Commonwealth Integrity Commission consultation draft
The Australian Government has committed to establishing a Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC) to strengthen integrity arrangements across the federal public sector.
The CIC will be a centralised, specialist centre investigating corruption in the public sector. It will be established as an independent statutory agency, led by the Integrity Commissioner and assisted by the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner and the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner.
The draft legislation is the result of detailed planning to ensure the new body has both the resources and powers that it needs to investigate allegations of criminal conduct that could occur across the public sector.
The CIC will have greater investigatory powers than a Royal Commission. These include the ability to:
- hold hearings and compel witnesses to testify
- enter and search premises
- require people to surrender documents and other evidence
- use telecommunication interceptions
- have individuals arrested
- confiscate passports.
The Australian Government sought views on the proposed CIC model via a consultation paper, as well as advice from an expert panel that was engaged to advise the government on the reforms.
Find out more about the earlier CIC model consultation.
The Australian Government has considered feedback on the previous consultation paper and has developed draft legislation to establish the new agency. The draft legislation comprises two Bills:
- Commonwealth Integrity Commission Bill 2020 (the draft Bill) – which would establish the CIC.
- Integrity and Anti-Corruption Legislation Amendment (CIC Establishment and Other Measures) Bill 2020 – which would make necessary amendments to various Acts to give effect to the new CIC scheme.
A fact sheet about the key features of the CIC has also been released.
The first phase of the Australian Government's plan for a CIC is already underway. The Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity's (ACLEI) jurisdiction was expanded from 1 January 2021 to cover 4 new agencies, and additional funding and staff were allocated to ACLEI in the 2020-21 Budget to undertake those functions. The second phase will be the full delivery of the CIC by legislation, which will subsume ACLEI and cover the remainder of the public sector.
The public sector integrity division will have jurisdiction over the rest of the public sector and other regulated entities. This division will investigate potential criminal corrupt conduct perpetrated by:
- public sector, intelligence agency and Australian Defence Force employees
- the staff of federal judicial officers
- parliamentarians and their staff
- higher education providers and research bodies (in some circumstances).
The Australian Government conducted a national consultation process on the draft legislation from November 2020 to March 2021.
A series of consultation sessions were held for the law enforcement and public sector groups that would be regulated under the legislation, as well as roundtable meetings with civil society, academia and other stakeholder representatives from all states and territories.
The Australian Government invited public submissions on the draft legislation for the CIC between 2 November 2020 and 12 February 2021. Feedback from these submissions will help inform the development and implementation of the CIC.
We have published submissions where the author gave their consent and publishing is otherwise appropriate and does not raise privacy concerns.
To request these documents in a different accessible format, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.