What can the Inspector investigate?
The Inspector can investigate National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) corruption issues and complaints of maladministration or officer misconduct made in relation to the NACC or a staff member of the NACC.
The Inspector cannot deal with complaints about any other agency or its staff.
The Inspector can also undertake preliminary investigations into NACC corruption issues.
Powers of the Inspector when conducting an investigation
The Inspector has a variety of information-gathering powers they can use when conducting a NACC corruption investigation or NACC complaint investigation. For example, the Inspector can:
- require the production of documents or other things
- require individuals to provide information, either by way of participating in a hearing or to produce documents and other things
The Inspector can decide how to conduct any investigation including a complaint investigation.
The Inspector can decide to take no action at any stage of dealing with a NACC corruption issue or a complaint investigation.
What must the Inspector do after investigating?
After investigating a NACC corruption issue or complaint, the Inspector must prepare a report setting out their findings and recommendations (if relevant) and the reasons for them.
For a report on a NACC corruption investigation, the Inspector must set out whether they believe the corrupt conduct investigated occurred or whether they believe it did not.
The Inspector may recommend, among other things, terminating a person’s employment and remedying any deficiencies in policies.
If the Inspector is critical of a person or agency in their report, the Inspector must give the person and/or agency an opportunity to respond. If the Inspector includes in their report, an opinion or finding that a person has engaged in corrupt conduct, the Inspector must also include a summary of any response given by that person if the person requests them to do so. The Inspector must not, however, include in the investigation report, any information in a response given under this section that would identify any person who, in the opinion of the Inspector, has not engaged in corrupt conduct unless the Inspector:
- is satisfied that it is necessary to do so in the public interest; and
- is satisfied that doing so will not cause unreasonable damage to the reputation, safety or wellbeing of the person; and
- includes in the report a statement that, in the opinion of the Inspector, the person has not engaged in corrupt conduct.
The Inspector is also unable to include any information in an investigation report which the Inspector considers to be sensitive information or information to which a s235 certificate applies (certifying the disclosure would be contrary to the public interest).
The Inspector must advise various people of the outcome of its investigation, including the Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner of the NACC.
The Inspector can request the NACC or the agency concerned to give details of what it has done in response to any recommendations made in an investigation report.
The Inspector may publish all or part of an investigation report if satisfied it is in the public interest.
If public hearings were held during the investigation, the report must also be tabled in Parliament.