context of the ATO. Namely, enabling ACLEI to investigate potentially corrupt
behaviour in areas of an agency that do not technically have a law enforcement
function may dilute the focus of the Integrity Commissioner. As noted by the
Integrity Commissioner, such an approach may lead to the introduction of a Commonwealth-wide
integrity agency 'by stealth'.
Nevertheless, the committee considers that, while the LEIC Act should
include a statutory requirement to prioritise the investigation of corruption
issues relating to law enforcement, this should not prevent the investigation
of serious non-law enforcement corruption issues where deemed appropriate by
the head of the agency concerned.
Australian Quarantine and
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), through
the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), is responsible for
managing quarantine controls at Australia's borders to minimise the risk of
exotic pests and diseases entering the country. AQIS also provides import and
export inspection and certification in relation to biosecurity. In 2010–11,
AQIS staff represented approximately 3400 of DAFF's 5000 staff.
DAFF informed the committee that AQIS law enforcement functions are
limited to the Investigations and Enforcement Program, which investigates
alleged client breaches of AQIS legislation. DAFF noted that due to the
relatively limited powers of investigators, the nature of the activities
subject to investigation and the existence of supervisory review and
monitoring, the potential for corruption is limited. DAFF informed the
committee that there have been no matters of corruption relating to law
enforcement activities undertaken within AQIS in the past 18 years.
The committee notes that AQIS also plays a key role in protecting
Australia's border, specifically in relation to biosecurity. For example, AQIS
officers are responsible for checking mail, screening passengers and inspecting
containers for biosecurity risks.
Officers of the Investigations and Enforcement Program have developed an
effective working relationship with Customs, working together on operations on
a small number of occasions.
As a result, the committee is of the opinion that AQIS should also be
subject to limited ACLEI oversight due to the proximity of AQIS inspectors to Customs
activities and border security measures.
2.64 The committee recommends that ACLEI's second tier jurisdiction should
initially comprise the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Transaction
Reports and Analysis Centre, CrimTrac, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection
Service and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
The committee notes that some of the arguments it has used to justify
the inclusion of certain agencies in a second tier of limited ACLEI
jurisdiction could potentially be extended to cover other agencies in the Heads
of Commonwealth Operational Law Enforcement Agencies group, or agencies that
provide briefs to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Additionally, it is possible that, in establishing a relationship with
the named tier two agencies above, ACLEI may be provided with information that
suggests that one or more of those agencies should be moved from tier two to
tier one (i.e. full oversight under the terms of the current LEIC Act).
For this reason, the committee recommends that, if established, the
operation of a second tier of jurisdiction, and the list of agencies therein,
be reviewed after a period of two years from the date the amendment comes into
2.68 The committee recommends that the operation of a second tier in the Law
Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006 and the list of agencies prescribed
in that tier be reviewed two years after initial establishment. This review should
include consideration of whether any tier two agencies may more appropriately
be subject to tier one prescription. Similar reviews should subsequently be
conducted at two year intervals.
Tier three: corruption prevention
As noted above, ACLEI's proposed model includes a third tier
jurisdiction that includes all Commonwealth public sector agencies not
considered to have an intermediate to high law enforcement corruption risk (and
therefore not in tier one or tier two). These agencies would have no formal or
mandatory relationship with ACLEI. Nor would agency heads have discretion to
refer a corruption issue to ACLEI, even in a voluntary capacity. Tier three
agencies may however request corruption prevention advice and awareness raising
about corruption risks.
The committee agrees that ACLEI should have some involvement in the
provision of corruption prevention advice and education about corruption risks
to the broader public service. However, the committee does not consider that
amendment of the LEIC Act to establish a third tier of jurisdiction is required
to achieve this. Instead, the committee explores a possible role for ACLEI in
this regard in the next chapter, which deals with the broader Commonwealth
Prescribed agencies: by legislation
ACLEI presently has jurisdiction over agencies prescribed within section
5 of the LEIC Act; that is, the ACC, the AFP and the former NCA. In addition, Customs
is currently prescribed by regulation.
The committee received limited evidence on the question of whether ACLEI's
jurisdiction should be extended to other agencies by regulation or legislation.
ACLEI expressed its support for existing arrangements to continue noting
that they provide flexibility for the government and for ACLEI. ACLEI further
claimed that there are sufficient mechanisms in place to protect the integrity
of these arrangements.
The Attorney-General's Department commented on the benefits of existing
Extension by regulation is a simpler, faster and more
flexible way of extending jurisdiction than amending the LEIC Act itself.
