Referral and conduct of the inquiry
On 24 February 2016, the Senate resolved to establish the Select
Committee relating to the establishment of a National Integrity Commission. The
committee is to inquire into the adequacy of the Australian Government's
legislative, institutional and policy framework in addressing corruption and
misconduct and whether a national integrity commission should be established.
The inquiry's terms of references relating to the matters to be
investigated are as follows:
- the adequacy of the Australian Government’s legislative, institutional
and policy framework in addressing all facets of institutional, organisational,
political and electoral, and individual corruption and misconduct, with
the effectiveness of the current federal and state/territory agencies
and commissions in preventing, investigating and prosecuting corruption and
the interrelation between federal and state/territory agencies and
the nature and extent of coercive powers possessed by the various
agencies and commissions, and whether those coercive powers are consistent with
fundamental democratic principles;
whether a national integrity commission should be established to address
institutional, organisational, political and electoral, and individual
corruption and misconduct, with reference to:
the scope of coverage by any national integrity commission,
the legislative and regulatory powers required by any national integrity
commission to enable effective operation,
the advantages and disadvantages associated with domestic and
international models of integrity and anti-corruption commissions/agencies,
whether any national integrity commission should have broader
the necessity of any privacy and/or secrecy provisions,
any budgetary and resourcing considerations, and
any reporting accountability considerations; and
any other related matter.
The committee advertised the inquiry on its website and has published 29
submissions to date. A list of the submissions received is at Appendix 1.
The committee held a hearing on 21 April 2016 in Canberra and a hearing
in Sydney on 28 April 2016. The list of witnesses is available at Appendix 2.
Structure and scope of report
This interim report comprises three chapters. The second chapter provides
an introduction to perceptions of corruption in Australia. The report concludes
with a discussion of the existing national anti-corruption framework, and the
potential benefits and drawbacks of creating a national anti-corruption
commissioner covering elements of public administration.
This report is limited to considering anti-corruption measures that
affect public administration in Australia. There have been calls for a National
Integrity Commission that would consider alleged corruption in other areas—such
as financial services or construction—which are not currently subject to
dedicated anti-corruption measures. The committee reserves the right to
consider the merits of these suggestions further in future reports.
The committee thanks all those who have contributed to the inquiry, and
looks forward to working with interested stakeholders as the inquiry progresses
The committee would like to extend special thanks the Parliamentary
Library who generously shared their research and knowledge in this area.
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