Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC)
|Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC)|
Logo of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC)
|Preceding agency||Office of Police Integrity|
|Annual budget||A$31 million (2014-2015)|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||State of Victoria, Australia|
|Governing body||Parliament of Victoria|
|Constituting instrument||Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011 (IBAC Act)|
|Headquarters||Level 1, 459 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) is Victoria's anti-corruption agency with jurisdiction over the public sector. It does this by:
- investigating serious corruption and police misconduct
- informing the public sector, police and the community about the risks and impacts of corruption and police misconduct.
IBAC's jurisdiction includes:
- public sector agencies and bodies
- local councils
- members of Parliament, electorate officers and ministerial advisors
- the judiciary
- Victoria Police personnel, including sworn and unsworn staff and Protective Services Officers.
It is also subject to scrutiny through:
- the role of the Commissioner
- the Parliamentary Committee to oversee IBAC
- IBAC's prevention and education functions.
In 2012, the IBAC Act was amended to grant IBAC certain investigative powers as well as define its main areas of jurisdiction. Further legislation was subsequently introduced to replace the former Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 with the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (Protected Disclosure Act).
IBAC has powers to effectively investigate allegations of serious corrupt conduct. These include the power to:
- compel the production of documents and objects
- enter and search premises
- seize documents and objects
- use surveillance devices
- intercept telecommunications
- hold private and public hearings
- require people to give evidence at a hearing.
IBAC must apply to the Supreme Court or other courts and tribunals before exercising some powers. The Public Interest Monitor reviews and makes submissions on IBAC's applications for surveillance device warrants and telecommunications interception warrants.
Prior to its establishment, the powers granted under the IBAC Act were publicly criticised. Following establishment, former Court of Appeal judge and Chair of the Accountability Round Table, Stephen Charles QC, said the IBAC legislation was "seriously flawed" and that IBAC required investigatory powers similar to those of the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption.
IBAC's Commissioner Stephen O’Bryan QC stated:
"As with any new and complex legislation, it is not until it is applied in practice over time that areas for improvement are best identified. I am confident that the IBAC Act provides a solid initial framework for Victoria's new integrity regime and that, as with any such legislation, it will transform over time. Certainly, if elements of the Act fall short of what is needed to carry out most effectively its objectives and purposes, I have publicly stated that I will seek appropriate amendment."
After a year of full operation, the Commissioner determined some areas of the IBAC Act would benefit from amendment. Detailed in the April 2014 Special report following IBAC's first year of being fully operational, these included:
- the extent to which IBAC must reasonably be satisfied before investigation complaints or allegations of corrupt conduct
- the absence of the common law offence of misconduct in public office as something IBAC can investigate
- the desirability of mandatory reporting of possible corrupt conduct to IBAC by public sector body heads and council CEOs.
- the threshold for conducting investigations
- the inclusion of misconduct in public office
- the ability to conduct preliminary investigations
- the introduction of mandatory reporting for principal officers of public bodies.
On 1 February 2015, the newly sworn in Labor Government announced it was undertaking a review of the Victorian integrity system, including changes to IBAC's powers. A string investigations in 2015 renewed public support to bring forward changes to the IBAC Act, with the government confirming its commitment to introduce a Bill to State Parliament in 2015.
Operation Dunham (continuing)
- how contracts around the online learning portal (Ultranet) were tendered for and awarded
- the personal and business connections between department employees and businesses involved in the Ultranet project
- whether current or former department employees released confidential information, or used their position to influence procurement processes
- whether department employees received payments, gifts, travel, employment opportunities or other benefits because they were involved in the Ultranet tender or procurement processes
- department procurement and conflict of interest processes, and organisational culture.
Operation Ord (2014–2016)
- involvement of current and former DET staff in the establishment of ‘banker schools’
- allocation of funds to schools for goods and services that were not always provided
- misuse of department funds.
- IBAC people
- Owen, Rhys. "Protective services officers". www.legalaid.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
- "Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011 Act". www.legislation.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
- "Victoria's New Protected Disclosure Regime - Maddocks". Maddocks. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
- "Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001" (PDF).
- "Protected Disclosure Act 2012". www.legislation.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
- "The first 100 days - from Ron Bonighton, Acting Commissioner, IBAC". www.ibac.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
- "Our investigative powers". www.ibac.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
- "Public Interest Monitor Act 2011". www.legislation.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
- "Baillieu's toothless tiger". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
- Millar, Melissa Fyfe and Royce (2013-03-05). "Corruption watchdog is 'flawed'". The Age. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
- "Annual Report 2012/13, Commissioner's report" (PDF).
- "IBAC, Special report following IBAC's first year of being fully operational, April 2014" (PDF).
- "INTEGRITY LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2014". www.austlii.edu.au. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
- Correspondent, Richard Willingham, State Political (2014-09-16). "IBAC changes 'may not have time to be debated'". The Age. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
- Tomazin, Farrah (2015-02-01). "Andrews government gives more powers to corruption busters, revamps public service". The Age. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
- Baker, Richard (2015-06-30). "Operation Ord proves IBAC's worth". The Age. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
- Tomazin, Farrah (2015-11-29). "IBAC to get beefed-up powers to probe MPs, judges, public servants". The Age. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
- "How the Ultranet scandal unfolded".
- "$60m Ultranet cost blowout likely: inquiry".
- "The man behind the $1m Ultranet payment: 'I saw it as my only option'".
- Cook, Henrietta. "Ultranet: education official admits secretly funnelling $1m into bidding company".
- "Operation Ord". IBAC.
- Baker, Richard (2016-05-01). "Operation Ord proves IBAC's worth". The Age.
- Minear, Tom. "IBAC education inquiry: Commission releases anti-corruption investigation findings". Herald Sun.
- "Operation Ord Special Report April 2016".