Parliamentary oversight is still exercised through the tabling and disallowance
Alternatively, Transparency International Australia submitted that the
extension of ACLEI's jurisdiction should occur by 'legislative overhaul' and
'not by regulation'.
Professor AJ Brown and Mr Peter Roberts similarly argued that the
extension of ACLEI's jurisdiction should be by legislation and not by
regulation. They wrote:
A key part of the avowed purpose of having integrity agencies
such as ACLEI is their institutional independence both from the agencies under
scrutiny, and from political interference or instruction by the Government of
the day. In practice, such an agency may cooperate closely both with agencies
and with Government, but their ability to be seen to be independent when it
counts is a crucial part of their legitimacy and raison d'etre.
In our view it remains undesirable that the Government should
have the power to extend jurisdiction by regulation, as this suggests or
acknowledges a degree of ad hocery in what the Government and Parliament consider
to be the purpose of the agency. Flexibility is one thing, but ad hocery is
Professor Brown qualified this view:
I do not see it as being a crucial issue provided, of course,
that the foundational jurisdiction of ACLEI is extended to reflect its current
core mission as being a law enforcement integrity agency body by including all
of the relevant agencies that it should have within its jurisdiction.
The committee appreciates the point that an agency such as ACLEI should
have 'a clear, legislated jurisdiction which everyone understands, and which
does not change on the whim of the Executive'.
At the same time, the committee considers it critical that Government is able
to be responsive to changing corruption risks particularly in an environment
where rapidly evolving technologies open the law enforcement environment to new
and changing corruption risks.
For this reason, while the committee encourages the government to
establish ACLEI's jurisdiction through legislative amendment, the capacity to add
agencies by regulation should be retained. This will enable the circumvention of
delays potentially associated with legislative amendments.
Other amendments to the operation of the LEIC Act
In the committee's interim report, it
made a number of recommendations regarding specific amendments to the LEIC Act.
The committee looks forward to the Government's response to those
recommendations. In addition to those recommendations, the committee also
proposes the following two amendments to the LEIC Act.
ACLEI raised a further possible amendment to the LEIC Act during its
appearance before the committee at a public hearing on 11 February 2011. Law
enforcement agencies, including Customs, are subject to various secrecy and confidentiality
provisions in legislation. Though this has not been a problem for ACLEI so far,
the Integrity Commissioner informed the committee that it would be desirable to
ensure that such secrecy and confidentiality provisions not interfere with
ACLEI's ability to question staff in any of those agencies.
In our view the Customs Administration Act presents no
problem but it would be convenient if the issue were put beyond doubt.
It also would apply in another context whereby there may be,
say, a taskforce which involves some of the law enforcement agencies for which
ACLEI is responsible, say Customs and the AFP, but other agencies’ staff might
also be in that taskforce. They in that context may observe a corruption issue
which they would want to refer to the Integrity Commissioner but they may be
barred from doing that by secrecy or confidentiality provisions of their
If secrecy and confidentiality provisions were able to override the
investigatory powers of the Integrity Commissioner, the ability to uncover
corruption would be significantly undermined. In particular, the committee
notes that such a situation could act to undermine the public perception of
integrity in law enforcement agencies. For this reason, the committee supports
the Integrity Commissioner's suggested amendment.
2.83 The committee recommends that the Law Enforcement Integrity
Commissioner Act 2006 be amended so as to ensure that secrecy and
confidentiality provisions pertaining to law enforcement agencies within
ACLEI's jurisdiction do not prevent the Integrity Commissioner from receiving
information necessary to the investigation of a corruption issue.
Appointment of the Integrity
The committee notes that under the current provisions of the LEIC Act,
an individual cannot be appointed to the position of Law Enforcement Integrity
Commissioner for a period greater than five years. The committee considers that
this does not provide sufficient flexibility for a situation where ACLEI is
undergoing extensive change, or where there is an ongoing, serious
investigation. The committee is of the view that such situations could warrant
the extension of the Integrity Commissioner’s appointment for a further maximum
period of two years.
The committee therefore proposes an amendment to the LEIC Act to enable
such an extension to take place. In order to ensure the appropriate oversight
of such a provision, the committee recommends that the extension of the
appointment of an Integrity Commissioner for a further two years would require
the consent of both the Minister and the committee.
2.86 The committee recommends that the Law Enforcement Integrity
Commissioner Act 2006 be amended so that the period of appointment of the
Integrity Commissioner may be extended once, beyond the five year period of
appointment, for a period of up to two years by the Governor-General on
recommendation of the Minister, with the approval of the committee. Any such
extension to the period of appointment should apply only to a serving Integrity
Commissioner and should be approved no less than three months before the expiry
of the current period of appointment.
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