Joint statement on the National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill 2022
Public hearings are crucial to corruption investigations. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
We welcome the introduction of the NACC Bill. It provides for a strong and independent integrity commission. However, in its current form the bill restrains the Commission’s ability to hold public hearings. Public hearings expose corruption and are a crucial tool in investigations. We call for the exceptional circumstances test in cl 73(2)(a) to be removed.
The Victorian IBAC is the only state or territory commission to have the exceptional circumstances test. They say it ‘has had the effect of placing an artificial limit on IBAC’s ability to conduct examinations in public …. IBAC does not consider that the existence of exceptional circumstances ought to be a decisive factor in determining whether a public hearing should proceed.’
The exceptional circumstances test will cause delays, court challenges, and limit the public’s knowledge of corruption investigations. It should be removed from the NACC bill.
Joint statement with:
- The Centre for Public Integrity
- Transparency International Australia
- Accountability Round Table
- Human Rights Law Centre
- The Ethics Centre
- Institute of Ethics, Governance & Law
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