Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2017 and ICAC (Consequential and Related Amendments) Act 2017

The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2017 (the Act) was passed by the Legislative Assembly on 23 November 2017 and commenced on 30 November 2018.

The Act created the ICAC as an independent body that is free from government direction.

The purpose of the Act is to address improper conduct in public administration.

Importantly, the Act provides built in protections for people who report improper conduct and, who may put themselves at risk of retaliation as a result.

The powers given by the Act are in addition to those that exist in other investigating bodies such as the Police, the Auditor-General, the Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner, although the office of the Public Interest Disclosure was absorbed into ICAC upon its establishment.

The Act sets out that the Commissioner and his Office must prioritise investigation of the most serious, systemic and sensitive improper conduct for investigation, as well as making sure all other improper conduct is dealt with appropriately.

The Act vests its powers in the Commissioner, who may delegate these powers to authorised officers. Authorised officers may be Office of the ICAC staff, or those contracted or seconded to the Office for specified matters.

The Act is available in full here.

More information on the Act can be found here.

A summary of the Act:

1 Preliminary matters such as definitions – for example, improper conduct, public officer, public body
2 Establishment, powers and functions of the ICAC
3 Identifying and dealing with improper conduct – mandatory reporting, referrals, audits and reviews, investigations, inquiries, reports and recommendations
4 Information gathering powers – entering premises and powers of authorised officers, search warrants, access to confidential information
5 Confidentiality and privilege – client legal privilege, parliamentary privilege
6 Whistleblower protection and voluntary protected communications
7 Administration and enforcement – terms of appointment, staffing and offences
8 Miscellaneous matters – protection from liability, service, regulation power
9 Repeal and transitional matters relating to the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

What is the ICAC (Consequential and Related Amendments) Act 2017?

This Act amends a number of other acts in relation to the establishment of the ICAC and the commencement of the ICAC Act. Examples of some of the acts that this Act amends include the:

  • Correctional Services Act
  • Criminal Code
  • Criminal Records (Spent Convictions) Act
  • Legislative Assembly (Disclosure of Interests) Act
  • Procurement Act
  • Police (Special Investigative and Other Powers) Act
  • Surveillance Devices Act
  • Witness Protection (Northern Territory) Act
  • Telecommunications (Interception) Act.

The Act commenced at the same time as the ICAC Act. A full copy can be found here.